Alumnus William Schumann ’71, of Wheaton, Ill., will be honored in October with a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for his achievements in his career and his small community.
Schumann said the most compelling moment of his undergraduate years was studying abroad in the former Soviet Union with Juris Veidemanis, former department chair for sociology and anthropology and founder of the International Studies Program.
In Europe, Schumann gained an understanding of the Latvian heritage, culture and freedom, and he internalized the experience into lessons that he carries with him today.
He then worked as a security manager to make his way through school. He served in active and reserve duty for six years in the U.S. Army, after earning degrees in history and political science.
When his parents fell ill, he managed their care and supervised their investments, taxes and other financial needs. He passed his stock broker examination, traded and handled the inheritance he received, and started designing portfolios for people.
After learning more about design portfolios, he returned to school to become a Certified Financial Planner. He started his own company, Schumann Financial, in 1986, and has since prepared more than 41,000 tax returns and managed $400 million of customer money. He works with clients in 40 states and employs eight, full-time people.
In 2006, he was inducted as a fellow to the National Tax Practiced Institute and has been the largest-producing representative for his broker/dealer for 25 of the last 26 years. For 29 years, Schumann has been a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals and a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents for 10 years.
An independent broker-dealer out of Maryland, H. Beck Inc., named Schumann Adviser of the Year in 2011.
Although he is buried in work with managing money and profiles, he also keeps busy by volunteering at the United Association for Blind Athletes as a coach and guide. In 1986, he won the national championship in St. Louis, Mo.
Today, Schumann doesn’t let retirement stop him from continuing his advancements in the field of finance. He still leads as a representative out of more than 1,000 producing representatives of his broker-dealer and is responsible for managing retirement and educational funds for many families.
Even for his 65th birthday, he didn’t stop contributing to the community. Schumann threw a birthday bash with 240 of his closest friends and customers to raise money for the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton, Ill. Through the generous donations of many, a center for female veterans of wars who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder was opened.
He explained that a lot of female veterans in Illinois are homeless, most of them seeking shelter in the train stations. The center for female veterans offers counseling, fresh clothing, a place to live, internet access and job opportunities for the women who are affected by their time in the military and over seas.
The death of his daughter eight years ago from mental illness has given Schumann more insight into helping women who suffer from PTSD.
“I decided to talk to these people who had mental illnesses, same as my daughter, and I turned all the negative things into positive opportunities for them,” Schumann said.
Because of his tremendous contributions to the shelter, the City of Wheaton declared March 7, 2014, to be “William C. Schumann Day.”
He attributes his lessons learned at UW Oshkosh to his success in his financial career, as he always tells clients and customers stories of his time at UWO.
Gladys Veidemanis, wife and widow of Veidemanis, worked with Schumann on his 65th birthday project. She originally met him while he was an undergraduate at UWO and they have stayed in touch.
“Besides earning a reputation throughout the Midwest as a brilliant and highly productive financial adviser, Schumann is a devoted and loving family man, beloved by his many friends, and treasured for his leadership skills and civic dedication,” Gladys said.
Juris passed away in 1970. In honor of his work, a crescent-shaped bench still stands in front of Dempsey Hall, with the engraved words, “Take time to share.”
“This was one of Veidemanis’ famous quotes,” Schumann said. “When I return to campus, it makes me smile to think of him, and that his inscribed words are still there over 40 years later.”
Schumann still visits the bench to ensure its upkeep and has pledged to be a continuing benefactor to the University.
For more information about the alumni awards celebration on Oct. 16 during Homecoming 2015, please contact the UW Oshkosh Alumni Relations Office at (920) 424-3449 or send an email to email@example.com.
- Veteran’s birthday idea turns into $150,000 gift to comrades
- Award-winning alumna advocates for hearing loop technology
- UW Oshkosh grads to be honored with 2015 Alumni Association awards