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Family Ties Lead to Heartfelt Chapel Commitment

Jon and Stephanie Hauge made a gift to underwrite the crucifix for the new chapel.

Stephanie and Jon Hauge were never students at Caldwell University. Their daughter, Greta, did not study at Caldwell either. So what inspired this generous couple to contribute $25,000 to the Campaign for Caldwell?

Their involvement with Caldwell began more than 20 years ago. Stephanie’s brother-in-law, Tim Manning, served as Caldwell’s vice president of institutional advancement from 1995 to 2000, when they lost him to cancer.

“I was financial vice president at AT&T when Tim joined Caldwell,” Stephanie recalls. “Sister Patrice was president, and there were very few lay people on the board of trustees at that time. Tim saw the value of bringing business leaders onto the board. He knew I had financial expertise and recruited me to become a trustee.”

Stephanie served on the board for nine years, until 2006. Six of those years were spent on the executive board, first as chair of the finance committee and later as chair of the audit committee. She worked closely with her brother-in-law to bring corporate grants to the institution, including funding from the AT&T Foundation.

During this time, Stephanie and Jon developed a high regard for the institution and its Catholic mission. They became, and have remained, loyal donors and can be counted on to give at the President’s Society level each year. Stephanie continues to champion the university in other ways as well. Through her involvement with the Financial Women’s Association of New Jersey, an organization that promotes and supports women leaders, she organized an
event on campus that featured a panel of distinguished women executives—including Dr. Nancy Blattner—who spoke about the challenges of balancing demanding careers with
full lives.

The Hauges’ fondness for Caldwell is, in many ways, tied to their memories of Tim. In 2002, the couple honored Tim’s memory with a major donation that was recognized through the naming of the Manning Campus Bookstore. It was their way of honoring their brother-in-law’s deeply felt commitment to this institution.

They were thrilled to learn about Caldwell’s plans to relocate the university’s chapel, formerly in the Mother Joseph Residence Hall, to the first floor of the Newman Center. “I was especially happy to hear that the beautiful stained-glass windows are going to be incorporated into the design for the new space,” Stephanie notes.

The university’s plans for the new chapel meant the Manning Campus Bookstore would have to be moved. When a new location was chosen, a re-inauguration event was held, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and luncheon. “It was a lovely family celebration. There is a new plaque outside the bookstore that tells visitors about Tim,” Stephanie notes.

The Hauges’ gift is a testament to Caldwell University’s strong Catholic mission. Stephanie and Jon are very committed to ecumenical causes near and far. “Jon and I love to visit churches when we travel. We were drawn by the idea of making the chapel more central to the lives of the students by putting it in the Newman Center. The new chapel will be a wonderful expression of the university’s Dominican roots.”

Stephanie has a master’s in theology and has dedicated countless hours to serving as an RCIA director and in the music and lector ministries at her home parish, Resurrection Church, in Randolph, New Jersey. There is no doubt the Hauges’ gift in support of the new chapel at Caldwell University reflects their confidence in the university’s commitment to its Catholic identity.

Smart gift planning enabled the Hauges to maximize their support. Stephanie explains, “At our age and given the current tax laws and minimum distribution requirements, it makes more sense for us to direct our charitable giving from our IRAs. Doing so reduces our ordinary income and produces additional tax benefits. It’s a better way to give.” Jon’s retirement benefits made it possible to secure additional corporate matching funds from Pfizer.

The Hauges’ newest gift is being made in memory of their parents—Olaf and Gladys Hauge and Edward and Mary Jordan. In recognition of their support, Stephanie and Jon will be listed on the donor wall as benefactors to help underwrite the crucifix. “Our parents were very faith-filled people,” Stephanie says. “They knew the importance of education. And they felt, as we do, that is a beautiful thing to have a church at the center of a community. This is a fitting tribute to them.”

The new chapel will be a wonderful expression of the university’s Dominican roots.