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News

Carthage CFO Bill Abt to retire in June 2015

July 30, 2014

William Abt, who has managed Carthage’s historic financial, investment, and operational growth over the past 14 years, will retire as senior vice president for administration and business on June 30, 2015.

After a 40-year career in management, he plans to spend more time with family. He and his wife, Julie, also are eager to free up more time to devote to social and community initiatives.

Bill Abt, senior vice president for administration and business.Carthage will continue to rely on his expertise. At the request of President Gregory Woodward and the Board of Trustees, Mr. Abt has agreed to continue as the College’s chief investment officer.

In that role, he has overseen investment returns that have boosted the endowment by 200 percent since the low point of the recession in 2009. Resisting the allure of hedge funds and other alternative investments, Carthage’s portfolio has outperformed that of its peers by a wide margin in the past three years.

Under his leadership, Carthage’s financial strength has grown continuously. The College has raised the operating budget by 130 percent while investing $180 million in campus development.

“Bill Abt has been one of the primary figures in creating the wonderful Carthage we enjoy today,” President Woodward said. “His management of our financial resources and business plan has been nothing short of phenomenal, and I doubt another college in America has benefited as much from the transformative work of its CFO. In my opinion, we all owe Bill a heartfelt word of thanks for his financial stewardship over the past 14 years.”

In addition to guiding the investment strategy, Mr. Abt serves as chief financial officer and treasurer of the College. He oversees human resources, facilities and construction management, food service, conference services, the campus bookstore, Business Office services, Library and Information Services, and athletics.

Carrying 25 years of experience in the brewing industry, Mr. Abt came to the College in January 2000. Acknowledging the for-profit management experience was essential, he nevertheless wishes he had made the switch to higher education earlier.

“Although I like beer,” Mr. Abt joked, “the finished product here at Carthage is something I can really be proud of — and I get to work with some really great people.”

Beyond the campus boundaries, he is chairman of the board of the Group Life Accident and Health Insurance Fund, which provides health care and benefits to more than 12,000 college and university employees across the nation. Mr. Abt also serves on the board of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.

President Woodward called him “a cherished colleague” in the two-plus years they have worked together — as well as a frequent companion at concerts and plays. He noted that Mr. and Mrs. Abt are avid supporters of the arts.

“I remember the day he came in to work and seemed to have lost his voice. As I inquired about his health, his short and very quiet response was, ‘Coldplay concert last night!’” President Woodward said. “I will miss him and his work, but I will always be grateful for the years we were able to work together at this fabulous college.”