In This Issue
Patricia Hausknost has always known how important education was to her parents. As far back as she can remember, they just assumed that she would go to college. Her mother constantly encouraged her to become a teacher. Patricia’s own desire was to teach high school.
When Hausknost arrived at UIC, she realized she had lived a sheltered life up to that point. The diversity of the students on this new campus fascinated her and opened her eyes to new possibilities. Her quest to become a teacher would later take turns as diverse as the burgeoning culture of UIC itself. In 1974, she earned her BA in the Teaching of German from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Today, Hausknost is senior vice president at City National Bank in Los Angeles.
Through their estate, Hausknost and her husband, Michael, established the Michael and Patricia Dash Hausknost Scholarship Fund, a unique fund benefiting three different colleges at UIC. The fund will provide scholarships to undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and the College of Business. Why three colleges?
“I graduated from LAS, but since my degree was in secondary education, and my husband and I have been working in the financial field for our entire careers, it seemed appropriate to establish the fund in all three areas,” Hausknost said.
The gift reflects the wide-ranging life Hausknost has led.
“In the 60s (during my high school years), not that many young girls went to college, but if they did, education was the typical major,” Hausknost said. “On campus, I was fascinated by the diversity of the students. I can recall to this day entering what is now Student Center East on my way to the Pier Room, overhearing the discussions (many passionate and mainly political since so many were not U.S. born) among students. My fondest memories of UIC relate to the diversity of the students. In my opinion, that diversity is what makes UIC great.”
When she graduated from UIC in March 1974, Hausknost assumed she would get a teaching position by that September. While waiting for a teaching job to materialize, she took a position in the International Division at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, where she figured she could use her German language skills.
It proved to be the start of a cross-country career in banking. In Chicago, Hausknost was quickly promoted to supervisor of the International Money Transfer section and soon after moved to the International Wire Room. In May 1978, she moved to the New York office of Northern Trust Bank and in succession held the titles of Supervisor of the Investigations Department and Assistant Treasurer. After working at two more banks, she ended up at HSBC, diversifying her experience by working in several different departments. In 1998, after 20 years in New York, she was ready for a change and decided to move to southern California where her siblings all resided. At City National Bank in Los Angeles, she rose from the real estate department to Senior Vice President to Manager of Financial Institutions. All the while, her goal of teaching was never that far from her mind.
“I always hoped I would teach someday,” Hausknost said. When City National offered the opportunity to participate in a UCLA extension certificate program in financial planning, she jumped at the chance. “It took me 35 years to get a teaching job. I’m now a part-time instructor at UCLA. I was offered the opportunity to teach a class on retirement plans and have been an instructor since 2008.” Her UIC experience and love for teaching have kept Hausknost connected to UIC and its students. Her success in banking has also provided her the opportunity to assist students in their quest for an education.
“My husband and I have achieved more in our lives than we could have ever imagined while growing up,” Hausknost said. “We completely understand the challenges faced by those who, due to their economic or cultural background, may not always have the opportunity to attend college. So it seemed natural to establish a scholarship at UIC.
“Michael and I understand how fortunate we are and we want to provide an opportunity so that others can realize their full potential. Hopefully, this scholarship will benefit others and because of their success they will, in the future, be generous and supportive to others.”
In 2009, Hausknost became a member of the LAS Board of Visitors, in an effort to further her commitment to the College.
“It is an honor and a privilege to participate with the dean and the other members of the BOV,” Hausknost said. “I have learned so much! I don’t think the majority of people in the U.S. have any idea how their state colleges and universities are funded and the challenges they face attracting and maintaining faculty, serving the students and community, as well as the operation of the school.”
Hausknost’s life has come full circle back to teaching, but along the way she’s experienced as diverse a life as she saw possible when she first arrived at UIC.
“I could have never predicted in March 1974 that I would be remarried, living in southern California and have enjoyed a 36-year career in banking,” she said. “But most of that would never have happened without a great educational foundation and the willingness to say, ‘I can do that!’"
“I don’t take credit for these next two pieces of advice – I came across them years ago and have them posted in my office where I see them every day. Remember that success isn’t how far you get, but how far you got from where you started. And finally, it’s not what you “gather” but what you “scatter” that tells what kind of life you’ve lived.”
Patricia Hausknost was born in Chicago and lived there until her mid-20s. Following her graduation from UIC, she earned an MBA in Finance from Loyola University, Chicago. In Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, Hausknost has spent 36-plus years in banking. Hausknost has what she calls “Illini blood”: her father, Frank Dash, graduated from UIUC in 1951 and both her brother, James Dash ’84 CBA, and her brother-in-law, James McCabe ’72 LAS, also graduated from UIC.