William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center
Merrick School of Business
University of Baltimore

William H. Thumel Sr.

William H. Thumel Sr. was an outstanding student at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated in 1933. The Depression kept him from going on to college, but not from valuing education. He and his wife made sure that each of their children, Bill, Robin and Reggie, would have the college education Mr Thumel didn't get.

Sixty-three years later, in 1996, Mr. Thumel's memory was honored by his son Bill Thumel with a generous gift that will support scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at the Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore, Bill's alma mater (B.S. '69). In recognition of this support for public higher education, the state-of-the-art new home of the Merrick School has been renamed as the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center.

The William H. Thumel Sr. Scholarships

Bill Thumel's gift of $1.4 million will support merit scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students who major in business or accounting at the Merrick School. The endowment created through this gift will underwrite over 30 scholarships for students who have demonstrated their commitment to education through their prior academic achievements. In an interview to the Baltimore Sun (September 6, 1996) Bill Thumel stated that his gift was meant to honor his father and, at the same time, express his own recognition for the value of the real-life education he received at UB. "With a cement campus like it is, it's not a party school. You get an education. It's where you worked and went to school and worked at the same time."

Bill Thumel

Born in 1946, William Thumel Jr. graduated from UB with a degree in Business in 1969 (the above picture was taken in Bill's Senior year, and appeared in UB's "1969 Reporter" year book). Bill's sister Reggie recalls that he "was always looking for business opportunities, even as a teenager." Bill worked his way through college as a temporary employee for the Kelly Temporary Services (then called the Kelly Girl Co.). After graduation, Bill worked for Kelly in Atlanta and completed a tour of duty in the Coast Guard. Bill then established his own temporary employment agency in Virginia Beach.

The entrepreneurial spirit that led Bill to start in January 1974 the Abacus Temporary Services (Norfolk, VA) has served him well over the years. The growth and prosperity of Bill's business efforts led to the founding of AccuStaff with four other regional firms. In 1994, AccuStaff became a publicly traded company. In a 1996 article in the Baltimore Sun, Bill's company was described as "poised to become the nation's fourth-largest temporary employment company."

The Thumel Family and Baltimore

The high-tech William H. Thumel Business Center, at the corner of Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue, is not far from the various sites where successive generations of the Thumel family contributed to the city of Baltimore. In an interview to the University of Baltimore Alumni Magazine, Reggie Bradshaw recalled how her family's history was woven with the city's: "The family has a long history in Baltimore and was involved in commerce in the city for at least as far back as our great-grandfathers. Our grandmother had a dress-maker shop in the 1940's and '50s on Charles Street." Over the years, the family owned several shops in and around Charles Street, including a dining room, a hat shop and a coffee house.

On March 31st 1997, Charles St. will once again witness a Thumel family event. On that date, the Merrick School of Business and the University of Baltimore will hold a celebration to honor the Thumels and recognize their contribution to higher education and to the city of Baltimore.

The Check and Chuck Story

Success has not dimmed Bill's memory of his college days... nor his sense of humor, either! There's a story circulating at UB that when Bill sent us his $1.4 million check, he wrote at the bottom "in memory of Chuck Hackman, " his college roommate at UB. It turns out, however, that the rumors of Chuck Hackman's death had been greatly exaggerated... Chuck, the CFO of National Cooperative Bank in D.C., is fortunately alive and well! As a former president of the Alumni Association, Chuck had been bugging Bill for a large donation, and this was Bill's way of getting back at him...

(Note: As with any good story, this one gets embellished each time it's repeated! We do not swear by the veracity of this or any other version...)

This page is maintained by Dr. Regina Bento who can be reached at rbento@ubmail.ubalt.edu. This page was last updated on March 30, 1997.