Remembering Charles Treadwell
Charles (Chas) G. Treadwell, age 66, died February 13, 2013 at Albany Medical Center. He had battled heroically against multiple myeloma, a terminal blood cancer for almost two years. Chas was the retired Executive Director of the Higher Education Loan Program at the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) where he had worked for 40 years. Chas was a staunch proponent of NASSGAP, a former NASSGAP President, active on many NASSGAP committees, and friends with many NASSGAP members.
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- I have so many wonderful memories of Chas that I’m not sure where to start.
Chas was the first person that I met at the first NASSGAP meeting that I attended in Washington D.C. Chas and my boss at that time, Ted Franzeim, were great friends. Chas gave me a hug, welcomed me to NASSGAP and then he and Ted just swept me up in their conversation. As I remember it, at some point Ted wandered away to visit with other old friends leaving me to meet folks on my own. Chas, always the gentlemen, introduced me to Shiela, Peggy, and Naomi, stayed until he was sure that I had been safely handed over and then went to mingle with other folks. At that meeting as well as every other meeting I attended with Chas he impressed me with his ability make everyone feel welcome, his expertise, his knowledge, his confidence, and his willingness to hear other opinions and thoughts on how to promote LEAP and SLEAP.
Chas and I worked closely on NASSGAP’s 40th anniversary celebration which we held at the fall meeting in Vermont. Chas was committed to providing a NASSGAP history, complete with interviews and quotes from past Presidents. The “bard” of NASSGAP did a marvelous job on that project and I had an opportunity to enjoy Chas the “actor” and “historian”.
The year that I was NASSGAP President, Chas and I worked closely on a number of different initiatives but two stand out in my mind. The first was hiring a replacement for our then Washington rep, Bart Astor. Chas and I met the candidate, Marie Bennett, at the Washington Court Hotel, interviewed her over breakfast and decided to recommend hiring her to the EC over coffee! Chas did not waste time in getting things done. Nor did he waste any part of a day in DC so we followed our breakfast meeting with a visit to the Hill where Chas introduced me to Senate staff members that he worked with on LEAP/SLEAP and other higher education issues. I left DC more impressed than ever with Chas! The DC staff we met clearly liked and respected him. And perhaps more importantly they trusted his advice on LEAP/SLEAP, they sought his opinion on how to improve the programs, the impact of various changes under consideration on students and families….he truly helped to shape the direction of higher education policy.
It was a pleasure working with Chas, learning from Chas, and sometimes getting to see the playful side of Chas. I will miss him.
- Chas was a dear friend and colleague since the mid-1980s. We served together several years on the NASSGAP Executive Committee and enjoyed many NASSGAP conferences around the country. He was an expert at federal relations and advanced the cause of state student financial aid through his tireless efforts. His contributions to NASSGAP and to student financial aid are immeasurable. Through all the complexities of federal regulations and student aid policy issues, Chas always kept a warm smile and friendly attitude. It was a pleasure knowing him over the years and he will truly be missed.
- Chas was an amazing person, he made you feel welcome as a new member to NASSGAP and always was interested in your point of view on an issue. He was one of a kind, that became your friend and colleague in a very short time after you met him. Chas was one of the nicest people that I have ever met in my personal life and career, he will truly be missed by all who knew him.
- Chas will be deeply missed. But I am reminded that he led a rich and fulfilling life. Many others knew him much better than I but I was fortunate to be around him enough to understand what he stood for and to value his presence in any situation.
He was dedicated to - and made significant contributions to - one of the most honorable of causes... helping students change their lives. He lived well... many of us are familiar with his hobbies and interests that he brought with him to NASSGAP conferences. I think he covered every theater within 50 miles of every NASSGAP conference and if you spent more than five minutes in private with him he would have you laughing uncontrollably at his stories and exploits. He had a unique ability to handle disagreements while still building bridges and could break down and understand complex theories and ideas. He was more than capable of being the life of the party but still had an innate sense of when to pull back into the background. He made everyone feel welcomed and valued. For me the two words that best summarize his life... he cared.
His life was cut too short, but taken into context with how he lived, the experiences he had, the positive impact on other's lives, the friendships he has from all walks of life, enjoying the finer things in life as well as the most simple, known across the country for all the right reasons, spending quality time with loved ones... we should all be so lucky.
He will be missed for many reasons but most of all because he was an example of how to live.