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Charles H. Sandage, 1902 – 1998

Charles H. Sandage was born in Harrison County, Missouri, about 15 miles southwest of Lamoni, Iowa, and passed in 1998 in Urbana, Illinois. Charles attended Graceland College for six years – four years as a student in the high school academy and two years as a Graceland College student. He subsequently earned a PhD in Economics and developed academic and practical expertise in advertising.

Charles is known as the Father of Advertising Education and was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame. He was an education entrepreneur in applied economics, business, marketing and advertising. He developed unique and powerful definitions of the function of advertising and research procedures used to measure consumer wants and needs. Charles was a prolific writer and published books in a variety of topics including Advertising Theory and Practice (1936), MotorVehicle Taxation for Highway Purposes, Radio Advertising for RetailersQualitative analysis of radio listening in two central Illinois counties, and Workers’ Education as a Phase of Trade Union Activity. Charles’ textbook in Advertising Theory and Practice (1936) became the leading authority in this topic, and it has been used extensively in advertising education for decades.

Charles was a true entrepreneur, believing in the creativity of the human mind and spirit to recognize and respond to challenges and opportunities and to have the imagination to solve problems creatively. Charles prepared the following statement about the entrepreneurial spirit at the age of 91:

“Entrepreneurial spirit is generally found, nurtured and developed in an environment of freedom. That is why most examples of entrepreneurship are associated with business, free enterprise and political democracy.

The key qualities in an entrepreneur are imagination, willingness to take risks and a penchant for action. Imagination is usually associated with possible solutions to a perceived problem, the development of a product, or modification of an existing product or method of doing things that will contribute to human wellbeing and satisfaction. The entrepreneur is an explorer, adventurer and activist. He or she is willing to take risks and absorb the cost of failure in return for rewards resulting from success. Rewards may be in the form of material gain or psychological satisfaction.

While an environment of freedom provides an excellent incubator for hatching projects that might produce substantial material rewards, such freedom should not be translated into license. There is a moral component that must be associated with entrepreneurial ventures. It is no doubt true that much money could be made by engaging in illegal or unethical ventures such as catering to the demands of drug addicts. The importance of ethics and basic human morality must be recognized in any program designed to educate individuals to become practicing entrepreneurs.”

– Charles Sandage, 1996

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Honoring Charles Sandage

The C. H. Sandage School Business and the Sandage Center for the Study of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Graceland University are named in his honor. His generosity and the generosity of his family have supported students studying entrepreneurship and free enterprise, economics, business, marketing, and advertising at Graceland University for many years, and this generosity will continue to support entrepreneurial education in the C. H. Sandage School Business for years to come.