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Alumni of the Month

February 2016
Walter Scherr

Q & A:

  1. What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
    Theory of Management was my favorite class. All of the professors I had were “best of breed,” and I can’t really single one out. My fondest memory was graduating with an MBA from the night school program after five years of hard work.
  2. What was your first job after graduating Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
    I was an accountant at Sperry while getting my degree. My master’s degree from Hofstra allowed me to move into a senior general management position at Sperry. Without that degree, I would not have qualified for that opportunity.
  3. What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?My career included senior executive positions in many industries, such as defense and other hi-tech industries. I was a founding board member and held key management positions with four international companies. My expertise included starting new enterprises as well as mergers and acquisitions. Luck played a role in addition to maintaining a vibrant network of peers.
  4. What advice would you give Hofstra students?
    To pursue a field of study that you are passionate about and that will help contribute to the greater good of society.
  5. In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
    Dreamcometrue.
  6. What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
    I was a pioneer in the communications industry and introduced the fax machine to society, which profoundly affected the lives of millions of people.
  7. What inspired you to write Walter’s Way?
    I wanted to share my life story and inspire others to overcome obstacles in their lives. I also wanted to leave a legacy for my grandchildren and to honor all caretakers.
  8. Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
    My parents were the most influential people in my life. They influenced me by setting a good example whether we were having good times or bad. I most admired how they survived the Great Depression of the 1930s. Faith and a positive attitude played a major role in overcoming one of the most difficult times this country has faced.
Walter Scherr

Walter J. Scherr founded Visual Sciences Inc./Panafax, the first publicly traded facsimile company. Prior to that, he held a variety of financial and operating management positions with Litton Industries and Sperry Gyroscope Co. He also served as an executive and board member at Veeco Instruments. In 2005 he was honored by the United States Congress with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his outstanding and invaluable service to the community. He is currently working with The Center for Discovery in Monticello, NY, to develop a “World Cup for Caregivers,” a recognition program to honor professional, volunteer and innovative caregivers around the globe. Mr. Scherr received a bachelor’s degree from Pace College and a master’s degree from Hofstra University. Mr. Scherr and his wife, Sylvia, divide their time between Sarasota, FL, and Long Island, NY. For more information, please visit waltersway.org.

Walter Scherr and his late wife, Vera, and their children established the Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation to provide resources for people with developmental disabilities and their caretakers. In 2004 the foundation partnered with The Center for Discovery, a nationally recognized provider of health, educational and residential services for children and adults with severe disabilities and medical frailties. The foundation underwrites the tuition for Discovery employees who want to further their knowledge of special education and clinical therapies. Discovery has awarded scholarships to 90 staff members, empowering those employees to earn bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees from 31 colleges. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of WALTER’S WAY will be donated through the Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation to nonprofit organizations. For more information about The Center for Discovery, please visit thecenterfordiscovery.org.