Longtime friends of FEE know well the venerable name “Sennholz.” During the nearly four decades he taught at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, Dr. Hans F. Sennholz, a noted economist of the Austrian School who earned a Ph.D. under the tutelage of Ludwig von Mises, frequently lectured and authored articles for FEE. After his retirement from teaching, he served for five years as president of FEE. He was a personal friend of founder Leonard Read and a FEE trustee for many years. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 85.
It is Dr. Sennholz’s beloved wife Mary to whom all of us at FEE send birthday greetings this day. On November 2, 2013, Mary turns 100. Still hale and hearty at the century mark, Mary can be proud of both the steadfast support she gave Hans over the years and the contributions she herself made to the cause of a free society. Earlier this week at my request, her son Bob provided the following short biographical sketch.
Happy Birthday, Mary!
Mrs. Sennholz graduated from the Altoona School of Commerce in 1932. She worked as executive secretary and court reporter for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A few days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, she was offered a position in Washington, D.C., in the executive office of the President, where she managed a pool of secretaries, working with U.S. senators, congressmen, and high officials in the government. She served under two presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.
Soon after the war, she joined Adlai Stevenson’s committee of American officials in London, England, preparing a way for a new world organization, the United Nations. She resigned her government position in 1947 and joined a “think tank,” the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. From that day forward, she was a staunch believer in freedom and free markets.
She studied piano and organ with the best teachers she could find in Washington and New York. In Washington, she played in many services conducted by the famous evangelist Peter Marshall at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. She attended George Washington University in Washington, and Fordham University and New York University in New York City, where she met her husband, Hans Sennholz.
The couple moved to Grove City, Pennsylvania, when her husband accepted a professorship at Grove City College.
In Grove City, Mrs. Sennholz served as organist and choir director of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for seven years. Soon after resigning as church organist, she became organist for Grove City College, continuing for two years.
Mrs. Sennholz has belonged to most of the women’s clubs in Grove City and has served them in various capacities.
She has published four books: On Freedom and Free Enterprise (1956, 1994), Faith and Freedom: A Biographical Sketch of a Great American, J. Howard Pew (1975), Leonard Read: Philosopher of Freedom (1993), and Faith of Our Fathers (1997).
She has a son, Robert; daughter-in-law, Lyn; and two grandsons, Roland and Emil Sennholz. She helped to homeschool her two grandsons, teaching grammar, composition, and piano.
She remains active in Grove City social circles, playing the piano daily, and is looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday on November 2, 2013.