Home/News/ Capitol College Remembers Former Board Chairman Wayne Shaffer
Call 800-950-1992 for information
Capitol College Remembers Former Board Chairman Wayne Shaffer
November 12, 2012
The Capitol College community mourns the loss of Wayne G. Shaffer, who served on the Capitol Institute of Technology (CIT) board of trustees from 1970 to 1980 and was the chairman of the board from 1972 to 1976. Shaffer passed away on Oct. 18, in Niantic, Conn., at the age of 93.
Shaffer was born on June 18, 1919 in Chicago. He would attend the University of Minnesota School of Engineering after spending parts of his youth in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and St. Paul, Minn. After earning his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, Shaffer began his career at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Minneapolis, Minn. During World War II, he worked for Columbia University’s Division of War Research at the Underwater Sound Laboratory in New London, Conn.
In 1942, Shaffer married his high-school sweetheart, Jane Helen Chrischilles, and the couple moved to Silver Spring, Md., in 1948. Shaffer had accepted a position with The Kellex Corporation, which prompted the move to Maryland. The Kellex Corporation would later become The Vitro Laboratories, where Shaffer moved up the ranks and eventually became company president. As president of Vitro Laboratories, he oversaw 6,000 employees.
Over the next few decades, Vitro Laboratories would become part of Automation Industries and later part of The Penn Central Corporation. Shaffer retired to New London in 1984, but would remain a consultant to the company for a number of years.
Shaffer’s impact on the Capitol community and The Vitro Corporation was profound. Throughout the 1970s, The Vitro Laboratories hired numerous Capitol graduates to work in the Silver Spring laboratory. He also oversaw changes to the college and the board of trustees throughout the 1970s.
“Wayne Shaffer served as a trustee and chairman of the board at a pivotal moment in the history of Capitol College,” former college president, Dr. William Troxler said. “Under his careful leadership, the College gained financial strength and created plans that resulted in its move to a new campus in Laurel, Md., and a dramatic expansion of its academic programs and services to students.
“Mr. Shaffer was a true and abiding friend to the college. I was extremely fortunate to have had such a dedicated and effective mentor as Mr. Shaffer during my early years as president of the college. The institution we experience today as Capitol College gratefully carries the thoughtful and steady imprint of Wayne Shaffer.”
After his 11 years of service on Capitol’s board of trustees and his four years as chairman, Shaffer was awarded the highest non-academic award the college bestows, the Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa. When he retired, the Vitro/Wayne Shaffer Endowed Scholarship was created and has been awarded to one student each academic year.
Shaffer is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jane, his children and spouses: Thomas and Janice of Minn., Jonathan and Karen of NC., Christopher and Elizabeth of Md., and Andrew and Jennifer of Md.; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The Shaffer family requests that memorials be sent to Capitol College for the Vitro/Wayne Shaffer Scholarship Fund.
11301 Springfield Road
Laurel, Maryland 20708