Allan Hirsh

Gift of Retirement Plan Assets to Support the Commerce School

Allan T. Hirsh III (Commerce ’71)

Philanthropy has always been part of the family heritage of Allan T. Hirsh III (Commerce ’71). “Whatever we could do, we tried to do,” said Hirsh. “It was just part of my upbringing.”

A native Baltimorean, Hirsh came to the University of Virginia for the academics and lacrosse, a sport he had played since the first grade. Recruited by coach Gene Corrigan, he played goalie all four years. In his third year U.Va. won the Wingate Memorial Trophy, then the national Division I lacrosse championship. The following year, U.Va. entered the first NCAA championships as the only undefeated team in its league, but lost to Navy in the playoffs. Hirsh’s fondest lacrosse memory is of scoring the winning goal against Maryland on May 9, 1971.

After taking his degree, he joined his father in the family business at Ottenheimer Publishers Inc., a Baltimore book packager started by his great-grandfather in 1890. The company specialized in children’s books, cookbooks and reference books. In 1982 he took on the roles of president and chief executive officer, but by 2002 new technologies — particularly online ordering and electronic book readers — had upended the industry, forcing him to shutter the company.

Recently Hirsh, an avid cook, bought Hospitality Services Inc. — a comprehensive food service design consulting business. HSI is currently designing foodservice facilities in airports, travel plazas, universities and corporate dining rooms in Canada. In addition to pursuing his business interests, Hirsh has been active in nonprofit organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

Through his work with nonprofits Hirsh learned he could designate the McIntire School of Commerce as a beneficiary of a percentage of his traditional individual retirement account. He considers his support of McIntire through an IRA to be the most tax-advantaged way to make a gift.

“It’s the best way to leave a bequest to Virginia while allowing the rest of my estate to go to my family,” he said. “All of my charitable bequests are made through this vehicle.”

Hirsh would like for his gift to help the Commerce School and U.Va. continue to offer one of the best educations in the country.

“At U.Va. I learned a lot about the fundamentals of business and loved my time playing lacrosse — the comradeship and the people,” Hirsh said. “I would like to help provide for the future of the school that gave me so much.”