A Campus Legend Helps the Next Generation
My favorite memory of Iowa State is when Robert Parks, the university president, invited me to his office to offer me the director of residence position," said Chuck Frederiksen. "He asked me, 'Are you up for it? You're pretty young – can you hang in there?' And I responded, 'You better believe it!'"
Although he received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Iowa State, Frederiksen said it was his position as the director of residence that made up the majority of his time with the university. However, if you would have asked Frederiksen in the 1950s what his life would look like, he'd have given a very different answer. "I really had no idea what to do. My degrees were in zoology and entomology. I was located on the Clark Air Base in the Philippines when I received a letter inviting me to come back to Iowa State to work in housing. At that point, I'd always thought that if I'd return to the university it would be as a professor."
So how could Frederiksen tell he'd stumbled upon what would turn into a lifelong passion? "Really, it came back to my experiences as a student," he said.
The Start of an Adventure
Frederiksen held his first housing position as activities chairman for his residence hall floor during his freshman year. By his senior year, he'd moved up to head resident – now known as the resident advisor. During a graduate student teaching assistantship at Iowa State, he stayed involved in the housing system as the supervisor of head residents in Friley Hall. So stepping into the newly created role of social educational advisor seemed fitting at the time.
Soon, moving up through positions evolved into a career – one Frederiksen spent dedicated to making Iowa State a home away from home for all its students. "I'd spent most of my life in those halls – living there and working there – and they really became a special place for me," he said.
To commemorate years of service to Iowa State and its students, a group of coworkers and previous student employees put together a scholarship fund. The Charles F. Frederiksen Leadership Award Fund was presented to Frederiksen upon his retirement. Recipients are selected based on something dear to Frederiksen's heart: demonstrating leadership in university housing and toward the community.
Making an Impact
As the scholarships were awarded, Frederiksen got to see firsthand the kind of impact it had on students. "It started out pretty small – but what a feeling it was to shake hands with the recipients and their families," he said. "The halls I'd become so familiar with all my life were also the halls of these students, and I wanted to support them."
When it came time to re-assess their estate plan, Frederiksen and his wife, Joanne, looked at what they had to offer and what their priorities were.
"We obviously want to support our family first, and we have otherorganizations that are important to us as well. But we wanted to increase our giving for the scholarship fund," he said. In order to accomplish all their goals, the Frederiksens decided to gift his IRA through a beneficiary designation in support of his scholarship. This structure means their gift won't be received until their estate plan becomes active, making an impact in the future without altering their financial situation today. "This really allowed us to make an impact in the areas that were most important to us, without decreasing what we'd pass on to our children and grandchildren."
With his strategic estate plan, Frederiksen can keep supporting the institution that supported him – and creating generations of campus leaders in the process.
Like the Frederiksens, your simple gift can make a big difference for students. Contact the office of gift planning at 800.621.8515 to learn about flexible and affordable ways to make a meaningful gift.
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