11th president and Frick Center namesake passes away

Jorge Huicochea
Staff Reporter

  Photo courtesy of Elmhurst College.

Photo courtesy of Elmhurst College.

The 11th president of Elmhurst College, Ivan E. Frick, passed away on August 25 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, leaving behind a legacy spanning over 22 years at EC.

For those unaware of his legacy, Frick transformed the college from financially unstable, to thriving and better than ever before.

Current EC President, Troy D. VanAken, spoke of Frick and his legacy.

“President Frick truly cared about Elmhurst College, and he demonstrated that by ensuring its financial security”, said VanAken. “He had 22 years of balanced budgets, significantly built up the endowment, raised record amounts of funds so that the college could build new facilities and renovate others, and kept debt levels low so that future generations of students wouldn’t be burdened.”

Frick spent his life devoted to his faith. Ordained as a minister in 1951, he served as pastor in various churches, such as the Churches of God, and later the United Church of Christ.

He and his wife, Ruth H. Frick, began their work at EC on November of 1971.

It was because of their work that the former College Union building was renamed to the Frick Center in 1994.

In the 22 years he served EC, he was able to increase the university’s budget from $750,000 in 1971 to $34 million by 1994.

Frick also saw the development of many new programs, the construction of two new buildings—Daniels Hall and R.A. Faganel Hall—and the renovation of seven: the A.C. Buehler Library, Old Main, Irion Hall, Goebel Hall, Lehmann Hall, Schaible Science Center, and Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.

In his own words, he said, “We needed to restore our financial equilibrium to enable us to advance our academic program with some assurance that this was a place with a future”.

Frick is survived by his two sons, Daniel and David Frick, his daughter Susan, two brothers, and five grandchildren.

Two memorial services will be held for two communities Ivan E. Frick served throughout his life. The first will be held on Saturday, September 15 at 2 p.m. at the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Santee Chapel in Pennsylvania.

The second will be held on Saturday, October 13 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ on 125 W. Church St. here in Elmhurst. Receptions will occur after both services

VanAken also spoke of how the late president had personally affected him.

“His approach has been an important example for me. As a college, I think we owe the Fricks our gratitude”.