DAVE FRIERMOOD HAS NO CHILDREN OF HIS OWN and is not a member of the faculty, but generations of his “boys” learned lasting lessons from the longtime member of the Manchester College family.
Former student employees who worked on Friermood’s crews – hefting and jockeying furniture, setting up for College events, trucking to all corners of campus and beyond – today are accountants, bankers, educators, physicians, businessmen, fathers. They are realizing the career benefits of a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility and appreciation.
They know the viral value of calling out a heart-felt, well-heard “Thank you!”
When Chip Buman ’94 of Peru learned last year that Friermood had been diagnosed with cancer, he worriedly called another of “Dave’s Boys” – Craig Yahne ’88, a CPA at Crowe Horwath LLP in South Bend. The accountants return to North Manchester at least every other month to share supper with their pal Friermood at the Main View.
“I did not want to think of Dave having to leave the College for health reasons and retire without some form of acknowledgement for all the years of faithful and loving service to our alma mater,” says Yahne.
“Dave’s position and impact on the College and the students are as important as any other position within the College. Dave teaches those around him, through his actions, the meaning of faith, learning and service,” says Yahne. “He is patient, kind, compassionate, caring and devoted to his fellow human beings.”
After rounds of chemotherapy, prayers and good care, the scarily frail patient steadily strengthened and today continues to lead setups on campus, accompanied by student workers. His “Thank You!” remains as robust as ever.
“I could not think of a greater honor than naming a scholarship after someone so deserving,” says Yahne, who with Buman talked with another of Friermood’s “boys,” Noah Smith ’94, senior vice president for Crossroads Bank in Wabash, Ind. The three met with Alumni Director Gary Montel ’65.
Friermood had no idea of the scheming going on behind his back. When he arrived at the Main View for supper with Yahne and Buman in May, he was surprised by a grinning gang of grateful guys and announcement of The David L. Friermood Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Endowed scholarships require a minimum $25,000 accumulated investment principal to earn enough interest to fund an annual scholarship. “Everyone I talked to about joining us in creating this scholarship was interested, even if they could not give a lot,” says Buman, accounting manager for Zachary Confections.
To date, more than 50 individuals have pitched in, with 23 pledging more than $1,000 each. To contribute to the fund, click here.
The Dave Friermood Scholarship will help Manchester College students who work in the physical plant and have completed at least one semester. Supervisors will nominate students who have excellent job attendance and work ethic.
Inspired by the generosity of his “boys,” Friermood is including the College in his estate plan by endowing a scholarship and giving funds with no restrictions on their use. “Manchester has been awfully good to me all these years,” he says, “and I want to give something back.”
BY NATE HODGES ’10