Louder than words: Glendale couple receives UMSL fundraising award

by | Sep 25, 2016

Dynamic alumni duo Terry and Stan Freerks were honored with the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy at the annual Founders Dinner Sept. 22.
Stan and Terry Freerks honored with Des Lee Medal

Dynamic duo Stan and Terry Freerks (center) became the first UMSL alumni ever to receive the university’s E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy at the annual Founders Dinner held Sept. 22. UM System President Michael Middleton (at left) and UMSL Chancellor Tom George were both on hand to offer congratulations. (Photos by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri–St. Louis alumni Terry and Stan Freerks are not among the loudest fans at sporting events or members of campus advisory boards. That does not mean they are not passionate supporters – quite the opposite.

The unassuming couple from Glendale, Missouri, bleeds Triton red and speaks often and thoughtfully with UMSL administrators, faculty and students. This year, they also became the first alumni to pass the $5 million milestone in gifts to UMSL – with a $2 million commitment coming in the fiscal year ending June 30. That puts them in the league with corporate giants Ameren, Anheuser-Busch, Emerson and Express Scripts.

Terry Freerks speaks at Founders Dinner

Alumna Terry Freerks offers a few remarks upon being honored at UMSL’s Founders Dinner last Thursday. Her husband and fellow UMSL graduate Stan Freerks (at left) and Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for advancement, look on.

For their generosity, the university honored the Freerks with the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy at its annual Founders Dinner on Sept. 22. The celebration was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Missouri, and attracted nearly 800 people.

“I continue to be in awe of what Terry and Stan do for UMSL,” said Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for university advancement. “Their constant, thoughtful and generous support touches every aspect of UMSL’s campus and more students than we can count.”

The Freerks’ financial support extends to scholarships, capital campaigns, athletics, the arts, St. Louis Public Radio and initiatives in the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Administration. The couple also provides significant volunteer leadership on the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council, the College of Business Administration Leadership Council, as well as the Chancellor’s Council.

Terry Freerks has a bachelor’s in history and master’s in education from UMSL. She recently retired from a career as a mental health counselor and is currently the executive director of the Clayton Shaw Park Swim Club.

Stan Freerks earned his MBA from UMSL. He is the area president of RPS, a wholesale insurance brokerage firm.

UMSL established the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy in 2006 to honor the Lees for their extraordinary philanthropic support and vision. Each year the award is presented to an individual or an organization whose remarkable generosity has touched the lives of our students and the university in exceptional ways.

The UMSL Experience

Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.