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Denny Frary ’70

Love of History Inspires Bequest

Denny FraryFor many, they are two of life’s most pressing, meaningful questions:

For Denny Frary, the answer to both queries was Lincoln College.

After selecting Lincoln College as his college choice as a high school senior in 1968, 43 years later, Frary chose LC again, this time as the recipient of a generous bequest in his will.

Frary’s contribution has been designated to the Lincoln Heritage Museum. It’s a fitting destination, considering his love of history is what drew him to Lincoln College in the first place.

“My brother was three years older and I can remember he would get mail from different colleges. I actually found out about Lincoln College from one of my brother’s brochures,” said Frary, a native of Prophetstown, Ill. “I was attracted to the history (of the school). It talked about the Hall of Presidents and obviously the connection with Abe Lincoln. I started reading it. I learned that it was a place where I could get some individual attention. It was just a good place for me to start.”

Choosing LC was a decision that Frary never regretted.

“It met all of my expectations. It was clear right away that I could talk to my instructors,” said Frary. “It was a very cozy atmosphere.”

As a student, Frary studied broadcasting and communication. He was also member of the men’s golf team and enjoyed spending time with roommate Tom Gilbertson, whom he has kept in contact with since graduating from Lincoln College in 1970. Frary completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

After college, Frary enjoyed a successful career, spending over 30 years as the chief meteorologist of KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Because Lincoln College is smaller and more intimate when compared to other larger state schools, when asked what factors led to his decision to include Lincoln College in his will, Frary said he felt his donation could make a more significant impact at Lincoln College than anywhere else.

“There comes a point in everyone’s life where you have to start thinking about the future and what happens with what you have after you’re gone,” said Frary. “I knew I had family members that I wanted to do things for … but I really saw (a bequest to Lincoln College) as an opportunity that might allow other young people to have the same experience that I had, that impacted my life for 40 years. It just seemed like a good and proper place to leave it.”

Frary is especially hopeful that by donating to the Lincoln Heritage Museum, he may spark another young person’s interest in history.

“I believe history is sort of a lost art as far as today’s young people go,” said Frary. “I believe strongly that history is something young people need to know. As the saying goes, if you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. I don’t see many kids with an interest in history and I think that’s a shame. If I can spur just one kid’s interest in history, that is something I would really love.”

Asked what he would tell others who might be considering making a similar designation in his or her will, Frary said, “I would say just think about what you want things to be like after you’re gone, or, what would you like the future to be when you’re not here? I’d like to ensure, at least in a little way, that I helped Lincoln College and allowed other students to get a jumpstart to their life the way I did.”

Denny has joined fellow alumni who have acknowledged the importance of their LC experience by providing for the college in their estate planning. Through the generosity and forethought of these alumni and friends, students lives are transformed, programs and facilities are preserved and improved, opportunities for faculty are created, and LC’s future is secured. Please share with us your bequest intentions so that we can better prepare and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. By notifying us of your plans, you can allow us the privilege of acknowledging and recognizing your support. Your example may even inspire others to consider Lincoln College in their estate plans.