OU Establishes DeFries Society for the Performing Arts

Posted by Paula Paine on January 14, 2015 in DeFries.jpgOttawa University is pleased to announce the establishment of the DeFries Society for the Performing Arts at Ottawa University through a generous family gift from alumni Dr. Stanley ’50 and Alice Jo (Hostetter) ’51 DeFries of Lawrence, KS, as well as their children, Lucky ’75 and his wife, Pam ‘75, of Topeka, KS; and Paula Nauman ‘77 and her husband, Robert ‘77, of Louisburg, KS.

Stanley and Alice Jo DeFries are no strangers to Ottawa University. Their love and dedication brought them back to OU in 1968 when Stanley accepted the position as Director for the University Concert Choir and Chorale, a position he held for 20 years. In addition to his role as Director, Stanley served as the Chair of the Music and Fine Arts Department from 1968-88. He then held administrative positions as Associate Director of University Relations, Director of Planned Giving, and Acting Vice President of University Relations and Alumni Relations until his retirement in 1996.

Alice Jo joined the faculty of OU’s English Language Institute in 1973 and served the students there until 1996. In addition to working with international students, she was the assistant to the University Concert Choir and Chorale from 1968-88.

During their tenure, the DeFrieses impacted a large number of students and alumni through their generosity and love of music. To continue their legacy, the DeFries family has provided the foundational gift to establish the DeFries Society for the Performing Arts at Ottawa University. The fund will serve as a financial resource to enhance the University’s performing arts programs.

Ottawa University is proud of the legacy that the DeFries family has developed at their alma mater. In addition to their extensive service, Alice Jo established the Hostetter-DeFries Family Endowed Cultural Fund in 1999 to host guest speakers who have contributed significantly to the social, artistic and cultural improvement of society. Son Lucky DeFries was recently named Vice Chair of the OU Board of Trustees following a three-year term as Treasurer, and Stanley continues his music contributions to the University as guest conductor of the alumni choir.

 “The University is proud of the legacy that Stanley and Alice Jo have established at Ottawa University,” said President Kevin C. Eichner. “The entire family has been supportive of OU for many years and continues to be active in the life of the University. The DeFries name is highly regarded among many alumni, friends, and employees of Ottawa University, so it is an honor to have this important funding source established in their name. It is fitting that current and future students can continue to appreciate this important family in the life of Ottawa University.”

The DeFries family and the University ask alumni and friends to join in supporting the performing arts with a gift each year to the DeFries Society for the Performing Arts at Ottawa University. A goal of $300,000 over the next two years in cash and pledges has been set for the fund. In addition, a Founders’ Club is being formed for individuals interested in gifts of $100,000, $50,000 and $25,0000. A portion of the funds will establish an endowment for the performing arts, while the remainder and future gifts will be used on an annual basis to enhance and enrich programs and student experiences.

To make a gift to the Society, please contact Vice President for University Advancement Paul Bean at 785-248-2330 or paul.bean@ottawa.edu.