Freed makes major gifts to French and Francophone studies department

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A lifelong love of French culture and literature has led Marian Trygve Freed, of State College, to make two major gifts to support faculty and graduate students in the Department of French and Francophone Studies in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts. Using an inheritance from her late father, Freed established the Marian Trygve Freed Early Career Professorship and the Marian Trygve Freed Centennial Graduate Endowment, both in the Department of French and Francophone Studies.

Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, said, ''We are very grateful for Marian’s generosity, which will have a profound impact on the French and Francophone Studies department and the College. Her gifts give us a tremendous opportunity to support outstanding junior scholars in French who have the potential to be leaders in their field. And her support for graduate students in French will enable talented students to have access to more resources to enhance their teaching and research. We thank Marian very much for her vision and support of the department and college.''

With matching funds from the Penn State Faculty Endowment Challenge, the Freed Early Career Professorship will provide funding to support outstanding young faculty in their research and teaching at a critical point in their early careers. The Faculty Endowment Challenge offers donors an opportunity to leverage a 1:2 match from the University for gifts creating new Early Career Professorships in any of Penn State’s academic units. These awards rotate every three years to a new recipient in the first 10 years of his or her academic career, providing seed money for innovative research projects and flexible funding for new approaches to teaching.

The Liberal Arts Centennial Graduate Endowments will receive matching funds from the college for a decade to provide research and career development funds to the most promising graduate students.

Freed noted, ''My father taught American and English literature for 39 years at Lebanon Valley College (LVC). He also loved French literature and culture, thanks to courses taken at the universities of Laval, in Quebec, and of Fribourg, in Switzerland. In the town of Annville, Pa.,  my father and mother founded the French Circle, a group of Francophiles who met weekly for over four decades.''

''I also shared my father’s love of all things French and spent two summers at Laval,'' Freed noted. ''During my education at Antioch College, I attended the University of Lyon in France through an exchange program. Later, I earned a master’s degree in French from Case Western Reserve University. After my late husband, Norman, and I settled in State College, I began taking courses in the French department in 1973 as a non-degree graduate student and enjoyed more than 30 years of wonderful courses. My late father would be as thrilled as I am to know that the inheritance he gave to me, will support the hard work, talent and vision of the faculty, staff, and students of the department.''

Bénédicte Monicat, head of the department and professor of French and women’s studies, said, ''The Freed Early Career Professorship will be an invaluable source of support for faculty at a time in their research life when they are embarking on long-term projects whose outcomes will eventually reverberate throughout scholarly and teaching communities. In addition, the Freed Graduate Endowment will assist students in supporting travel to conferences or enabling trips to research sources situated all over the world.''

The Marian Trygve Freed Early Career Professorship and the Marian Trygve Freed Centennial Graduate Endowment will help the College of the Liberal Arts to reach its historic goals in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by June 30, 2014.


Last Updated May 01, 2014