Alumna supports nursing students with charitable gift annuity

Brooke Killmon
July 07, 2021

Penn State alumna Catherine Louise Frazier had a deep appreciation for education and the opportunities one could achieve with it, particularly with respect to a nursing degree. Frazier’s admiration motivated her to give to the Penn State College of Nursing in the form of a charitable gift annuity.

Catherine Louise Frazier
IMAGE: Diane Holcomb

Many donors take advantage of the benefits of this popular way to give back to Penn State. A charitable gift annuity provides fixed income for the life of the donor and a loved one as well as immediate and future tax benefits. The donor directs use of the remainder of the charitable gift annuity to the Penn State program of their choice, like Frazier did.

Frazier’s value and commitment to education began to take shape on Jan. 15, 1923, when she was born to parents Charles and Lulu Frazier. Growing up in Lamar, Pennsylvania, Frazier had exposure to mostly rural farm country and limited educational opportunities. Despite the modest resources available to the family, Frazier watched her mother navigate and overcome educational disparity barriers by becoming a nurse.

While Frazier greatly admired her mother’s commitment to becoming a nurse, she chose to pursue an academic path of her own. Frazier received her bachelor’s degree from Penn State in 1949 and her master’s degree from Ohio State in 1952, both in home economics and nutrition. In addition, Frazier took classes in apparel and costume design from Columbia University and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the late 1950s.

“My aunt greatly valued education and was a strong believer in the importance of family. She wanted to fund this scholarship as a way to leave a legacy for her parents,” said Diane Holcomb, Frazier’s niece. “Penn State was always near and dear to her heart, growing up close to the University and being an alumna. For her, the University represented a higher level of education, important to achieving knowledge and success in life, and something not always readily available to everyone.”

On Oct. 7, 2020, Frazier peacefully died in her assisted living home. The remainder of her charitable gift annuity established the Charles Kryder Frazier and Lulu Pearl Glossner Frazier Memorial Nursing Scholarship, honoring her mother’s dedication to the field of nursing.

“I came to learn so much about my aunt - her humanity and humility, generosity and respect for others, commitment to friendship and family, her incredible stories of purpose, strength, intelligence and determination,” Holcomb said fondly. “I am so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with her and understand who she truly was, a wonderful, witty, quirky, caring, loving, and eccentric woman.”

Consideration for the scholarship will be given to full-time undergraduate students who are majoring or planning to major in nursing within the college and who have a demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses; and who have achieved superior academic records or who manifest promise of outstanding academic success, and will benefit nursing students in perpetuity. Supporting nursing students in need was deeply meaningful to Frazier.

“The college is incredibly appreciative of Louise’s generosity,” Dean Laurie Badzek said. “This gift provides invaluable support that will aid and develop some of our top students in need with the monetary assistance to become exceptional future nurse leaders.”

Frazier wasn’t only a woman of academics. Frazier enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1943, serving as an enlisted member during the second World War. She then re-enlisted and went on to attend officer training, serving as a public information officer over the course of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Frazier continued to serve, moving up as a commanding officer of a Marine communications platoon, achieving the ranks of sergeant and second lieutenant, and finally completing her service as a major in 1983.

Following her active service, Frazier worked for the Army Times magazine, created her own Cookie Candy House mail order business, traveled as the Martha Logan Cooking Theater School representative, and hosted her own radio cooking show in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and TV cooking shows, “A Women’s Window” and “Nancy’s Kitchen.” She was also an avid supporter of the disadvantaged, volunteering with a local latchkey program and supporting the civil rights movement.

“Louise was a remarkable woman who lived a remarkable life. Visiting with her, whether for a chat in her living room or for lunch at the Marine base nearby, was always fun and inspirational,” said Susan Kukic, College of Nursing’s director of development and alumni relations. “Louise respected the unsung contributions that military nurses made every day and decided that she wanted to do something meaningful to support nursing students. We are so grateful for her legacy.”

Gifts like Frazier’s will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial wellbeing; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu. To plan your gift, visit https:// pennstate.planmygift.org.

  • Catherine Frazier and her niece Diane Holcomb
    IMAGE: Diane Holcomb
  • Catherine Frazier at her cooking show
    IMAGE: Diane Holcomb
  • Catherine (left) and her sisters
    IMAGE: Diane Holcomb
  • General Reynolds and Catherine Frazier
    IMAGE: Diane Holcomb
  • Catherine Louise Frazier
    IMAGE: Diane Holcomb
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Last Updated July 29, 2021