Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Frederick honored at retirement party

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 05/06/2013 11:22 AM

E-mail article | Print version

WASECA, Minn. — Ed Frederick stood before a room filled with colleagues, students and others he's influenced, comfortable with the microphone in hand.

"I really appreciate the support I've had through the years," Frederick said. He complimented those who spoke at his Friday evening retirement party and those who organized it. He introduced his family and they joined him in front of the crowd assembled in the meeting room at the Farmamerica Visitor's Center.

"Nobody accomplishes anything in life without the help of a lot of people," said Frederick, his voice breaking with emotion.

Frederick told a couple jokes to lighten the mood and then said he's often asked why it took him so long to retire.

"I'm a firm believer in what Confucius said, 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in life,'" Frederick said. "How can you retire when you haven't worked?"

Frederick spent his career at the University of Minnesota, starting as an animal scientist and instructor at the Northwest School and Experiment Station in Crookston in 1958. He served as superintendent of the Southern School and Experiment Station, provost and chancellor of the University of Minnesota at Waseca, a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and a senior fellow at the U of M.

He grew up in rural Minnesota and never left. In his remarks, former congressman Tim Penny described Frederick as one of the most distinguished leaders to emanate from southern Minnesota. Penny, who is president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, recognized Frederick's commitment to agriculture, education and rural Minnesota.

He recalled the glory days when the University of Minnesota at Waseca was brimming with students and Frederick was hosting group after group on campus. He said he shared Frederick's heartburn and heartache when the college closed.

Gyles Randall, a retired soils scientist from Southern Research and Outreach Center, talked of Frederick as an advocate and ambassador for agriculture and a persistent, tireless worker.

Tom Lindahl, former chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Minnesota at Waseca, drew cheers as he approached the podium in his UMW maroon and goal sweatshirt.

He drew the attention to a banner hanging in the hall that read "This place is for students." That described UMW, he said.

He encouraged Frederick to tune his engine down and spend time reaping the rewards of all he's sown.

Frederick said, "I'm not going to start working now."

Look for him and his wife, Shirley, in the Stop and Shop booth at the Minnesota FFA Convention, April 27-30 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cites campus.