DeBow Freed, Former President of The University of Findlay, Featured in ‘West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage’
A new book, “West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage,” includes DeBow Freed, Ph.D., president of The University of Findlay, from 2003 to 2010, and lauds his public service career. Freed is named alongside CEOs and presidents of some of America’s best companies including P&G and NYSE; Civil War leaders from both the Union and Confederate Armies; and other American leaders.
The book covers Freed’s 23 years of active military duty, five years as a college dean, 32 years as a president of three colleges and universities, and notes his lifetime of service to the nation.
The book includes biographies of 180 West Point graduates who have made exceptional contributions since the United States Military Academy was founded in 1802. The selection of those to be included in the book, and description of their contributions, took about three years and includes works by 20 authors.
The 180 biographies include two U.S. presidents (Grant and Eisenhower), other heads of state, military commanders throughout U.S. history, medal of honor recipients, trailblazers such as those who helped settle the U.S. west, athletic coaches, star athletes, astronauts, aviators, political and government officials, captains of industry, scholars and educators. Five educators are included in the book, four of whom are deceased. Freed is the only living educator to be included.
Freed’s service included seven years overseas in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Iran and the Middle East. An infantry officer, he served in the 1st, 7th and 25th Army Divisions overseas, and was Chief of the Plans Branch, U.S. Army Vietnam. He was head of the nuclear branch of the Defense Atomic Support Agency, which coordinated atomic matters for the military services, and was liaison to the Las Alamos Scientific Laboratory for the military services.
After active military duty, Freed became dean of the college of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, for five years; president of Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., for five years; president of Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, for 20 years; and president of The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, for seven years. The book notes that all of the colleges prospered greatly under his leadership.
He and his wife, Catherine Freed, were actively associated with thousands of students at a formative time in the students’ lives. He presented degrees to more than 20,000 graduates in law, engineering, pharmacy, business, arts and sciences, and other areas.
A room was dedicated to Freed at West Point last year in the national historic landmark Thayer Hotel. The room includes displays of the four colleges and universities the Freeds have served. C. Richard Beckett, D.V.M., chair of the Board of Trustees of The University of Findlay; and George Whitson, trustee emeritus of The University of Findlay, spoke at the room dedication ceremony at West Point.