Alumnus Frederick S. Addy made a tremendous impact on MSU—and was fortunate enough to have been able to watch his philanthropy take root and blossom, many times over, to the benefit of students and faculty in the Broad College of Business and the College of Social Science.
Fred Addy died on May 7, 2022 at the age of 90. He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn Marshall Addy, who passed away in 2020.
Fred and Marilyn both earned their bachelor’s degrees from MSU in 1953—Fred from the College of Business, Marilyn from the College of Music.
After serving in the Air Force, Fred returned to Michigan State to pursue a master’s degree in business, which he earned in 1957.
Fred took his MSU education to the Amoco Corporation (originally Standard Oil of Indiana), where he started in 1957 and worked his way up the corporate ladder. He eventually was chief financial officer of the company in 1990 and elected to the board of directors. He retired in 1994.
Throughout their lives, Fred and Marilyn were loyal, enthusiastic supporters of their alma mater, and the lion’s share of their decades-long philanthropy was anchored in Fred’s steadfast belief that all MSU students—but especially undergraduates—deserved the opportunity to learn from the very best scholars.
Says Sanjay Gupta, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Broad College of Business, “Frederick Addy was a visionary in recognizing early on the very significant role faculty play in advancing knowledge and transforming lives through their thought leadership, their teaching and their scholarship. His support of the academy through faculty endowments is truly exemplary and unique. At a personal level, I enjoyed every visit with Fred and his wife Marilyn for the passion they shared for each other and their love of Michigan State.”
The Addys’ funding for faculty positions has grown so significantly that there are currently six fully funded and filled positions in business and economics that bear the Addy name. There is also a teacher scholar award in the department of economics in the name of Marilyn Addy.
Steven Haider, the department chair, explains, “Not only did the Addys believe that great research and great undergraduate instruction should go hand in hand, but they then provided the resources to put this belief into action; we are serving our students significantly better because of their generosity.”
Fred was particularly fond of watching his gifts in action, and being able to do so motivated the Addys to support MSU in ways that made an immediate impact, as well as a lasting one.
Tim Vogelsang, the first Addy Chair in the economics department, was convinced to move to MSU from Cornell University because of the resources an Addy Chair provides to its holder. According to Tim, “An Addy Chair was a critical determinant in my move to MSU in 2006. I knew MSU would be a fantastic place to do econometrics research and that I that I would enjoy teaching MSU undergraduates.”
“What I did not expect,” he says, “Was a friendship with the Addys that developed over a decade from annual gatherings at homecoming. After the homecoming football game, my wife, Ann, and I would meet Fred and Marilyn to catch up while enjoying a nice bottle of wine. It didn’t take long to figure out that Fred and Marilyn were wonderful people—engaging, generous, and kind—Spartans to the core. I am honored to have known Fred and Marilyn, and I will always be grateful for their generosity.”
Fred’s son Bill Addy adds, “Nothing made my father happier than to give money to MSU while he was alive and could see it have an impact. Last fall we gathered for dinner with faculty and students of the College of Business. My dad was thrilled to hear from them how my parent’s gifts had impacted their lives. He always believed that giving while you were alive was so much more enjoyable than the thought of leaving everything in one’s estate and missing out on the joy of seeing lives changed for the better.”
In recognition of their giving, the Addys were honored with the MSU Alumni Office’s Philanthropist of the Year award in 2002. Fred also received an honorary doctor of humanities in 1999, and was awarded Outstanding Business Alumnus by the Broad College of Business in 1992.
The Addy family’s impact on Michigan State has been covered in many ways, including via the video interview above, taken in 2016 when Fred and Marilyn traveled to campus to celebrate the investiture of Tim Vogelsang as the Addy Distinguished Chair in Economics. Please also take the time to enjoy learning more about a few of the faculty members who hold their endowed chair positions: Tim Vogelsang, and Antonio Galvao, who both hold a Frederick S. Addy Distinguished Chair in Economics.
This article was originally published by University Advancement.