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Frederiksen, Charles F. "Chuck"

Published onJul 30, 2021
Frederiksen, Charles F. "Chuck"

(November. 2, 1930 – February 4, 2021)

Quick Facts

During Frederiksen’s time, the Department of Residence ISU more than doubled the capacity of single student housing in both residence halls and student apartments, adding the Schilletter Village and University Village apartments.


Charles Faaborg Frederiksen was born November 3, 1930, in Elk Horn, Iowa, which is in southwest Iowa in Shelby County. His dad owned and operated a Danish Bakery in Elk Horn and it burned down on Christmas Eve when Chuck was three years old. His family moved eleven miles east to Exira, Iowa. Chuck is a full-blooded Dane, with all four of his grandparents being born in Denmark and immigrating to this country as youngsters.

Chuck married Joanne Bireline of Adair, IA, on June 27, 1954 and later had four sons — John, Mark, Paul (deceased) and James. All four graduated from Ames High School. Three graduated from Iowa State University in architecture, business/accounting and computer science. Joanne and Chuck are blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Chuck graduated as valedictorian from Exira High School in 1949. He also was an outstanding basketball, baseball, and football player. Chuck originally planned to attend Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. However, during the Spring State Baseball Tournament, he was recruited by the Iowa State Head Baseball Coach Cap Timm. He was offered a partial athletic scholarship of residence hall room at $50/quarter and a tuition scholarship of $50/quarter because of graduating as valedictorian of the high school class. Chuck enrolled at Iowa State College (ISC, now University) in 1949.

Chuck majored in Chemistry with a minor in Zoology. His advisor in the Junior College (first two years at ISC were all in the Junior College) was Dr. George Sprugel. His Senior College (junior and senior years) advisor was Dr. Hal Harris who was the Head of the Zoology/Entomology Department. Chuck graduated in the spring of 1953 with a major in Zoology and minors in Chemistry and Air Force military science.

Chuck was on the freshman baseball team in 1949-50. Chick Sutherland helped Cap Timm with the freshman team. Freshmen were not eligible to play varsity ball at that time. Chuck took Cap Timm’s Baseball 218 and 318 classes his freshmen and sophomore years. Chick also had Chuck come back to his 318 class Chuck’s Junior and Senior years to demonstrate the unorthodox way Chuck threw a “drop” ball.

The shoulder of his pitching arm started hurting during summer league after his Freshman year. After many attempts to remedy Chuck’s arm pain, including a trip to Dr. Ernie McFarland at the McFarland Clinic, an Orthopedic Surgeon took X-rays that showed he had a bone growth in his shoulder and it pinched a nerve each time he threw overhand or three-quarter pitches. That development effectively ended Chuck’s baseball pitching career after his sophomore year. This was a tough decision for a kid who one day wanted to play for the New York Yankees.

Chuck was the Honor Graduate in Zoology in the spring of 1953 with a BS in Zoology. He was also commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force following the graduation ceremony. He then enrolled in graduate school and received his MS degree in Entomology in August of 1954. In October of 1954 he reported for duty in the Air Force, classified as a Medical Entomologist in the Air Force Medical Services Corps.

Chuck was assigned to the 1st Epidemiological Flight that was attached to the 6208th USAF Hospital at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippine Islands. At Clark AFB he served as both Base and Flight Entomologist and supervised a Filipino staff of 25 men in the Insect and Rodent control unit.

While at Clark AFB, Dr. Schilletter, Director of Residence at ISC, wrote and asked Chuck to join the staff in the Department of Residence. Chuck had been very active in the residence halls as an undergraduate student and had been a student Resident Assistant and the Supervisor of Resident Assistants his graduate year. After much soul searching and deliberation with his wife Joanne, Chuck decided to return to ISC in the Department of Residence. He also continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves and retired as a Major after 20 years of service.

Chuck returned to ISC as Social Educational Advisor in November of 1956. He became the Assistant Director of Residence of the newly re-named Iowa State University (ISU) in 1960, the Associate Director in 1964 and the Director of Residence in 1967. His eleven years with Dr. Schilletter provided a great base for him to continue his career as Director of Residence. The years of the mid- and late-sixties and early seventies were great growth years for ISU as Department of Residence more than doubled the capacity of single student housing in both residence halls and student apartments from 4500 beds to 9500 beds. The Department also added 500 University Village and 250 Schilletter Village apartments for student families. The Department of Residence employed 425 fulltime and 1250 student employees with an annual budget of over $30 million. The Department also doubled the food service capacity in the residence halls to a total of six undergraduate dining centers.

During his 40 years in the student housing and dining business, Chuck was very involved in several professional associations. He served as the Secretary and Newsletter Editor and then a four-year stint through the chairs of Second VP, First VP, President and Past President of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International. He visited over 70 university campuses during those years. Chuck also served as Graduate Advisor to the first National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) Conference – a national Residence Hall Student Leadership meeting that was held at Iowa State University. NACURH exists today and the annual conference is still hosted on college campuses across the country.

Chuck and Joanne retired in Ames in 1997 having spent most of his life in Ames and at Iowa State. A scholarship fund called the Charles F. Frederiksen Leadership Award was established with many donor gifts and two $1500 scholarships are awarded to deserving students each year at the University Scholarship & Leadership Convocation. The second honor, was the renaming of Hawthorn Court to Frederiksen Court and Frederiksen Community Center. Frederiksen Court is a single student apartment complex for about 2800 students.

Chuck was been active in community organizations such as United Way, YMCA, Ames City Community Development Board and the Ames Foundation as well as many positions including President of the Congregation at Bethesda Lutheran Church.

Charles Faaborg Frederiksen passed away in February of 2021.

Selected Sources

Obituary, Ames Tribune:

Kreisler, Carrie. “Frederiksen honored by renaming,” Iowa State Daily. Jan 31, 2002.

Selection of information in Iowa State University, Department of Residence records, RS 7/4, Iowa State University Library, Special Collections and University Archives.

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