When Frieda E. Myers graduated from Indiana Central University—now the University of Indianapolis—in 1951, she was following in the footsteps of three family members: her brother John ’45, her father, Walter ’21, and her mother, Anna ’16.
Anna (above left) had been one of only five women in her graduating class, and she instilled the values of education and hard work in all her children—especially in Frieda. At an early age, Frieda (above, at center and at right) began to work hard at learning the piano, taking lessons from her cousin when she was only six years old. When Frieda came to the ICC campus, she was active in various musical groups and even served as the accompanist for a touring trio. She then went on to earn her master’s in piano before becoming a college music professor.
Frieda spent several years teaching at Otterbein College in Ohio before she and three colleagues decided to enter the Peace Corps, a new organization at the time. She taught in Ethiopia from 1964 to 1966 as part of what was just the second group of Peace Corps volunteers. She considered her Peace Corps work to be a life-changing experience that inspired her lifelong commitment to social justice.
When Frieda returned from Ethiopia, she joined the faculty of Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia, where she stayed until retiring in 1994. Summers often found Frieda working on the staff at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, a place that she truly loved. She loved the cultural atmosphere at Interlochen, as well as the gorgeous natural setting, and treasured the many good friendships formed there.
Frieda lived a very rich life in Virginia, full of chamber music concerts and hosting visiting artists at the university. She enjoyed performing recitals and filling in as the organist at the Presbyterian Church in Farmville. Long after her retirement, she stayed in Farmville to be near her friends and former colleagues. In 2007 Frieda moved to the United Methodist Community in Franklin, Ind., where she quickly became active with Tai Chi classes and enjoyed going on long walks. Family gatherings also were quite important to her. Though profoundly deaf by this point, she continued to practice daily on her Baldwin grand piano in her cottage. Fittingly, that grand piano now resides on the UIndy campus.
Sadly, Frieda passed away in April of this year. However, she had previously decided to establish the Anna Hardy Myers Scholarship at the University of Indianapolis, in honor of her mother. This yearly scholarship was created to give financial assistance to students majoring in the liberal arts, sciences, or fine arts.
“Frieda was always interested in helping others, especially those with limited opportunities,” says Frieda’s second cousin, Jo Ellen Ham. “This is key to her establishment of the scholarship. I know she would be pleased if her scholarship gave the extra financial backing needed for a deserving student to enter or continue college.”
If you wish to honor the memory of a family member or leave your own legacy, creating a scholarship fund is a great way to help future generations of UIndy scholars. A bequest is the most popular charitable vehicle but is only one of many ways to accomplish your philanthropic goals. For information, contact Andy Kocher ’98 firstname.lastname@example.org, (317) 788-3493, 1-800-232-8634.