WARRENSBURG – The University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation announced 1973 alumnus Frank “Chip” Deel made a trust estate gift valued at $15 million to UCM – the largest in school history.
A Jefferson City native, Deel majored in economics at what was then Central Missouri State University and started his own business, Superior Trailer Sales, 35 years ago. He credits his CMSU professors, in particular World War II Army veteran Joseph Dolecki, for teaching him how to run a successful business. Deel sold the company in the spring of 2018, about a month before Dolecki, who had devoted 28 years to teaching economics at the university, died at age 100.
The influence of mentors like Dolecki and diving coach Tom Hairabedian, who died in June at age 96, inspired Deel to make the planned gift.
“I wanted to give it to a place where it will do the most good,” Deel said, “where I grew up and had a lot of great experiences.”
Known to his students as “Dr. Dive,” Hairabedian helped assure Deel and other Diving Mules succeeded academically. Deel recalled the diving coach taking student-athletes to the library and assigning each one a table where he expected to see them studying from 1 to 3 p.m. each day before practice.
“He was the greatest influence I’ll ever have in my life,” Deel said. “Central Missouri State was just a real positive experience – student government, sports, everything I did. I had a ball there; it’s just a wonderful school with wonderful kids.”
The commitment makes Deel a member of UCM’s Heritage Society, a group that has made a documented planned gift or estate gift to the university. The spirit of philanthropy has been at the heart of the university since its founding in 1871, when a Warrensburg resident donated 16 acres for the original campus.
“Generous estate gift intentions like the one UCM recently received from Frank and Tamara Deel are truly transformative,” Courtney E. Goddard said.
Goddard is vice president of university advancement and executive director of the UCM Alumni Foundation.