Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Oct. 4, 1996

Son's gift establishes psychology chair

by Steve Sullivan
Martin F. Fritz, a former director of the Counseling Service and WOI Radio personality, has been honored with the creation of an endowed chair in psychology.

Iowa State established the Martin F. Fritz Endowed Chair in Psychology with a deferred gift valued at more than $1 million from Fritz' son Kent and daughter-in-law Linda, of Madison, Wis. The gift is part of Iowa State's $300 million capital campaign.

"This gift will assist Iowa State in attracting outstanding scholars in psychology, which will enrich the entire university community and attract other fine scholars and students to Iowa State," said President Martin Jischke.

Martin Fritz became an instructor in psychology at ISU in 1927 and was named a full professor in 1946. His research involved the effects of diet on intelligence and learning, and improving reading ability in college students. In 1956, he was named director of the ISU Counseling Service, a position he held until 1967.

"Martin was outgoing, gregarious and a wonderful conversationalist. He literally created the Counseling Service at Iowa State," said Roy Warman, director of the Counseling Service from 1967 to 1988.

For many years, Fritz conducted a weekly WOI radio program, covering psychological topics for the general public. He was named an emeritus professor in 1968, and returned to teaching undergraduate psychology. He taught nearly every undergraduate psychology course offered at ISU. In 1981, Fritz and his wife, Mildred Baker Fritz, moved from Ames to Madison. Fritz died in November 1992.

Kent Fritz was born and raised in Ames. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Iowa State in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He taught and conducted research for many years at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also was a statistical programmer analyst for the state of Wisconsin.

Kent and Linda Fritz own several properties in Madison and have renovated many historical houses.

A bust of Martin Fritz, sculpted by Christian Petersen in 1946, has been donated to the University Museums by Kent and Linda Fritz.

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