Former Ohio Northern University president featured in ‘West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage’
Dr. DeBow Freed, president emeritus of Ohio Northern University, is featured in the new book “West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage,” which lauds his public service career.
The book covers Freed’s 23 years of active military duty, five years as a college dean, and 32 years as a president of three colleges and universities while noting his lifetime of service to the nation.
Freed is the only living educator (of the five that are included) in the book, which covers biographies of 180 West Point graduates who have made exceptional contributions since the United States Military Academy was founded in 1802. The selection of the individuals included in the book, and the descriptions of their contributions, took about three years to prepare and includes works by 20 authors.
The 180 biographies include two U.S. presidents (Grant and Eisenhower), other heads of state, military commanders throughout U.S. history, medal of honor recipients, trailblazers such as those who helped settle the U.S. west, athletic coaches, star athletes, astronauts, aviators, political and government officials, captains of industry, scholars, and educators.
Freed’s military service included seven years overseas in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Iran and the Middle East. An infantry officer, he served in the 1st, 7th, and 25th Army Divisions overseas and was chief of the plans branch, U.S Army Vietnam. He was head of the nuclear branch of the Defense Atomic Support Agency, which coordinated atomic matters for the military services, and was liaison to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory for the military services.
After active military duty, he became dean of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, for five years; president of Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., for five years; president of Ohio Northern University for 20 years; and president of the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, for seven years. The book notes that all of the colleges prospered greatly under his leadership.
He and his wife, Dr. Catherine Freed, were actively associated with thousands of students at a formative time in the students’ lives. He presented degrees to more than 20,000 graduates in law, engineering, pharmacy, business, arts and sciences, and other areas.
A room was dedicated to Freed at West Point last year in the national historic landmark Thayer Hotel. The room includes displays of the four colleges and universities the Freeds have served.