Monday, October 20, 2008

UIS dedicates memorial for professor

By Courtney Westlake

Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf encouraged all who knew her late husband, Lee Frost-Kumpf, to be inspired by his contributions to the campus and to the world during a dedication on Monday evening, October 20, during which UIS dedicated a scholar tree and bench in memory of Lee, who passed away five years ago and served UIS from 1996 to 2003.

Several people got up to speak about Lee and share personal stories from his time at UIS, including Chancellor Richard Ringeisen, Provost Harry Berman, Dr. Steve Schwark and Dr. Mike Lemke. They each spoke of Lee's energy, thoroughness, focus and inspiration.

"He lived in a world where imagination fueled ideas, and ideas were the engine for creating reality, and I think that was special about Lee," Lemke said. "He painted a picture of what he saw of the future and made you a part of that painting, and after listening to Lee's plans, you really wanted to be a part of that picture."

If Lee were to sit on his memorial bench with a cup of coffee in hand, he'd recognize the changes he helped make at UIS, Lemke said.

"The solid stone bench is well-grounded just like Lee. And his ideas, like the growing tree, live on at UIS and in his many friends," he said.

Joan Buckles, superintendent of the grounds crew, and the UIS grounds workers put a lot of thought and work into making Lee's memorial a fitting and special tribute, Hilary said.

Hilary said she has two hopes for the memorial. The first is that it will inspire everyone who knew Lee to think of him and to build on their own visions for the campus and the visions shared with Lee.

"But I hope that the memorial itself will have second purpose," she said. "Every day people who didn't know Lee will pass that spot and see that plaque. They will know that a worthy person is being honored there for his contributions to the world."

"My hope is that they'll stop for a moment, read the words, and they'll think 'what will I do in my life to be worthy of a plaque that someone will place in honor of me?' And then I hope they'll be more committed to their own personal contributions, making the world a better place. If both of these kinds of inspiration occur, then Lee's contributions will continue for many years to come."

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