The Cameron University Foundation has received $650,568 through the sale of stock that it received as a gift more than 40 years ago from community leaders Floyd Freeman and Ewell Lacy. As partners in a group of Lawton businessmen who chartered Wichita National Life (WNL) in 1957, Freeman and Lacy played a significant role in establishing a locally owned and operated insurance company that has served the citizens of southwest Oklahoma ever since.
Freeman was president of Freeman Inc. and FRASCON Inc., the largest construction company in the region. Lacy, the owner of Lacy’s Furniture, would also serve as chairman of Home Savings and Loan. Both were members of the Lawton Rotary Club. Twenty years after chartering WNL, Freeman and Lacy, who shared a love for Cameron University and the impact that CU graduates had within the Lawton/Fort Sill community, took steps to ease the financial load carried by degree-seeking students.
“They often talked about Cameron University, and they started conversations about donating their stock rather than selling it so they could make a difference in students’ lives for years and years to come,” says Randy Gilliland, WNL president and CEO. Gilliland, who worked and served closely with Lacy and Freeman on the Wichita National Life Board of Trustees for many years, is also a member fo the Cameron University Foundation Board of Directors.
The donations of WNL stock to the Cameron University Foundation resulted in the establishment of the Floyd J. Freeman Endowed Scholarship in 1978 and the Ewell B. Lacy Endowed Scholarship in 1980. Both endowments provide scholarships to assist full-time students who are pursuing degrees at Cameron University.
“Lacy and Freeman’s commitment speaks to the value of Cameron University and demonstrates a desire to see the university and our students succeed,” says Albert Johnson Jr., Vice President for University Advancement. “The support and personal commitment by our donors and community continues to be the hallmark of Cameron University’s affordability. We are truly grateful for the continued support of alumni and friends.”
Community members wishing to follow in the footsteps of donors such as Floyd Freeman and Ewell Lacy by establishing an endowment that will benefit Cameron students in perpetuity are invited to contact the Office of University Advancement at 580-581-2999.