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Mr. Frederick L. Chandler
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Conferral speech for the Distinguished Alumnus Award  given at the 2010 Alumni Reunion


 Presented August 3, 2010
by Father Thomas J. Boyer, Alumni Association Board of Directors


Frederick L. Chandler, C'68Tonight the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association is pleased to honor Mr. Frederick L. Chandler of the College Class of 1968.

Fred was born in September 1946 and grew up in Indianapolis.  He attended Indianapolis’ Latin School before arriving at Saint Meinrad in the fall of 1964, where he would earn his bachelor’s degree before discerning his vocation was not to the priesthood.  After college, Fred went on to earn master’s and education specialist degrees from Butler University in 1972 and 1981, respectively.  He married his wife Doris in the spring of 1970.

Fred began a career in high school education and counseling, wherein he became a foremost leader in his field.  He began his teaching career at Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis and went on to teach at Bishop Chatard High School before becoming a counselor at Carmel Junior High School and then Carmel High School. He was a counselor there until his retirement in 2003. 

From 1985 to 2005, Fred served as executive director of the Indiana Counseling Association. Graced with a systematic mind, Fred made a huge contribution to Carmel High School by developing his "Pathways to Success” booklet.  Sue Collier, a fellow counselor at Carmel, wrote, "In 1988 Fred applied for and was given a grant to create an assignment notebook for students and faculty.  Fred took upon himself the arduous task of creating the 232-page booklet containing a calendar, assignment notebook, testing information, graduation requirements, school policies, college information, job search skills, athletic events and more.  Now more than twenty years have passed and the booklet is still in use at Carmel High School today.”

Dr. Robert D. Hartman, retired superintendent for Carmel Clay Schools, wrote of Fred, "For twenty-five years I was in a position to observe Fred Chandler as a counselor and educator at Carmel High School, a large suburban exemplary high school.  Serving a well-educated populace with high academic standards was a challenging role which Fred carried out in an outstanding manner.”

As a further testimony to his counseling skills and pastoral sensibility, Fred’s classmate, Thomas Burch of Carmel, Indiana, wrote, "Fred is the model of listening to other people.  He shows us why God created us with two ears and only one mouth.”

Beyond his career as a high school guidance counselor, Fred has dedicated much time, resources and effort to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In addition to the ministries of lector, Eucharistic minister, and the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Indianapolis, Fred and Doris have been heavily involved in mission work.  Their service at St. Thomas Aquinas earned Fred and Doris the parish’s "In Praise Award.” 

Alumnus Donald Miller, Ordination Class of 1970, and fellow parishioner with Fred at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, offered a long and detailed testimony on Fred’s work with the Haiti committee and its partnership with their Haitian mission parish, St. Jean-Marie Vianney.   Mr. Miller concluded his letter with the following: "Fred was not satisfied to simply be a member of a committee, to comprehend and speculate on an intellectual level.  He incorporated Haiti into his life.  He opened himself to new and uncomfortable information.  As he became involved he sought and discovered creative solutions – solutions which cost him clearly in effort and expense.” 

Fred and Doris’ volunteerism took on an additional dimension a couple years ago, when they were introduced to a young teacher named Maribeth Smith, who had just given birth to triplets in July 2008. As she wrote in her letter, "Every week Fred volunteers his time for an entire day at our home playing with our babies: teaching them new exciting things, holding and rocking them, changing diapers and feeding them.  The triplets light up when they see Fred.  It is comforting to know that my children are in the hands of such an admirable man.”

Fred and Doris’ vocation of marriage is an inspiration to all who know them.  Their niece, Linda Nichols, shared the following: "Fred and Doris’ marriage is truly sacramental and an example for all married couples.  I have only witnessed respect, honor and adoration between the two.  Winks and smiles across the room, hand holding and quick kisses do not go unnoticed by others because their love and fondness for each other shines.”

The formative years as a collegian at Saint Meinrad were good ones for Fred.  As he recounted, "My years at Saint Meinrad College have always been special because I considered it a great place to be as the Church was going through the Second Vatican Council. Many of my best friendships originated during my years there. The administrators and teachers were tremendous leaders and provided positive inspiration for understanding the Church and our role within it.”

The friendships formed at Saint Meinrad would have a lasting impact upon Fred.  His dedication to friends and loved ones was summed up by classmate John Quinn: "I remember the trip that Fred and I took to Robert Kennedy’s funeral.  He thought that it was important to attend.  That’s really a summary of how Fred is: if something is important to someone else, or if someone should be honored, Fred will be there to celebrate that person’s life.  His actions are those of a humble, unassuming charitable person.  He has the ability to bring out the best traits in others.”

And Fred’s dedication to his Saint Meinrad friends has been exhibited countless times on occasions of illness and death.  Wrote Judy Miller, "I met Fred when he and my brother, Dean Wilhelm, were roommates at Saint Meinrad.  Fred’s friendship was a constant in Dean’s life ever after.  They shared memories, laughter and tears, and prayer.  Fred was always, always there for him.  As Dean battled cancer, Fred visited and held Dean’s hand and prayed.  And when Dean died, Fred helped to comfort our family and gave a graceful and moving eulogy at his funeral.”

Indianapolis Latin School classmate Michael Scanlan wrote, "Fred is a tireless volunteer, a true friend, a quiet leader and a person anyone would want on their side in good times or in bad.  It is difficult to imagine a person who lives his life more fully in the way Jesus asks.” I have cited many letters of recommendation submitted for Fred.  But I have only scratched the surface.  Over 30 testimonials were submitted recommending Fred Chandler for the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Among the criteria for the Award are the following: The recipient should exemplify the Gospel values in his or her life and work, and… The recipient should be one who has provided exemplary service in his life and profession that reflect the core values of Saint Meinrad. By the many testimonies, there is little, if any, doubt that Fred Chandler has not only fulfilled, but has exceeded, these criteria.  To Fred, and by inclusion, his beautiful and loving wife Doris, the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association is proud to honor you as one of its most distinguished alumni.  Congratulations.

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