Iowa State University

Kay Kirkman, Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-6431
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Martin F. Fritz, a former director of Iowa State University's Counseling Service and WOI Radio personality, has been honored with the creation of an endowed chair in psychology at ISU.

Iowa State has established the Martin F. Fritz Endowed Chair in Psychology with a deferred gift valued at more than $1 million from Fritz' son Kent and his wife, Linda, of Madison, Wisc.

"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 ISU President Martin Jischke. "We deeply appreciate the vision shown by Dr. Kent and Linda Fritz in establishing the Martin F. Fritz Endowed Chair in Psychology."

Martin F. Fritz became an instructor in psychology at ISU in 1927 and was named a full professor in 1946. His research included 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 he stepped down in 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 1967-1988.

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

Kent Fritz was born and raised in Ames. He attended a nursery school at ISU and graduated from Ames High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Iowa State in 1958 and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He taught and did research for many years at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also was a statistical programmer analyst for the state of Wisconsin. Fritz and his wife, Linda, own several properties in Madison, Wisc., 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.

The Fritz gift is part of Iowa State's $300 million capital campaign, Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best.