Two men will be honored for their service to Wartburg College during Opening Convocation Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Eugene Drape, who has served on numerous college boards, and Arthur Frick, Wartburg professor emeritus of art, will receive Wartburg Medals at ceremonies at 10:15 a.m. in Neumann Auditorium, marking the start of the college’s 160th academic year.
The Rev. Dr. David C. Ratke, associate professor of religion and director of the honors program at Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) University, will be the speaker. The theme for the academic year is “Telling Our Story,” and Ratke has written a book about Wilhelm Loehe (or “Löhe”), one of the college’s founders.
Drape, a Bremer County native, and his wife, Ruth Weidler, a 1958 Wartburg music education graduate who died in 2000, were active supporters of the college, even while living throughout the country during Gene’s career.
Since returning to Waverly in 2000, Gene has served on the Keep on Learning and Artist Series committees and on the Business National Advisory Board. He has been a leadership donor to the college’s music program in honor of Ruth.
Drape has been active in the community as chair of the Waverly Light & Power Board of Trustees and as a member of the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community board and the Bremer County Community Foundation governing committee.
Drape earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Science degree from West Coast University. He worked in engineering, manufacturing, and general management with Ford Motor Co., Pitney Bowes Corp., Apex Corp., and Outokumpu OY.
Frick was chair of the Wartburg art department from 1976-94. He created the sculpture “Aspiration” near the entrance to the Vogel Library and was chief designer of the Wartburg Mace used in college processionals.
Frick earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He worked as a draftsman in the Air Corps during World War II and was among the first to document the atomic bomb destruction in Nagasaki, Japan, with pen-and-ink landscape drawings.
He chaired the American University in Beirut art department, where his wife, Aida, also taught, from 1956 to1976. They left amid a civil war that closed the school.
His work also has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cleveland Museum, Denver Art Museum, National Academy in Greece, Sursock Museum and Palais de UNESCO in Lebanon, Bradley Gallery in Milwaukee and the Douglas Baker Gallery in Minneapolis.
Ratke, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is the author of “Confession and Mission, Word and Sacrament: The Ecclesial Theology of Wilhelm Loehe.”
Loehe of Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, sent Pastor Georg Grossmann and five students to America in 1852 to found a teacher-training school for German immigrants in Saginaw, Mich., which eventually became Wartburg College in Waverly.