UNC alumnus David Gardner Frey (AB ’64, JD ’67)  in front of portraits of his parents, Edward J. and Frances T. Frey. (Photo: Michael Buck.)

David Frey and the Frey Foundation

The Frey Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, is one of Michigan’s larger family foundations. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations for projects to enhance child development, protect natural resources, promote the arts and build community. The foundation was established in 1974 and permanently endowed in 1988 from the estate of Edward J. and Frances T. Frey. Edward Frey was the longtime chairman and CEO of Union Bank & Trust Co., which was founded by his father in 1918. He also founded Foremost Insurance Company in 1952.

Alumnus David Gardner Frey, BA ’64, JD ’67, chaired the foundation for many years and was an enthusiastic supporter of UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and all things Chapel Hill up until his death at age 81 in June 2023.

The foundation established the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professorship in 1989 to bring to campus renowned leaders in a variety of fields, including government, public policy, international affairs and the arts. See Past Frey Events for a complete list of the more than 30 luminaries who have visited campus for lectures, classes, screenings, workshops, panel discussions and other activities as Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professors.

David Frey, separately from the foundation, endowed several faculty positions in the College, including David G. Frey Distinguished Professorships in Music, Dramatic Art and American Art. Carolina Performing Arts, the Ackland Art Museum, the Educational Foundation and other University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill entities have also benefited from his generosity.

The College and Carolina are grateful for the generosity and vision of David Frey and the Frey Foundation.