Mary Works Freiburg
April 26, 2014
Dr. Mary Freiburg is a scientist, educator, professor emeritus, and mentor to generations of MacMurray College students.
In her own education, Dr. Freiburg was a pioneer, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry at the College of Emporia, Kansas, in 1948, followed two years later by a Master of Science degree in zoology at the University of Kansas, where she was the only female in her biology classes. In 1971 she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia, one of the few women to be awarded that degree in a science field at that time.
Since then she has continued her education with summer research projects involving colobus monkeys in Kenya, kangaroos in Australia, and fossil fish in Wyoming.
Honorary Degree Recipient Dr. Freiburg came to MacMurray in 1957 and served the College with distinction for 34 years, retiring as professor emerita of biology in 1991. During those years she served as advisor to the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and as academic advisor to more than 50 students, many of whom went on to graduate or medical schools. She also received the College’s highest teaching honor, the Dewey Wilkins Award for Teaching Excellence.
When she arrived here in the fall of 1957, she had already formed a lifelong partnership with Dr. Richard Freiburg, who was also her colleague in the Biology Department. Generations of MacMurray alumni remember them fondly as their mentors, Ma and Pa Freiburg.
During retirement Dr. Mary Freiburg has maintained close involvement with the College, attending College activities, helping with alumni relations, providing financial support and volunteering in many capacities. MacMurray College is proud to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on distinguished professor emerita and lifelong supporter of the College, Mary Works Freiburg.