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September 17, 2002

Trucking industry executive, wife
leave $500,000 to ISU

Bequest to fund scholarships for business students, athletes

Frances and Welby Frantz

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Business students and athletes at Indiana State University will benefit from a major gift to the ISU Foundation from the estate of Welby M. and Frances C. Frantz.  [video]  [Campus Connection article]


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A $500,000 donation from the Frantz estate will be split evenly for scholarships in the couple’s names in the ISU School of Business and for student athletes.

Welby Frantz was a trucking industry executive in Terre Haute and a long time advocate and benefactor of higher education. Frances Frantz was a teacher of dance and physical education in Peoria, Ill. prior to the couple’s marriage.

During a nearly 30-year career with Eastern Express, from 1946 to 1975, Welby Frantz built the company into one of the leading motor carriers in the United States. He shared his knowledge of business with Indiana State students as a distinguished executive in residence in the ISU School of Business.

“Welby worked for the same company for nearly 30 years and had a more than 30-year relationship with Indiana State. Welby Frantz knew the meaning of loyalty – loyalty to his business and to his community,” said Donald E. Smith, a member of  Indiana State University’s Board of Trustees and a long time friend of the Frantzes. 

Smith is president of First Financial Corp., holding company for Terre Haute First National Bank, trustee of the Frantz estate. Cari Sparks, manager of the trust division at Terre Haute First, presented the gift on behalf of the Frantzes.

Frantz served 30 years on the ISU Foundation Board of Directors, 15 years as the board’s president. He also served on the board of directors of Terre Haute First from 1964 until his death in 1996. Frances Frantz died in September 2001.

“Thanks to the generosity of Welby and Frances Frantz, a new generation of ISU students will be able to pursue their own version of the American dream – a dream so epitomized by the Frantzes -- and create their own legacy,” said ISU President Lloyd Benjamin III.


Dave Taylor, ISU Public Affairs
(812) 237-3743 or

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or