Olympian Michael Frater was last week inducted into the Hall of Fame of his alma mater, Texas Christian University, at a stellar banquet attended by public officials, corporate executives, noted professionals as well as the elite of the university including its scholars, past honourees, professors and administrators.
Frater's eloquent response to the conferment brought the patrons of the blue ribbon affair to their feet in recognition of a scholar and an athlete who distinguished himself while a granduand at the university, and who was now being honoured for his accomplishments.
"I count my induction to be a distinct honour which I accept with humility from a great university which has become a landmark institution in the lives of many and which is a visionary in education", said Frater.
In thanking his alma mater, Frater stated that he was not "the sole author" of his academic and athletic achievements and successes. "My deans, tutors, chaplains, fellow students, coaches, athletic teammates and friends here at Texas Christian are all co-creators of the feats for which I am being recognised. My biological family gave me the character to be and they, along with you (TCU), have given me the will to become".
In speaking of education, Frater reflected: "Education gives maturity and freedom to the thoughts of the mind. It gives freedom to the creativity of the spirit. It gives freedom to the conscience of the soul. It gives men and women the opportunity, the right, to make an impact on the world."
Frater has always been an advocate of a good and functional education as being critical to personal and societal development and remarked that TCU had liberated him and many and has given countless "the opportunity and the right to influence community, country and the world".
In closing, Frater exhorted his alma mater to "continue to impact lives meaningfully, to enlighten the intellect, to inspire the soul and to be and to spread the good news of personal and institutional integrity, friendship and mutuality".
A well decorated Olympian, Frater was inducted with fellow honourees Nick Browne (football/soccer), R.E. Dodson (football), Ellie Gibson (golf), Adam Rubinson (golf) and Walter Soza (swimming).