Frick Commons Honors Business School Faculty

Robert and Barbara Frick make a new $2 million commitment to Olin Business School

The second-floor commons area in Knight Hall has been a busy and popular gathering place for students and faculty since it opened. The university recently named it Frick Commons in honor of Emeritus Trustee Robert Frick, BS ’60, MBA ’62, and his wife, Barbara, in recognition of a $2 mil­lion commitment to Olin Business School. 

This latest gift from the Fricks brings their total commitment for Knight and Bauer halls at the business school to $7 million. In 2013, they made a $5 million commitment to name the multilevel Robert and Barbara Frick Forum, which adjoins the Frick Commons.

The Fricks made their $2 million com­mitment in honor of the many outstanding professors and deans at Olin Business School who have provided guidance and wise counsel to Mr. Frick and other students over the years, including former Dean Mahendra Gupta. Mr. Frick says, “Olin has benefited tremendously from their leader­ship, and Barbara and I are grateful to be able to show our appreciation in this way.”

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says, “We are deeply grateful to Barbara and Bob for adding to their incredible record of support for Knight and Bauer halls. I was delighted to learn that their new commitment was inspired by the talented faculty and leaders at Washington University who have played such an important role in Bob’s life. Through their financial contributions and devoted service, the Fricks have themselves touched the lives of faculty and students across the university.”

Frick Commons is a place where faculty and students come together informally to socialize, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. These kinds of communal spaces are an important component of all new facilities at Washington University and a key priority of Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University.

Mr. and Mrs. Frick are natives of the St. Louis area. Now based in the San Francisco Bay area, they are among Washington University’s most dedicated supporters and active volunteers. Mr. Frick is a member of the Board of Trustees, the Olin Business School National Council, and the San Francisco Regional Cabinet. He also is a member of the Olin campaign committee and co-chairs the San Francisco Regional Campaign Committee for Leading Together.

The Fricks endowed the Robert and Barbara Frick Professorship in Business in 2004. They are longtime support­ers of scholarships at Olin and Life Patrons of the Eliot Society.

Mr. Frick retired from Bank of America in 1988 as vice chair of the board of directors and head of the world banking division. Together, he and Mrs. Frick launched K.E.S. Management, a real estate development company in the San Francisco Bay area committed to creating quality apartment communities for low-to moder­ate-income residents in ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

The Fricks are dedicated supporters of Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Frick serves as a board member and chair of the foundation board for the organization’s East Bay/Silicon Valley affiliate. He has participated in three cross-country bicycle rides since 2008 to raise funds for the affiliate.