Personal History of Dr. Frederick Lee Liebolt
Premedical students at the University of Arkansas have benefited greatly from the generosity, vision, and commitment of Dr. Frederick Lee Liebolt. In 1985, Dr. Liebolt established a Chair of Premedical Sciences on the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas. An alumnus of the University of Arkansas, he wanted to support a premedical program that would enhance the undergraduate experience of students interested in the field of medicine and insure that students were able to enter any medical school of their choice.
Born in Maquon, Illinois in 1905 Frederick Lee Liebolt moved to Arkansas at the age of five. When he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925, he became the youngest person to graduate from the University of Arkansas. Too young to enter medical school, he enrolled in graduate school at the University of Kansas in 1925. Dr. Liebolt went on to St. Louis where he attended medical school at Washington University and received his M.D. in 1930.
Dr. Liebolt's medical career spanned many years. He continued his medical training at Columbia University in New York City where he did a residency in orthopaedic surgery. He had a distinguished teaching career, holding posts at Columbia University and Cornell University Medical College. During World War II, Dr. Liebolt served as chief of the orthopedic service at the Army Air Force Regional and Convalescent Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1946, he returned to New York to resume his private practice and teaching.
Dr. Liebolt maintained strong ties to the state of Arkansas and his alma mater in Fayetteville. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Arkansas in 1948,and was named a distinguished alumnus in 1973. In 1989 Dr. Liebolt gave the commencement address to the graduates of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to Dr. Liebolt's generous gift to create an endowed Chair for Premedical Sciences he also bequeathed his papers to the University of Arkansas Libraries. This rich collection now resides in the Special Collections division of Mullins Library on the Fayetteville campus. The collection includes his professional papers, correspondence, surgical equipment, photographs, and family history scrapbooks.
Dr. Frederick Lee Liebolt died in New York at the age of 91 in August of 1996. He will be remembered for his pioneering work in orthopaedic surgery, his distinguished teaching career, his patriotism, and as a loyal alumnus of the University of Arkansas.
Remarks from Dr. Liebolt's address at a reception in his honor following the establishment of the Liebolt Chair of Premedical Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
University Club, New York City, May 2, 1985
"I am immensely proud to be here because of the love and admiration I hold for my alma mater. Without her, and her teachings and her guidelines, I would never have made it. There is something intangible about an education. It is not the books and going to classes, it is not football and dances, it is something ethereal, something God-given through your professors, something that rubs off on you and stays put, and something that gives you direction, purpose, and desire. These things I received in abundance from the University of Arkansas. And I want you to know further that during my entire life my alma mater kept in touch with me, always being present in my every effort, rendering support, and giving me honors ranging from small emblems of friendship to prestigious awards. Need I enlarge further to show the largess of my university."