Frank W. DeFriece, Jr.
2000 Honorary Alumni
Frank W. DeFriece, Jr., learned the joy of giving long ago from his parents, and his life has modeled that idea of "giving back." A native of Bristol, Tenn., DeFriece was the first of three children. After graduating from Tennessee High School in 1939, Frank spent his college freshman year at Georgia Tech, and attended Roanoke College in 1940-42.
College was interrupted by DeFriece's enlistment as an Air Corps Cadet in December 1942.
Trained as a Photo Lab Commander at Yale University, DeFriece saw action in the South Pacific, first as an Aerial Photo Interpreter and later as Officer in Charge, Ground Combat Photo Team. Promoted to the rank of Captain in 1945, he was honorably discharged in early 1946.
During his high school and college summers, DeFriece worked in The S.E. Massengill Company, founded by Dr. S.E. Massengill, his grandfather. In September 1946, DeFriece began full-time employment in the Chief Pharmacist's Office. He was named President in 1960. In April 1971, The S.E. Massengill Company was sold and renamed Beecham-Massengill Pharmaceuticals. DeFriece served as board member and Vice Chairman from 1971-73.
DeFriece became a board member and fund administrator of the newly established Massengill-DeFriece Foundation in 1950 and continues to serve on that board. During those 50 years, DeFriece has provided visionary leadership and financial support to many groups of the regional community, the states of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and to many national organizations.
Honored by many, DeFriece was selected by King College to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1978. Citing his almost 30 years as a corporate leader, his directorships and chairmanships include organizations such as the Barter Theatre, Bristol Family YMCA, Salvation Army, Bristol United Way, the Presbyterian Board of World Missions, and King College.
DeFriece and his wife Nancy were honored in 1998 by the Wellmont Foundation Citizen Hall of Fame. The couple also actively supports ETSU's Friends of Music, Friends of the Reece Museum, Medical Student Assistance Fund, Partners in Medicine, and the Roan Scholars Leadership Program.
The couple resides in Bristol, Tenn. He has three children, Mr. and Mrs. Mark DeFriece of Annapolis, Md., Mr. and Mrs. Paul DeFriece of Atlanta, Ga., Mrs. and Mrs. Dennis (Polly) Wills of Decatur, Ga., and five grandchildren.