Skip to main content

Carl Draper a Devoted McKendrean

Carl Draper  a Devoted McKendrean
Carl Draper
President Dobbins and Carl Draper at the William McKendree Society Breakfast

During his lifetime, Carl Draper was dedicated to McKendree in many different ways. Following his passing, the University learned his commitment to his alma mater through his estate plans will have an impact on McKendree students for generations to come.

Born on March 12, 1937, in Granite City, Carl was the son of William H. and Emma L. (Fausz) Draper. He graduated from East Alton-Wood River High School and furthered his studies at McKendree University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1960.

He went on to a successful career in St. Louis at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), now known as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where he was a geodesist.

After his graduation, McKendree remained Carl's home away from home. He joined the Alumni Board and then went on to serve on the McKendree University Board of Trustees for 22 years.

Carl was an active member of the McKendree community as a volunteer at senior celebration events, chapel services and as a member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He received the Loyal Service Award in 1992 and the prestigious Peter Akers Award in 2003 for exemplary service and support.

One of Carl's favorite activities to do on campus was cheer on the Bearcat student-athletes, especially the men's basketball team. Carl was a Bearcat Basketball season ticket holder and a proud member of the McKendree Bearcat Booster Club. When Carl passed away unexpectedly in January 2020, the seat he had filled for many years in Statham Gym was covered in black as a memorial to this dedicated McKendrean.

While Carl had informed the Office of Development, Alumni and Parent Relations that McKendree was included in his estate, it wasn't until after his passing that the University learned the details of his planned gift. The generous bequest was left undesignated because Carl wanted the University Board of Trustees to determine the best use of these funds.

In May of 2021, the McKendree University Board of Trustees established the Carl Draper Athletic Endowment Fund to support the McKendree University Department of Athletics in perpetuity and the Carl E. Draper Scholarship Fund to support students pursuing a bachelor's degree in mathematics or science. Structuring the gifts as part of the University's permanent endowment will generate annual earnings that will continue Carl's legacy of consistent, generous support at McKendree University.

As a final tribute to Carl, the Board of Trustees named the Hall of Fame Room located in the Melvin Price Convocation Center the "Carl Draper '60 Hall of Fame Room" in honor of Carl's

many years of service to McKendree University and in recognition of his generous estate gift. Now, the quiet, unassuming alumnus will be known by all who visit the home of Bearcat Basketball.