Upstate Medical University presented 16 awards at its fall convocation Sept. 16. The President’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropic Service, Individual, was given to Frederick B. Parker, Jr., MD. Below is his biography, as it appears in the convocation program.
By Stephanie DeJoseph
“No one says no to Fritz.” That is the legacy at The Upstate Foundation of Dr. Frederick B. Parker Jr., known to all as Fritz. The expression refers to his donation of time as an active advocate for Foundation causes such as the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, Upstate Cancer Center and Friend in Deed, the annual fund for Upstate University Hospital. In addition, Dr. Parker has been a member of the Foundation’s board of directors for 14 years, serving as an officer, including chairman, and sitting on numerous committees. As generous as he is with his time, he is equally generous as a philanthropist. His giving history at the Foundation dates back to 1981 and is highlighted by naming gifts in the Children’s Hospital and Upstate Cancer Center.
After making those naming gifts, Dr. Parker assumed a leadership role in both of the Foundation’s capital campaigns, for the Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center. Soft-spoken and passionate, he approached countless prospective donors about the value of having such important resources in the Central New York community. While he was quite effective, he was also quietly persistent, never giving up until he procured the gift. After the Children’s Hospital campaign, the adage “no one says no to Fritz” was born. During the cancer campaign, Foundation development officers would occasionally turn to Fritz to help close a difficult gift. After all, no one says no to him.
Dr. Parker is a former co-chair of Friend in Deed, Upstate University Hospital’s annual fund. It is typically a token position, but not for Dr. Parker. He rolled up his sleeves and began to work. He requested report after report from the Foundation. He scheduled meetings with the hospital’s department chairs. He made face-to-face solicitations. He sent an appeal letter to family members and friends. And as always, he led by example, making his own gift first. Together with his wife, Ginny, Dr. Parker has been contributing to Friend in Deed for 17 consecutive years. They also support Upstate’s annual Gala and contribute to a wide variety of Foundation funds.