Why I Give
October 13, 2020
Fred Buckley didn’t even think he would receive an economic stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year. The 1954 Culver Summer Naval School graduate and staff member believed he wouldn’t qualify.
“I didn’t think people like me would get one,” he said. “But when I did, there was no way I was going to use it personally.”
What Buckley did was split the amount down the middle, giving half to the Culver Fund and half to the Salvation Army, two organizations he knew would put the money to good use.
His connections to Culver go back to his father, James F. Buckley N ’25, and continue through to his granddaughter, Courtney Dulac ’12 SS '10. His son James F. Buckley II graduated from Culver Summer Schools & Camps in 1979 and his daughter, Amanda H. Buckley, did so in 1982.
“Ever since my father, Culver has run in our blood,” he explained
His summers on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee have been a major influence on his life, he said. From his counselor, Col. C.W. Jackson, in Company IV to Capt. Robert Bolton, head of the Naval School, who taught him to sail the O.W. Fowler, to Col. C.A. Whitney, of course.
“There isn’t a person who was there during that time who wasn’t influenced by Col. Whitney,” Buckley said.
Buckley remembers standing in Whitney’s office after being named summer regimental commander. Whitney’s cavalry background was made clear. “He was lecturing me on the importance of the Troop,” he said. “While he was talking I saw a framed certificate behind his desk stating he had qualified at shooting a .45 (caliber) while at a full gallop.
“It was the only thing on that wall.”
While he is a solid Naval School man, granddaughter Courtney was involved in the Horsemanship program during her time at camp and boarding school, he said. “I told her I would forgive her – but not easily.”
His second class summer, he served on the Fowler crew. He was named captain his first class summer and learned how to sail her from Bolton. Two years later, he came back as a Naval School instructor and taught others how to sail the Fowler.
“I was the only one left at that time,” Buckley said. “I also wrote a manual on it.”
Because of everything that Culver has given him, Buckley said he has continued to give back to Culver “for decades.” He generally donates to the Culver Fund every year and designates his donation for Summer Schools & Camps.
“Although, I guess, I should rethink that now that my granddaughter graduated from both,” he laughed.
He said he has always trusted the leadership at Culver. “The people on the board (of trustees) inspire confidence,” he said.
It is the same level of trust he equates with the Salvation Army, another organization he has supported through the years. “They always show up with little fanfare and do what needs to be done.”