Fred J. Kern got a fitting honor last week when Lindenwood University in Belleville announced that it's naming its new men's dorm for him.
The Kern family is among Lindenwood's -- and Belleville's -- biggest boosters. Lindenwood didn't reveal the amount the Kerns donated toward the dorm's construction, but in 2005 Fred and his wife, Barbara, gave $500,000 toward the renovation of the auditorium on the former Belleville West campus. (Lindenwood wanted to name that after the Kerns but they declined).
They gave $1 million to help build the downtown YMCA. They donated to Art on the Square and many other Belleville projects, both by name and anonymously.
In 2005, Barbara Kern explained the auditorium donation simply: "We love Belleville. We love Lindenwood." Their gifts to improve the community are generous, lasting ways of showing it.