BEVERLY (CBS) — Endicott College broke ground this week on a new residence hall that will be named after the man who inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The school also offered a full scholarship to his baby daughter.
Pete Frates, the 30-year-old former Boston College baseball team captain who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, became a viral fundraising star as he helped raise awareness and money for ALS research over the last few years. Endicott President Richard Wylie said the university is honored to dedicate the building to Frates, who was born in Beverly.READ MORE: I-Team: Kids In Crisis Spend Weeks In Emergency Room Waiting For Mental Health Services
“He has been a neighbor of ours, and has been a superstar in so many ways,” Wylie told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “We just felt that this was a great way to recognize him and to keep his name prominent in the community and the region, and to be able to tell his story.”
The university gave Pete’s mother, Nancy Frates, an honorary degree last May, when she was a speaker at commencement.
The new building will house 225 undergraduate students, and is expected to open next fall. A large wall display in the building’s lobby will tell the story of Frates’s journey and all that he and his family have done for ALS research. Wylie said that the work of Frates and his family is a reminder that good can come from adversity.
“I think that one of the things that happens is, sometimes we forget and we look back to maybe just the Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Wylie. “But it’s much more than that. Lives are going to be changed because of the efforts and the awareness and the money that’s been raised. We want people to see that.”
Frates was present at a ceremony for the groundbreaking Wednesday, where Wylie offered the Frates’ baby daughter, Lucy, a full four-year scholarship including room, board, and tuition. Should she choose to study at Endicott, she’ll live in the building named for her father.
“They asked if the room could be number three, because that was his athletic number,” said Wylie. “So I said we’ll move number three to whichever room she chooses.”MORE NEWS: TD Garden Capacity Increases As Bruins Head Into Playoffs
Frates married Julie Kowalik in 2013, and became a father last year.