Norman Freehling, Class of 1932
Businessman and philanthropist
After graduating from Chicago-Kent in 1932, Norman Freehling built a successful career in stock brokerage, purchasing a seat on what was then called the Chicago Stock Exchange that he never sold or transferred (the Exchange later changed its name to the Midwest Stock Exchange, but reverted back to the name Chicago Stock Exchange in 1993). He was a founding partner of Freehling & Co., a stock brokerage firm that was acquired in 1987 by New York-based Cowen & Co. He was a floor trader for customers of the firm and was a specialist in the stock of more than a dozen publicly held U.S. companies including Abbott Laboratories, Borg Warner Corporation, Chrysler Corporation and Standard Oil of New Jersey. Freehling served on the Board of Directors of the Exchange for many years and was Chairman of the Board for two years. When the Exchange returned to calling itself the Chicago Stock Exchange in 1993, he was feted as the market’s oldest living member. He also served as the neutral arbitrator, or as a member of a panel of three neutral arbitrators, in securities disputes arbitrated under the rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
Freehling and his wife, Edna, were active in philanthropy, and endowed academic positions at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and Chicago-Kent College of Law. At Chicago-Kent, the Norman & Edna Freehling Fellowship was established to promote the writings of professors who are in the early stages of their careers and have distinguished themselves through substantial and sustained scholarship.