Houghton “Buck” Freeman
Buck Freeman starred on the
explosive 1940 soccer team that secured the New England Intercollegiate Soccer
League Championship. That team beat all
comers, save Yale whom they tied 1-1 in double overtime. Along with Tink and Doc Waters, Buck was one
of the conference’s top scorers and the team’s best playmaker. With nine goals overall, he scored in all but
one game including two goals in each Little Three win, and a last second winner
against Dartmouth. When Dartmouth beat Yale,
Wesleyan’s championship and New England supremacy were secure. With a record of 7-0-1, the 1940 squad was
the last Wesleyan soccer team to go undefeated in the regular season until last
year’s 2009 team.
was born in China where his father, Mansfield Freeman ’16 was an early partner
in the eventual financial giant, AIG. Asia would remain a big part of his
life. After his junior year Pearl Harbor
pulled him into the Navy and service in China.
He captained the 1946 team that went 6-1-1, scored a record 39 goals and
won the Little Three.
After Wesleyan, Buck and wife
Doreen Freeman began a long career with AIG. Buck served as chairman of
AIA in Japan and Vice-Chair of AIG in New York. He also served on Wesleyan’s
In 1988, Buck and Doreen gave Wesleyan $5
million to start the Freeman Athletic Center. With the late Mansfield Freeman,
Buck, Doreen and their son, Graeme ’77 founded the Freeman Foundation which
they have lead since the early ‘90’s . In 1994, they initiated the Freeman Asian
Scholars Program that
has brought more than 250 students to
Wesleyan from Southeast Asia.
It seems fitting that 70 years
after Buck’s undefeated team the next one
would star Keisuke Yamashita ’10, a Freeman Scholar from Japan.