Buch Family Academic Scholarship


In 2013, The Buch Family Academic Scholarship was established to honor the memories of Ilse, Fredric and Peter Buch. The scholarship, based on athletic and academic achievements and financial need, recognizes active amateur skaters who pursue excellence in both their academic and athletic pursuits.

Fredric and Ilse Buch ice skated recreationally as children in pre-World War II Germany, immigrating to the U.S. separately in the 1930s to escape the Holocaust. Twenty-five years later they met, married and had two children. 

When Fredric and Ilse became parents, a pediatrician recommended their kids, Barbara and Peter, try sports for physical activity. While they tried various sports, the only thing that kept the children’s interest was ice skating. Given a free pair of skates for signing up for group lessons, the family was soon hooked on skating. 

Barbara and Peter eventually tried skating together and decided to pursue ice dance following thediscipline’s introduction at the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. The Buch family became completely engrossed in competitive ice dance for the next 10 years. Fredric, a former actor and radio announcer, volunteered his talent as an announcer at many local competitions. Ilse, a communications and public relations expert, became the team’s publicist, manager and costume designer as well as surrogate rink mother to many other skaters. Both Fredric and Ilse worked two jobs to support their children’s skating activities and higher academic pursuits.

While Barbara and Peter attended university classes full time and competed for Team USA on the international and domestic ice dance teams, U.S. Figure Skating helped support the athletes’ academic pursuits and loaned the family money to help with academic expenses. 

The Buchs both pursued careers and coached at the national level. The family is extremely grateful for the economic assistance provided to them at such critical times in their skating careers. This assistance allowed Barbara and Peter to pursue both their athletic and academic pursuits.

Ilse passed away in 1989. Upon the deaths of Peter and Fredric in 2010 and 2012, respectively, the Buch Family estate chose to recognize U.S. Figure Skating for its support of the Buch’s personal enjoyment of ice dance and their academic achievements by supporting future generations of skaters in the same way. 

To be eligible for the Buch Family Academic Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 16 years or older
    Be eligible, active amateur singles, pairs or ice dance skaters and current member of U.S. Figure Skating
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student or in his/her senior year of high school intending to attend a higher learning institution within 6 months of graduation
  • Be enrolled in a fully-accredited secondary school, attend classes and carry the minimum number of credit hours necessary to be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • Maintain at least a 3.4 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) or 93% (based on a 100% scale) during the last two academic years
  • Have competed in a U.S. Figure Skating qualifying competition at the novice, junior or senior level during the past two competitive seasons or equivalent
  • Recipients will not be coaches, professionals or a member of only a synchronized skating team

If you have further questions, please contact Brent Diederich, Manager, Giving Programs, at 719.635.5200.