Philanthropy Feature – Jackie Fischer ’89

“I’m so thankful for my Wesleyan experience. As I’ve had more financial options, it has been a priority to give to KWC. The generosity of others helped me to be in a position to attend and experience Wesleyan – I hope that any amount I give helps other students through scholarships and programming that contributes to the holistic growth for the campus community.” – Jackie Fischer, Ph.D. ’89 | Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus, Ind.

Why did you decide to attend KWC?
“I knew I wanted a chance to play softball at the college level and was also interested in attending a college that would provide an intimate experience. When I met Mike Joseph, the admissions counselor, at a College Fair at my high school, I knew this was the place for me. When my parents and I visited, we met so many friendly and helpful staff and faculty. Coach Ayers answered any and all questions, and Gus Paris helped us figure out a way to make it work financially. There was just a feeling on campus that told me, ‘This is the right place for me.’”

Major? Other education?
“I started out as a math ed major but could not get through Calculus II! I changed to English; I had been impressed with writing workshop and Dr. Bob Darrell’s approach to teaching. There were so many strong English faculty – Joe Britton and John Combs taught me what it means to be passionate about a discipline and how to fall in love with literature and poetry – I’m so thankful!

“After graduating from KWC, I attended Indiana State University to pursue a master’s in counseling with a college student personnel emphasis. I also completed a Ph.D. in counselor education from ISU.”

“I held a dean’s position at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri for six years and served for 18 years at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Ind.”

KWC involvement since graduation
“Serving on the Alumni Board (since May 2022) has been such a blessing. Getting reconnected to KWC means the world to me; I have gone through my adult life being thankful for my KWC experience and to now be able to serve Wesleyan and connect with others who love KWC as much as I do has been very fulfilling.”

Great memories of your years as a KWC student?
“Athletics played such a big role for many of us – attending the basketball games at the Sportscenter was the place to be! It was awesome to see the city of Owensboro come together to support Wesleyan in this way. The softball team – we created so many lifelong memories on and off the field. All my experiences at KWC helped shape me in so many ways personally, professionally and socially. The Sigma Alpha Mu guys were awesome – they watched out for us and helped to create a sense of belonging for so many of us.”

How did KWC impact your trajectory in life?
“My KWC education provided me with a strong foundation to appreciate the importance of self-growth, critical thinking and community. I’ve worked in higher education throughout my career and am convinced that I was drawn to higher education because of my positive experiences at KWC; there were always faculty, staff, coaches and other students who were there to pull me along, regardless of the challenge or the roadblock. Providing this same experience to others through my career commitment means a great deal to me.”