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Master's degrees conferred at Muskingum College's 11th Graduate Commencement, Dr. C. William Fischer offers views on Leadership


AUGUST 11, 2003 - Muskingum College held its 11th graduate school commencement exercises on Saturday, August 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the Recreation Center on the campus. Both the master of arts in education degree and the inaugural class of the master of arts in teaching degree were conferred.

Presenting the commencement address was noted public administrator and educator Dr. C. William Fischer, a 1953 Muskingum College alumnus and trustee. His address, titled "Leadership" focused on maintaining a strong set of core leadership values as the key to a successful and meaningful career as an educator.

Dr. Fischer said, "Today, we gather to honor the great tradition of universal education in this country. Education may certainly be this country's greatest asset, because we are the most powerful country on earth. And it is we who are this country, not the government. That is essential to our continued success."

In recognition of his career achievements, Dr. Fischer was granted an honorary doctorate of public service degree. Present for the conferral was Arnold R. Weber, president emeritus of Northwestern University.

Muskingum College President Anne C. Steele said of Dr. Fischer, "He is a dedicated public servant and educator who, through his work, has changed the lives of countless Americans. As educators, we can all understand and admire the impact he has had on our field."

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Fischer has distinguished himself as a public servant and educator. Following his graduation from Muskingum, he served during the Korean War as a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Following his tour of duty, Dr. Fischer joined the U.S. Executive Office of the President as a member of the Bureau of the Budget and Office of Management and Budget. From 1957 to 1975, he served under four U.S. Presidents in a series of increasingly responsible positions.

His accomplishments and leadership were recognized with a Professional Achievement Award and an Advanced Studies Award Fellowship to Harvard University. As a graduate student at Harvard, he earned a master's degree in public administration in 1964.

During the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Fischer served in a variety of capacities in the federal government, including Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Energy. In 1978, Dr. Fischer received Muskingum College's Distinguished Alumni Award, its highest alumni honor. When the U.S. Department of Education was created in 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Dr. Fischer as its first assistant secretary of Education for Planning and Budget.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Fischer was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 1988.

Dr. Fischer left government service in 1981 and began a career in higher education leadership. For more than nine years, he was vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer for the University of Colorado system. At Brandeis University, he served as the executive vice president before joining Northwestern University as senior vice president for business and finance, where he served until 1997.

Dr. Fischer and his wife, Betty Taylor Fischer, a 1953 Muskingum alumna, currently reside in Colorado. The have four children and nine grandchildren.

The invocation and benediction was presented by Muskingum College Minister Reverend Ashley J. Beavers. Candidates for both the master of arts in education and the master of arts in teaching were presented by Dr. George Sims, Muskingum's vice president for academic affairs. Degrees were conferred and diplomas presented by Muskingum College President Dr. Anne C. Steele, Master of Arts in Education Director Dr. Rolf G. Schmitz and Master of Arts in Teaching Director Dr. Linda Morrow.
The Muskingum College Faculty Brass Quintet provided the Processional and Recessional.’