Former TU President James L. Fisher dies at 91

By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief

James L. Fisher, former President of Towson University who paved the way for the modern campus, died Wednesday, the university announced Friday.

Fisher, who was 91 years old, served as president from 1969 to 1978, according to a letter by President Kim Schatzel. Fisher led the university through major growth during the 1970s.

During his tenure, Fisher increased enrollment and added 11 new buildings on the campus, Schatzel said. Further, he rebranded the university from Towson State College to Towson State University in 1976 and established five academic deans.

“President Fisher brought Towson University into a contemporary modern university, positioning the university for the growth we continue to achieve,” Schatzel said. “He touched the lives of thousands of Tigers, and mentored many who went on to become leaders for our state. His leadership was transformational, and I stand on his shoulders.”

Fisher was born on June 2, 1931, in Decatur, Ill. He served in the United States Marine Corp from 1951-1954, according to an article by TU Special Collections and University Archives. He received his doctorate from Northwestern University while employed at the institution.

He worked in the administration at Northwestern for six years before becoming TU’s president, the article states.

Fisher died on Sept. 7, 2022, in Vero Beach, Fla. He is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


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