When Kaye Fisher (BEd ’71, BA ’77) began taking classes at the University of Lethbridge, the university was sharing a campus with Lethbridge Junior College on the city’s south end. It was the late 1960s, early days for Alberta’s newest university, and the distinctive cement building nestled in the coulees was still years away from completion.
Fisher was a mature student back then – married and in her late 30s with two school-aged children. She was working toward a bachelor of education, but already had several years of teaching experience under her belt.
“In those days we just had teaching certificates,” says Fisher, who taught full time basically right out of high school before getting married and starting a family in Claresholm, Alta. “I’ve always loved learning and I was getting back into the profession because my children were in school, so I thought why not go for my degree?”
Fisher’s introduction to the U of L was actually through night classes that the university was offering in Claresholm. Before long, Fisher was commuting to the Lethbridge campus. She earned her BEd and went on to earn a bachelor of arts as well. Thanks to a particularly fantastic U of L English professor, Fisher says she “fell in love” with children’s literature, and was compelled to pursue a master’s degree on the subject. She earned an MA in children’s literature through Simmons University in Boston in 1979.
Fisher’s extended education may have led her elsewhere, but she chooses to support the university where her degree path began. She’s made annual financial donations to the U of L since 1991, and says that a thriving university is essential to the vitality of southern Alberta.
“The University of Lethbridge adds so much to the region,” says Fisher. “It’s a great university that continues to thrive, which brings a lot of attention and energy to the entire area. It’s essential to support that.”
At age 83, Fisher still lives in Claresholm and remains true to her academic roots. After more than 20 years of donations, she says she will continue to support the U of L as long as she can.
“I believe in education. I know the difference a good education can make in someone’s life, and if I can help create that difference for students at a university that I know and love, then I’m going to do that. Whether it goes to scholarships or helps the University to grow, donations are what make new things possible.”
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