During his four years at Cushing Academy, M. Anthony "Tony" Fisher ’69 earned a reputation as a helper. One year, for example, his family helped the Academy purchase new lighting for Cowell Chapel. Tony spent a school break doing most of the installation himself. In the late 1960s, when the Vietnam War and those fighting against social injustices provided plenty for varying opinions and views, Tony’s unselfish nature inspired his classmates to work together despite their political differences.
After Cushing, Tony went on to become a successful businessman—well known in New York City real estate circles—but he never lost his interest in helping his fellow citizens. He gave much back to the Academy, both in financial donations, but also in time: he was a member, and eventually chair, of the Board of Trustees. His name can be seen on buildings across Cushing’s campus, tangible evidence of his generosity.
But it wasn’t just Cushing that benefited from his generosity. Tony was the chief executive officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, which operates the docked aircraft carrier Intrepid in New York City, a venture begun by his family. He was also a leader in several other nonprofit organizations, including the Fisher House Foundation, which provides homes where the families of injured military personnel may stay while their loved ones recover, and the Armed Forces Foundation, which provides college scholarships to military dependents.
In April 2003, Tony was tragically killed in a plane crash while on his way to Cushing with his wife and daughter. The Cushing community was deeply impacted by his loss and determined to do something that would honor his legacy. The following year, a new tradition began: the Tony Fisher Day of Service to Others.
This year, Tony Fisher Day will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 11. Classes are canceled and all Cushing students will go out into the community to do service projects. Projects have included cleaning up parks and playgrounds, working at a local food bank, organizing books at a library, and much more.
On Friday, Mar. 31, three of Tony’s classmates—Sue Peters, Andy Cohen, and Alumni Council Chair Roger Brooks—visited campus to talk to Cushing students about Tony and why the day of service is so important. They spoke about Tony’s commitment to giving back, his support of the nation’s military, and his love of Cushing Academy. They expressed their pride at knowing that Tony’s spirit is still in evidence in today’s Cushing students.