With deepest sympathy, we regret to inform you Colonel Charles F. Harrington, USAF (Ret.), former headmaster from 1990-1993 Pine Beach, NJ campus, passed away on July 31, 2023, at the age of 90. Before becoming headmaster he served as the Commandant of Cadets from 1981 – 1984.
COL Harrington graduated in 1972 from Troy State University in Alabama with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a history major and a business minor. He also graduated from the Air Command College during the same year. COL Harrington entered the Air Force in 1950 as a decorated fighter pilot. He was known as Papa Wolf while leading the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron; he flew 211 combat missions and was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his leadership and valor for his sacrifice and service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Admiral Farragut Academy alumni and administration have reflected on COL Harrington’s leadership;
Chris Roden ‘81 “He was one fine educator and accomplished Commandant of Cadets. One great American, decorated war veteran, humanitarian and accomplished educator. Just one very decent guy and somebody I can call a friend. We need so many more like him. Rest in peace, my leader, for time well served. Thank you, and regards to the family.”
Leonard Bonacci ‘89 “I am sorry to hear about Colonel Harrington’s passing. Looking back, I see now that he embodied the traits AFA was teaching us and was a perfect example of the men we were aspiring to be. Thank you for your service, Sir.”
Bob Matthies ’67, former superintendent and headmaster, shared the following sentiments. “Before hearing this sad news, I spoke to Skip about attending a Farragut gathering. He said he wished he could but, unfortunately, found it necessary to decline. However, he spent a considerable amount of time reminiscing about our years at the Academy and some of the former cadets whose development and foundation for success he was incredibly proud to have played a part. Skip was a decorated military officer, a master teacher, an administrator at Farragut, a devoted family man, a faithful friend, and an all-around great guy. Rest in Peace, Skip. Yours was a life well spent. Now, ‘Off you go into the wild blue yonder!’ ”
We are grateful to COL Harrington’s steadfast leadership to Admiral Farragut Academy for over thirteen years and his decorated service to our country. COL Harrington’s dedication will never be forgotten, may he rest in everlasting peace, knowing the extraordinary legacy of instilling leadership, honor, and pride in many along his journey.
Read full obituary and service details
Martin Ludwig ‘54 Ph.D., the CEO, along with business partner and COO, Louis Bani, have been perfecting and improving their Energy Management Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software, EYE Chart® System United States Patent and Trademark Office # 5,732,680 with various organizations for nearly 10 years. HelloEnergy, LLC., is an NJ company offering energy management consulting solutions for commercial properties using our EYE Chart® System an energy audits and efficiency model, LED Lighting, Solar, and, Cogeneration System while continuing to improve its AI energy efficiency model, the Eye Chart® System (Engineering Your Energy) for commercial businesses while being environmentally friendly.
HelloEnergy’s LED Solutions have proven to save 40%-80% on lighting costs. HelloEngergy worked with Admiral Farragut Academy’s lighting upgrade project which included replacing over 1,142 lighting fixtures throughout the campus and generating an annual savings of over $112,000 per year. Before the LED upgrade, Farragut used 47.7% of its overall energy on lighting. After the upgrades, Farragut had a 65% reduction in lighting kWh use. With electric rates rising during the past 5 years, going from $0.110 per kWh to $0.158 (a 43.6% increase), having installed a new LED system was a huge benefit and significant cost savings to the Academy.
With the increases in energy costs and the impending mandate for NJ businesses over 25,000 sq. ft. to improve energy efficiencies, HelloEnergy services are in high demand. The company is a trade ally of PSEG, Jersey Central Power and Light, and The NJ Clean Energy Program. A Utility Bill Audit of past usage identifies significant opportunities for each client’s unique load profile using the EYE Chart System.
Nationally, energy costs have continued to rise steadily since January 2020. With some moderation off their highs, energy costs are forecasted to rise continuously as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS); continue to influence energy markets. These pressures along with inflationary expenditures increase operational costs and decrease bottom lines across industry sectors.
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), non-seasonally adjusted U.S. City averages reflect an upward trajectory. Since April 2020 Natural Gas prices rose 35.5% / therm and Electricity up 10.5% / kWh.
Ludwig exclaims; “Our propriety Eye Chart® System, through the utilization of AI, will reduce and continue to deliver lower kilowatt usage (kWh) and gas therms, while lowering costs. The more electricity and gas you use, the higher the bill. We can reduce both.”
The Company’s Energy Procurement Program strategically determines the lowest pricing and best sources for commercial electric and natural gas supply needs. These consulting services identify energy buying strategies for any business organization and can deliver 100% green energy where required.
In a strategic partnership with Tecogen, a Cogeneration Equipment Manufacturer, their solutions create electricity from a variety of fuel sources and provide heat as a byproduct for applications such as hot water, air conditioning, or building heat. The technology provides critical protection against future blackouts or brownouts, and increases energy efficiency, depending upon needs, from 30% for a central utility power plant to around 80% for a Cogeneration System. It’s environmentally friendly, efficient, and virtually eliminates NOx, CO, And Hydrocarbons.
According to Ludwig, “As a first step in managing your energy, LEDs reduce energy consumption and immediately help offset electricity rate increases. Commercial LED lighting installations reduce HVAC requirements, waste less energy, and are highly cost-effective.” If you have LEDs installed Solar and Cogeneration are an excellent second step.
Ludwig’s time at Admiral Farragut Academy was critically important in his preparation for collegiate studies in engineering at Fairleigh Dickinson University and ultimately it guided him into a lifetime of studying the energy issues we face both then and today. Admiral Farragut was instrumental in training Ludwig in due diligence and the proper pursuit of any problem he faced while in attendance at the Academy. It forged a solid foundation that he recalls fondly, and thanks the Academy for helping shape him as a man and a successful contributor in the energy field. After my time at the Academy, he majored in engineering, and after college, he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Chaplain’s Corp during the Koran War and after the war on the Carrier USS Essex. The Navy further shaped my life helping me to always be professional and thorough in my deeds.
Today’s energy issues have quickly accelerated as fossil fuel sources have become demonized in short order. Ludwig shares that the world’s commitment to green energy is fragmented but it is imperative to move forward whether it’s ready for prime time, or not. During such volatile times, energy has become weaponized, and Ludwig’s company considers itself at the forefront of its development in providing efficient and common-sense energy solutions. HelloEnergy has become a leader in the field, and we are proud to bring our knowledge to the business community.
Steve Lieber came from Missouri and graduated with the class of 1966 from the southern campus. After graduating from Farragut, Lieber attended college and spent time serving in the Army. At 22 he returned to his father’s full-service gas station. After his father’s sudden passing, Lieber began his legacy from gas stations to helicopters. Lieber created the largest lessor of helicopters to the domestic electronic news gathering (ENG) industry in the United State Helicopters Inc which also provides to other customer segments such as utilities and to the U.S. Army.
Corky Newcombe ‘66S, his Farragut classmate states; “for any of you who might think Steve was fed from a sliver spoon, think again. He paid his dues just like many of us.”
After serving in the Army, Leiber returned to his hometown to assist his father with his full-service gas station and unfortunately had to work with the sudden death of his Father. Lieber took over the business and decided to buy another gas station, and another, and ended up with five stations. In the late 70’s several stations were converting to self-serve and Lieber was ahead of the trend. His savvy business sense along with his Farragut and Army training told him full-serve gas stations were not the vision of the future. Noting the change, he demolished his stations and became a pioneer in the self-service industry. His actions proved to be very successful. So successful, that within 10 years, Texaco took notice and bought out his entire operation.
Perhaps by flying in helicopters to search for gas station locations, Lieber’s helicopter interest peaked. After the sale to Texaco, Lieber bought his first helicopter. It was the beginning of what is now the largest ENG service in the country. It began in 1981 when he founded Helicopters Inc. based out of St. Louis, MO.
When Lieber started Helicopters Inc., he, along with engineers, took a Bell helicopter and retrofitted it to be equipped to handle broadcasting for news sources. He started with one chopper and within weeks he had news sources from all surrounding areas asking for service. From traffic to breaking news Lieber’s outfit could handle all your media needs. His company provided all aspects to make reporting safe, reliable, and successful. Helicopter Inc. coordinated all aspects from flying condition weather reports to news station call letters painted on the choppers- Helicopters Inc. did and still does it all.
Steve started with a small staff, including his younger brother Jeff Lieber. They only used Bell helicopters making service & style consistent. This simple, reliable approach proved to be successful- today they offer over 60 ENG helicopters engineered to serve the media industry, 150 ENG pilots, as well as 75 photojournalists, and ariel photographers, and serve every major market in the US.
Helicopters Inc. also provides Powerline and Pipeline control services for various utility entities across the country and contracts with support solutions for the US Government. The company also offers leasing of the choppers, as well as helicopter maintenance, and catered charters.
With over 1,000,000 flight hours as a company, Lieber & Helicopter Inc. lives up to its tagline; Above it All. The mission statement echoes the foundation of Admiral Farragut Academy. Lieber explained, “Above it All means putting you, the customer, above everything else. It means embracing the perspective that only comes from seeing the world from the sky. And it means that we, as a company, will always provide the most memorable experience possible, in the best aircraft, with an unwavering commitment to safety every time we lift off. Living this Above it All mentality is our mission, and we’re glad you’re a part of it.”
In 2017 Lieber transitioned the company to employee ownership. He was quoted as saying “Many of the employees and members of our management team have over 25 years of tenure with the company. It was important to me to create a succession plan that would allow me to step away from the day-to-day operations while rewarding the folks who helped me build the business.”
Lieber’s company has supported government agencies, and local communities reporting on traffic to national disasters to coverage of the Olympics and other significant events such as 9/11.
Lieber is an example of a leader who serves others for a cause greater than oneself, a true Farragut leader. A kind, hard-working man, Lieber credits Farragut for his success and gives of his time and treasure back to his alma mater. He is responsible for refurbing the Garden Theater, and aviation department and supporting immediate needs to enhance the Farragut mission and experience.
Repost Article from The STREAM published on November 21, 2022
Tom Sileo ” ‘I Am More Scared of Being Nothing Than I Am of Being Hurt’: A Be Bold Excerpt”
Stream contributing senior editor Tom Sileo’s new book tells the true story of how U.S. Marine Corps Major Megan McClung broke barriers for women at war.
Megan McClung wanted to be a U.S. Navy fighter pilot. Like millions of American kids who lived through the ’80s, she saw the original Top Gun and wanted to serve her country by flying fighter jets through enemy combat zones.
To reach her ultimate goal, Megan believed the U.S. Naval Academy was her best path. She also knew that becoming an officer in the U.S. military would be extremely difficult, and not just because her first Naval Academy application out of high school was denied. It would be tougher because she was a woman.
The first time future Maj. Megan McClung made history was in 1990, when she became the first female cadet ever admitted to the Admiral Farragut Academy Preparatory School. While Megan’s journey would eventually lead her to the U.S. Marine Corps instead of flying fighter jets in the Navy, I hope the below excerpt from my new book Be Bold demonstrates just how hard Megan McClung and other young women had to work to join the ranks of the Armed Forces. Their tireless efforts and huge sacrifices paved the way for current and future generations of military women.
Chapter 3: A Few Good Women
There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In the summer of 1990, just as President George H. W. Bush declared that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait “will not stand,” Megan McClung became the first female cadet ever accepted to Admiral Farragut Academy. While the Naval Academy Foundation helped her secure a spot, there was no doubt Megan earned her historic admission largely on the strength of her gymnastics prowess.
Before she ever stepped foot on the prep school’s campus in Pine Beach, New Jersey, she was being actively recruited by the Naval Academy’s head gymnastics coach. All Megan had to do was get through one year at Admiral Farragut and she would not only accomplish her dream of becoming a Navy midshipman, but an athlete.
It also took tremendous guts for Megan to even apply to Admiral Farragut given the institution’s prior track record of excluding young women. On September 7, 1990, her landmark accomplishment was noticed by New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger, which ran a story about Admiral Farragut’s momentous change.
“First it was, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening to my school?’” said Commander Michael A. Pitch, then the academy’s director of public relations. “Then, ‘Well, it’s the ’90s.’”
Megan McClung and two fellow female students—a sixth grader and an eighth grader who were admitted after her historic acceptance—were extensively profiled by the newspaper in a piece headlined “The First Female Cadets.”
“McClung is a post-graduate student preparing to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis next year,” Deborah Coombe wrote. “When McClung was awarded a U.S. Naval Foundation scholarship, she was told she required additional academic work before going to the academy. McClung hopes to be a Navy pilot.
“She said being the only girl in weightlifting classes helped prepare her for being the only female in her class at Admiral Farragut,” the article, which noted Megan helped “change Admiral Farragut’s all-male history,” noted. “McClung said she took weightlifting classes to help her with gymnastics, which she intends to continue while she is boarding at Farragut.”
Megan was quoted several times in the article.
“They [the physical requirements] are not a real struggle for me,” she told the newspaper.
Even so, Megan had to adjust to a lifestyle even her Marine Corps father couldn’t fully prepare her for.
“Cadet Commander Bradley D. Moses said physical training, known as PT on campus, begins soon after rising at 5:30 a.m.,” the article explained. “Cadets report to the field for a 30-to-45-minute workout.”
Megan, who was only in her second day of classes when she spoke to The Star-Ledger, was undeterred.
“The hard part is over . . . getting into the military way of life,” she said.
As the first and oldest female cadet, Megan felt an extraordinary sense of responsibility to set an example for not only her two much younger classmates, but those who would follow in their footsteps.
Upon her arrival, Megan McClung immediately told every commander who would listen that she wanted to be treated exactly like her male counterparts. She quickly learned no matter how much she protested, that wasn’t always going to be the case.
“The upper floor of the building housing the infirmary is being renovated to accommodate 30 girls,” the newspaper noted.
While Megan didn’t know it at the time, her father had not only asked the school to build separate female living quarters, but to have a special lock put on the door to keep boys out. Having served in the Marine Corps at around the same age, Mike knew what some guys could be like and didn’t want anyone sneaking into his daughter’s room at night.
As male students were screamed at for folding their underwear the wrong way, instructors looked at Megan with incredulity as she folded her panties and hung up her bra. While admitting a woman was a much-needed first step, it was immediately obvious Admiral Farragut hadn’t quite thought things through. Most of the time, Megan would just laugh when it was clear how unprepared some of the commanders were willing or able to join the public relations director in saying “Well, it’s the ’90s.”
Behind her sense of humor was the enormous weight she carried on her shoulders for that entire year. Megan believed if she asked for one special privilege, it would give the academy the only excuse it needed to ostracize or even expel female cadets. She also knew if she failed, not only would her dream of becoming a Navy pilot evaporate, but so might the chances of future young women who wanted to follow the trail she was trying to blaze. The patriotic fervor sweeping the nation in the run-up to the first Gulf War only strengthened Megan’s resolve to succeed.
The copper red-haired cadet’s underlying seriousness was immediately noticed by her new 1st Company commander, Sean Rankine.
“She means business,” Sean remarked to a classmate upon witnessing the frenetic pace of Megan’s first workout.
In addition to fulfilling Admiral Farragut’s rigorous physical requirements, five days a week Megan boarded a bus bound for Lakehurst, which is about twenty minutes from Pine Beach. There she practiced gymnastics, which was getting harder and harder as her body kept evolving. While continuing growth is obviously normal for a teenager, it can be distressing for gymnasts trying to follow specific and complicated routines. While Megan kept competing at a high level, she was getting frustrated with not always being able to twist and turn like she could in her younger years.
Adapting to East Coast life wasn’t easy for someone born in Hawaii and raised in California, either. There was a lot more fried food on the menu, which gave Megan the only excuse she needed to eat less and less. While she did make a “deal” with the kitchen staff to make her special plates full of fruit and vegetables instead of meat and potatoes, Megan was starting to develop a pattern of not eating enough to support her demanding exercise and training routine.
In Megan’s mind, eating less would counteract a changing physique and help her keep excelling in gymnastics. In reality, she was in the early stages of developing an eating disorder.
The pressure was real and constant, even if others couldn’t always see it. As one classmate put it, Megan was received with a “mixed bag” in that most of the cadets and faculty welcomed her with open arms, while some were true traditionalists who simply didn’t want girls at Admiral Farragut or anywhere near the U.S. Armed Forces.
Even as more than 40,000 female service members were busy deploying for Operation Desert Storm, the role of women in the military was still very much a hot-button issue in the early 1990s. A July 25–26, 1991, Gallup poll—taken just a few months after the U.S.-led Gulf War victory—found 47 percent of Americans didn’t think women should be required to register for the draft. Just 26 percent thought women should automatically get combat assignments on the same terms as men, with 53 percent responding “only if they want to” and 18 percent “never.” A similar November 10–11, 1992, Gallup poll found 42 percent still opposed allowing military women into combat jobs.
Megan knew some people didn’t want her at Admiral Farragut or the Naval Academy, but did her best to ignore it, at least in public view. In Megan’s mind, even one episode of whining or complaining would amount to victory for those trying to keep her down. Megan and her company commander even developed special code words to use if some of the guys were giving her a hard time — not to get anyone in trouble, but just to confide in Rankine something was bothering her. Other than the few good men who had her complete trust, be it the company commander or her dad, Megan didn’t want anyone else knowing someone or something was getting her down.
When male students or instructors picked on Megan, especially in her first few months at Admiral Farragut, she occasionally became so overwhelmed with stress she pulled out strands of her beautiful copper-red hair. During that challenging year in New Jersey, Megan often found the best way to deal with the stress — and prevent early hair loss — was to sleep with socks on her hands.
Other than those socks, the only other solution Megan saw was giving 100 percent at all times. That tendency could sometimes rankle others around her, including a female cadet who was admitted to the academy later in the year. Megan wasn’t trying to show anyone else up with her fierce work ethic, but in an intense and competitive setting built to closely resemble the military, jealousy and wariness would sometimes come between the cadets.
Close bonds also developed, including between Megan and her company commander. During Christmas break, she called Rankine for almost three hours to do a cross country “play-by-play” analysis of the 1991 Rose Bowl Parade. When they finally hung up, Sean realized Megan probably would have stayed on the phone for another three hours had he been able. While having “zest for life” can be a cliché, it was completely accurate in Megan’s case.
Like millions of fellow Americans, Megan celebrated with her friends as the American-led coalition quickly marched to victory over Saddam Hussein’s troops in what no one could have predicted would be the first U.S. military conflict with Iraq. Speaking about the historic events with her dad, who had long agonized over his and the country’s experience in Vietnam, helped Megan grasp what the Gulf War victory meant, not only to the troops who were fighting but those who fought in previous conflicts. She yearned to join that revered fraternity of American warriors.
On April 15, 1991, the biggest moment thus far in Megan’s journey finally arrived in the form of a thick packet with an Annapolis, Maryland, return address. As she tore open the envelope, she knew the fate of her future dreams rested on what was written on the papers inside.
Addressed to “Miss Megan McClung,” the cover letter was typed on official U.S. Navy letterhead from the Chief of Naval Operations:
Congratulations on your receipt of an offer of appointment to the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1995. Should you accept this offer, you will be taking an important first step toward becoming a commissioned officer in the United States Navy or Marine Corps.
Your four years at the Academy will challenge you both academically and physically. You will experience a special camaraderie with your fellow midshipmen and a proud sense of accomplishment. You will receive an education which will prepare you for a career as a leader in the world’s most capable and technologically advanced Navy. You will be given every chance to realize your full potential as you gain the knowledge and acquire the skills needed to be a leader on our Navy/Marine Corps team.
You have already demonstrated an outstanding ability to excel. The Naval Academy will offer you the opportunity to expand that ability even more.
I extend to you my sincere congratulations and best wishes for continued success.
Frank B. Kelso, II
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Megan McClung was one of five Admiral Farragut Academy cadets to gain acceptance to the United States Naval Academy in 1991. She was the first to receive official word.
While Megan promised herself she wouldn’t celebrate in public, she couldn’t help herself upon reading the letter. With almost no control over her mind and body, she leapt as high in the air as any young gymnast was capable and let out a celebratory shout.
A cadet named Spencer, who would soon become one of the “Farragut Five” accepted to Annapolis, was initially jealous. That was until he realized that Megan, as the first woman to not only get into Admiral Farragut but jump from that academy to the legendary one in Annapolis, earned every right to rejoice.
“She’s proud,” Spencer told a classmate. “And she darn well should be.”
Inside the 1991 Admiral Farragut yearbook is a picture of the first woman ever to attend the prestigious academy, which is now located on a single campus in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
“If it wasn’t for her example, the women at Farragut never would have been able to do what they did,” Megan’s company commander Sean Rankine later said. “That program wouldn’t have survived.”
Next to Megan’s yearbook picture are her nicknames at the school: “FC, Giggle B and Sinead,” most likely a reference to pop singer Sinead O’Connor. The description also notes her participation in gymnastics, love of her home state of California, apple juice and “codes”—undoubtedly referencing the secret system she maintained with her company commander. It also lists her ambition as “test pilot, U.S. Navy,” since women were still two years away from being allowed to fly combat aircraft in combat zones.
The description’s last line is the cadet’s personal quote.
“I am more scared of being nothing than I am of being hurt,” Megan McClung wrote.
Richard W. Fisher is Senior Advisor to Barclays Plc. (a British bank holding company) and a Director of PepsiCo, ATT and Tenet Healthcare. He is Senior Contributing Editor for CNBC.
From 2005 to 2015, Mr. Fisher was President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In this role, Fisher served as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s principal monetary policymaking group. He also served as the chair of the Conference of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, the body that oversees the shared operations of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. For five years he served as chair of the IT Oversight Committee for the 12 Federal Reserve banks, putting in place the first system-wide CIO structure.
Mr. Fisher’s ten years at the Federal Reserve were chronicled in the best-selling book Fed Up by Danielle DiMartino Booth.
Prior to becoming the president of the Dallas Fed in 2005, Mr. Fisher was Vice-Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a strategic advisory firm, in partnership with Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State for Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration. He was also Senior Advisor of FCM Investors in Dallas, Texas, an investment advisory firm that he founded in 1987 (see below). He simultaneously served as Senior Advisor to the law firm of Covington & Burling. He was a member of the Board of Directors of EDS.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Fisher was Deputy United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador, responsible for U.S. trade policy and negotiations in Asia, Latin America, and Mexico and Canada. In 48 trips abroad, he led numerous high profile negotiations, including the U.S.–Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement signed by President George W. Bush in 2002; the initiation of agreements with Singapore and Chile; and the U.S. Korea Auto Agreement of 1998. He co-chaired the Enhanced Initiative on Competition and Deregulation of the Japanese Economy agreed to by President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto. Ambassador Fisher was a senior member of the team that negotiated the U.S.–China and U.S.–Taiwan bilateral agreements for accession to the World Trade Organization and had oversight responsibility for the implementation of NAFTA. While serving as Deputy USTR, Ambassador Fisher served as Vice-Chairman of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and as an alternate member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Prior to joining the government, Mr. Fisher was Founder and Managing Partner for ten years of Fisher Capital Management (FCM) and Fisher Ewing Partners, with $500 million in equity capital. Fisher Ewing’s sole fund, Value Partners, earned a compound rate of return of 23.6% per annum during Mr. Fisher’s 9-year period as Managing Partner. Mr. Fisher began his career in 1975 at the private banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH), as Assistant to Robert V. Roosa. He was “lent out” to the Carter Administration to serve as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury from 1977-79 then rejoined BBH to establish their operations in Texas. He was Senior Manager of BBH’s investment management and corporate finance operations in Texas until creating FCM in 1987.
Mr. Fisher was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, Harvard (B.A. cum laude in economics), Oxford (Latin American politics) and Stanford (M.B.A.). He has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bryant University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College at Oxford University. He served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard from 2012-2017 where he chaired the Finance, Administration and Management Committee, was chairman of the Social Sciences Committee, and was a member of the university’s Inspections (audit) Committee. He is a trustee of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, the American Council on Germany, and the John Tower Institute at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Fisher is also a trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation at the University of Texas.
Mr. Fisher is a first generation American, the son of an Australian father and South African mother. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, having spent his formative years in Mexico. He is the proud father of four children: Anders, Alison, Miles and Texana.
In 2006, Mr. Fisher received the Service to Democracy Award and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Public Service from the American Assembly. In 2009, he was inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame. In 2014, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. In February of 2015, he received the Order of the Aztec Eagle award, the highest honor given by the Mexican government to foreigners. He received the Neil Mallon Award, presented by former Secretary of State George Shultz, in October of 2015.
Mr. Fisher has been involved in a long history of charitable activities. He endowed the Fisher Family Commons at Harvard and also the Fisher Family Distinguished International Fellows program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The Fisher Family Award for Community Service (and variations thereof) is given annually at St. Albans School and National Cathedral School in Washington D.C. and at St. Mark’s School, the Hockaday School and the Episcopal School of Dallas. A chair in Women’s Mental Health Studies at Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas is named in honor of his late daughter Texana Fisher. He has served on numerous eleemosynary boards, ranging from Goodwill of Dallas (Chair), the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony, Boys Clubs of Dallas, and The Dallas Committee on Foreign Affairs (Founder and Chair).
Honoring the Past. Propelling the Future
Alumni Homecoming 2022 Recap
Homecoming this year was one for the record books as it had been two years since we had been able to gather in person. This event proved to be very special and was held for the first time in the Winter hoping for larger crowds of northern alumni who wanted to enjoy the sun and warmth that is St. Petersburg in February. The weather and activities did not disappoint.
Following this year’s successful virtual Homecoming, Farragut will be building on that success and starting a new tradition beginning in winter 2022 by moving the annual Alumni Homecoming to late January / early February (date TBA). What better place to be in late winter than St Petersburg! We are also fairly certain there will be no threat of hurricanes as there has been with the annual fall date. Additionally, this gives Farragut Basketball a chance to shine in the alumni limelight as Homecoming will be centered around a home basketball game –and perhaps an alumni game as well.
Recently, the Farragut Board of Directors came to the difficult decision to discontinue the football program, a decision made even more difficult as many of the board members played football at Farragut. The Board of Directors took into consideration student wellness, liability factors and scientific studies showing a link between football and traumatic brain injuries that lead to lasting health problems. Not surprisingly, many parents are deciding that their children’s well-being is too important to risk for the sake of a game. While high school football still attracts more players than other sports, the numbers have been steadily declining nationally, particularly at small, private independent schools. Several factors are seen as responsible for the decline in football participation, including rising costs, changing demographics, schools offering alternative sports, and players specializing in one sport. Clearly, though, the biggest issue has been increased awareness and research about the potential health problems associated with football.
While safety and participation are the key reasons, the board also considered financial and operational resources and constraints. Fielding a football team is a tremendous financial burden on the athletic department. The overall costs required to equip, train, and prepare a team extend well beyond the scope of a 10-week regular season. Therefore, considering the school’s Covid-19 related budget cuts, safety concerns, and overall financial constraints, it was decided to end the Farragut football tradition and apply those resources to Farragut’s other athletic programs such as basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, sailing, and track & field.
Rest assured that this decision will not erase nor diminish the past achievements of Farragut Football and we will continue to celebrate those achievements. We remain fully committed to fulfilling our mission to provide a college preparatory environment that promotes academic excellence, leadership skills, and social development within a diverse community of young men and women and recognize the critical role that athletics plays in doing so. This year, AFA fielded 20 athletic teams and 78% of our students participated in one or more sports.
The discontinuation of football coupled with the potential to attract greater attendance for a winter event in Florida, is an opportunity for Farragut to develop new traditions for Homecoming and our greater alumni community. We look forward to an increase in travel in the coming year and the opportunity to welcome you all back to campus for Homecoming 2022.