Preserving Our Campus


Richard B. Fisher Middle School

Richard B. Fisher Middle School. The David L. Kurtz Center for Performing Arts. Maguire Field. The Blaine Center for Fitness and Performance. The Kline and Specter Squash Center. Because of the generosity of OPCs and friends, Penn Charter has added to the landmark campus facilities that make the school the best place to teach and learn.

Each of these spaces has features and complexities—for example, the green roof on the Kurtz Center—that require significant resources if we are to maintain them in top condition.

Penn Charter has sought, and continues to seek, to fully endow the spaces as a means to generate investment income that will fund everything from new coats of paint and lightbulbs, to technological and security improvements, to enhancements to support our evolving curriculum.

Jeanne Donovan Fisher is the first to step forward in this new initiative. Her endowed gift will protect and maintain the Richard B. Fisher Middle School in perpetuity, honoring the legacy of her late husband and his vision for Penn Charter.

Richard B. Fisher OPC ’53 loved Penn Charter. He entered PC in sixth grade and, for that reason, partnering with the school to build a state-of-art Middle School had special meaning for him. The lead gift from the Fishers, more than 15 years ago, transformed the campus and created an extraordinarily functional, light-filled and airy Middle School for generations of new learners. Today, the hallways and classrooms buzz with energetic sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Richard B. Fisher OPC ’53.
“Those of us who knew Dick are enriched by his spirit
and his presence.” – Earl J. Ball Hon. 1689

Following Dick Fisher’s death in 2004, Jeanne Fisher has continued to support Penn Charter in honor of her husband. Her philanthropic commitment to Penn Charter—by way of gifts to the Annual Fund, the Richard B. Fisher OPC ’53 Faculty Fund and the Richard B. Fisher Scholarship Fund— reflect her love and her recognition of how important the school was to him. Her new gift protects and maintains the Middle School building that bears his name.

“Dick always felt that in many ways Penn Charter changed the course of his life,” she recalled. “After his bout with childhood polio, he was not welcome in the public school and was sent to the Widener School to ‘learn a trade.’ A kindly local doctor (Dr. Chance, if you can believe it!) intervened and helped arrange his scholarship to OPC. From there to Princeton and beyond, Dick never lost his love of learning, nor his appreciation for the difference the Penn Charter opportunity made to him. I want to continue to honor that in Dick’s memory.”

For Head of School Darryl J. Ford, her gift fulfills her intention. “Every time I meet with Jeanne, I am reminded of Dick’s love of his alma mater.”