Women for OSU Logo

The Women for OSU annual spring symposium is a unique opportunity to gather in Stillwater and gain valuable knowledge about philanthropic decision making and leadership. Women for OSU celebrates members of the OSU family who display leadership in philanthropy by naming the Philanthropist of the Year and awarding scholarships to outstanding OSU students.

2016 Women for OSU Philanthropist of the Year

Malinda Berry Fischer

Malinda Berry Fischer,
2016 Philanthropist of the Year

This year we honored Malinda Berry Fischer as our 2016 Philanthropist of the Year.

Malinda Berry Fischer grew up in Stillwater, the same town where her namesake grandmother, Malinda Blanche Wise Diggs, had become the second woman to graduate from then-Oklahoma A&M College back in 1898. Fischer followed in her footsteps, earning a 1960 education degree from OSU. She also graduated from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration in 1962.

Fischer lived in Rochester, N.Y., from 1963 to 1995, serving on numerous boards including as chairman of the trust committee and on the executive committee for Chase Manhattan Bank/Rochester Division and chairman of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. She also worked as a consultant specializing in organizational management and development. In 1965, she was named one of the “Outstanding Young Women of America.” She returned to Stillwater in 1995 to head the family-owned Thomas N. Berry & Company. She recently retired from that position as well as president of Marietta Royalty Company.

She served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 1997-2007, including time as interim president and CEO (2004) and chairman of the board (2005). She also served on the Women for OSU Council from 2009-2011.

Fischer has given back to her alma mater in many other ways as well. She established the Thomas E. Berry Professorship in Water Research and Management and the Wise-Diggs-Berry Endowed Arts Faculty Award for teaching excellence in the arts. She is also a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. She is currently chair of the OSU Art Advisory Council and serves on the Performing Arts Advisory Board and the Doel Reed Center for the Arts committee.

Among her numerous other philanthropic efforts are serving on the boards of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma.

She was recognized as an OSU Leadership Legacy in 2002 and a Distinguished Alumna in 2006. In 2012, she was inducted in the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame.

Fischer and her husband, Dick, live in Stillwater. They have two sons—Richard (Angie) and Van (Darlene)—and three grandchildren: Bretton, Jackson and Campbell.

It was an exciting year for the Women for OSU. If you are looking to be involved or would like to become a sponsor for the 2017 Symposium, contact us at info@osugiving.com.

Past Philanthropists of the Year

2015 - Billie McKnight, Throckmorton, Texas2015
Billie McKnight
Throckmorton, Texas
2014 - Nancy Payne Ellis, Oklahoma City2014
Nancy Payne Ellis
Oklahoma City
2013 - Sue Taylor, Enid2013
Sue Taylor
2012 - Martha Burger, Oklahoma City2012
Martha Burger
Oklahoma City
2011 - Linda Shackelford, Oklahoma City2011
Linda Shackelford
Oklahoma City
2010 - Lola Lehman, Woodward2010
Lola Lehman
2009 - Marilynn Thoma, Chicago2009
Marilynn Thoma

To learn more about giving opportunities within Women for OSU, contact Michal Shaw.