Jett M. (Jay) Fisher, Jr., an alumnus of the Class of 1979, has been named vice president for university relations at the University of the South, Vice Chancellor Joel Cunningham announced today.
Fisher joined the University in 2000 as executive director of the Associated Alumni and for the past year has served as acting dean of admission. His appointment as vice president is effective July 1, 2010.
“Jay has shown extraordinary devotion to his alma mater since his graduation, and in the past decade has served faithfully where called,” Cunningham said. “His deep and abiding relationships with alumni of all ages and with friends of the University will serve him and Sewanee well in his new position.”
As executive director of the Associated Alumni, Fisher strengthened the Sewanee Club system throughout the United States, led the reorganization of the Executive Board to better serve the alumni and the University, and enhanced traditional events such as Homecoming and the Alumni Summit, an annual gathering of alumni volunteer leaders.
Fisher also established the Student Alumni Leadership Council, a group of undergraduate students who serve as liaisons between their classes and the Associated Alumni; the Off-Campus Admission Program for alumni to assist in student recruitment; and, in conjunction with the Department of Athletics, Sewanee’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
During his tenure, Fisher also served in an interim leadership role in marketing, and in planning and coordinating the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2007-08.
“I look forward to working with Jay as we seek to strengthen our relationships with alumni and other friends of the University,” said John McCardell, vice chancellor-elect, who will succeed Cunningham on July 1. “His commitment to the University and to the critical role of ambassador to our closest constituents will be much valued.”
Fisher earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia in 1983, where he was a member of the Law Review, and worked as an attorney in private practice, as a marketing officer in the financial services industry, and in advertising before coming to Sewanee. He has been active in civic and community affairs here, having served as senior warden for Otey Parish in Sewanee, as president of the Saint Andrew’s-Sewanee School Parents’ Council, and currently as co-chair with his wife Laurie of the Sewanee Community Chest.
Jay is the son of Jett Fisher, C’48. He and Laurie have four sons: Jett III, a member of the Class of 2011, Elliott, Class of 2013, John, and Henry.
“We also want to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to Susan Askew, C’87, who continues to serve in Jay’s stead this year as Acting Executive Director of the Associated Alumni,” Cunningham said. “Jay will be consulting with the Alumni Executive Board over the next few weeks on how to fill that position on an ongoing basis.”
Fisher succeeds Rob Pearigen, C’76, who served as vice president for University Relations since 2005; Pearigen will become president of Millsaps College on July 1, 2010.