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Dick and Malinda Berry Fischer celebrated by Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. – They were recognized individually, but anyone who knows them understands Dick and Malinda Berry Fischer are a team.
Dick and Malinda Berry Fischer celebrated by Oklahoma State

Malinda Berry Fischer & Dick Fischer

The Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources recently recognized each of them as 2016 DASNR Champions.

“It's really been a pleasure and an honor to get to know Malinda and Dick,” said Tom Coon, DASNR vice president. “They are just wonderful people. I can't think of them apart, you always think of them as together, but they have had multiple very successful careers.”

Malinda Berry Fischer’s grandmother was the second woman to graduate from Oklahoma A&M College in 1898. Following in those footsteps, Berry Fischer graduated from OSU in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education before earning a degree from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration in 1962.

Berry Fischer is well known for her business and leadership roles, recently retiring from her positions as president of both Marietta Royalty Company and Thomas N. Berry & Co., an oil and gas business founded by her grandfather.

New York native Dick Fischer began a successful career in law by earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard College in 1959 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1963. Immediately upon graduation, Fischer served as a law clerk with the New York State Court of Appeals.

For the next 30 years of his professional life, he worked for the law firm of Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle in Rochester, New York. He was a member of the firm’s task force on governance that studied, proposed and implemented a new form of governance in 1991 and was a member of the first firm-wide policy committee from 1991 to 1995.

He retired from the 240-attorney, six-office, 120-year-old law firm as managing partner and main ethics partner to move to Stillwater.

“Like so many couples, their strengths and passions complement one another. Dick is incredibly analytical, I don't know if that's his nature or his legal training or a combination of the two, but if you say the devil is in the details, Dick will make sure that the details are right,” said Kirk Jewell, OSU Foundation president. “Malinda, on the other hand, is very gifted as a leader. She has run her own business for decades, but she's very passionate about certain subjects.”

One of those passionate subjects for the couple is water. In 2008, they maximized an investment by contributing to OSU while T. Boone Pickens was offering a matching program.

The gift resulted in a $1 million endowment to establish the Thomas E. Berry Professorship in Water Research and Management. The professorship was created in honor of Malinda’s father, an innovative oil man and farmer who understood the importance of water quality and conservation.

Malinda served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2007, including time as chairman of the board and interim president and CEO. She is a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Association and was selected as an OSU Leadership Legacy in 2002, an OSU Distinguished Alumna in 2006 and an OSU Alumni Hall of Fame inductee in 2012. She also was named the 2016 Philanthropist of the Year by Women for OSU.

Malinda was instrumental in establishing the Wise-Diggs-Berry Endowed Arts Faculty Award for teaching excellence in the arts. She is the chair of the OSU Arts Advisory Council and serves on the Performing Arts Advisory Board and the Doel Reed Center for the Arts committee.

Dick has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the World and The Nichols School (Buffalo, New York) Athletic Hall of Fame.

He served on the OSU Friends of Music board, including time as president, and was an adjunct faculty member in OSU’s Spears School of Business, where he taught courses in personal finance and world trade.


Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
157 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078