November 16, 2016

For nearly 25 years, food science students in the department had the opportunity to apply for the Triticus Scholarship, but never knew the name of their donor that provided the funds to help make their college education possible.

Art FischerAt the annual CFANS Thanksgiving for Scholarships event in November, those students and other attendees finally learned the name of the man who has helped to provide over 76 scholarships to food science students: Arthur (Art) Fischer.

Art graduated from the department in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in food technology before starting his career at General Mills. A career scientist at General Mills, Art spent 30 years with the company, including living and working in Central America for the final 20 years.

Upon retiring, Art and his wife Dolly relocated to Port Angeles, Washington. Not one to slow down, he stayed active by becoming a career volunteer. Working with Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance, he made 36 trips to Russia and Eastern Europe. Moving back to Minnesota in 2000, Art settled in Duluth and was active with Second Harvest Food Bank.

For all of his volunteerism, Art was recognized by several organizations, including being named the Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteer of the Year in 2008 and taking home the prestigious President’s Call to Service award in 2009.

But for all of his exciting global travels and volunteer opportunities, there was still one place that held a special place in Art’s heart: the University of Minnesota. 

Art was a great supporter and served on the FSCN Advisory Committee, working closely with the department to help advance student learning and other issues. He loved supporting students, and wanted to see them succeed in industry and in life, which led to his biggest impact on the department.

In 1991, Art contacted university advancement to establish a scholarship fund, with one caveat: he wished to remain anonymous. The scholarship was created and designed to support youth who would not be able to enroll in college without financial aid. It was to be available to any student studying food science, and would be awarded on an annual basis.

Fast-forward 25 years. The scholarship has helped over 76 students study food science, including a few study abroad opportunities to expand student’s global perspective.

Art passed away in 2014, but he guaranteed his legacy would live on. In addition to the Triticus Scholarship, he also designated money to establish the Arthur and Dolly Fischer Scholarship. His generosity will ensure that students interested in attending college and studying food science and nutrition will have an opportunity they otherwise may have not.  During his lifetime, Art Fischer gifted FSCN nearly $5.5 million.

After all those years of anonymity, the students who have benefited finally have a face and name to put with the generous spirit of helping students to succeed in college.

Thank you, Art.