Henry and Jeanie Fischer knew very little about Clemson University when their daughter, Lexi, visited for the first time in the fall of 2016. Then a high school senior from the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Clemson was one of several Southeastern schools she was considering as a potential college destination.
Truth be told, Lexi’s initial visit came close to not happening.
“Even though Clemson was high on her list, we almost didn’t come because of Hurricane Matthew,” Henry said. “The day we saw the campus, it was pouring rain and an absolutely miserable day to take a tour. Even with that, she enjoyed the people and really loved Clemson.”
Fast-forward six years and the entire family has developed a fondness for the University that now proudly calls two Fischer children alumni. Lexi earned an undergraduate degree in December 2020 and her younger brother Cortie followed in May 2022. The youngest, Carson, is a senior marketing major.
The Fischers were recently named 2022 Herb Coughlan Memorial Family of the Year, an annual honor bestowed on a family who has demonstrated dynamic leadership and service to Clemson throughout their students’ time at the University.
Henry, Jeanie, Cortie and Carson gathered on Frank Howard Field during pregame of Clemson’s football contest against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 17 — Lexi was unable to make it due to a previous commitment — to accept the award from Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller.
“Lexi was with us in spirit,” Jeanie said. “It was such an amazing honor and we were really ecstatic to be chosen. There are so many families who feel the same way we do about Clemson. It was a proud moment, because you can’t help but want to do good things for Clemson.”
Henry and Jeanie Fischer grew up in Philadelphia and raised their children in Villanova, a suburb. Despite no connection to Clemson prior to Lexi’s enrollment in 2017, they have been ambassadors for the school. They host students and families in their home, spreading the good word about Clemson.
They have given generously of their financial resources to the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex. On the same weekend they were honored as Family of the Year, the Fischers joined the Snows on-site in a special dedication ceremony. The Fischers committed to naming the welcome center, a future addition to the property.
“Our contacts explained the Snow family’s philosophy of expanding Intramural and Club Sports opportunities for Clemson students,” Henry explained. “Both of our boys played lacrosse in high school. We recognized a shortage of fields and felt it was important for college kids to be able to play recreational sports. It was important to us and motivated us to give to Clemson.”
All three Fischer children were multi-sport athletes in high school and have participated in flag football, basketball and field hockey at Clemson. But that’s been far from their only involvement.
Lexi was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and interned with University Relations as a member of its social media team. She went on to a full-time position as social media strategist at Clemson in Spring 2021 before moving to New York City as a social media coordinator with a marketing and public relations firm in January of this year. Cortie headed Phi Delta Theta’s philanthropy efforts as a senior and now works for an insurance brokerage firm outside of Philadelphia. Carson currently serves as chapter president of Phi Delta Theta.
“It was neat as a family because Cortie asked Lexi when he first applied if she minded that he wanted to attend Clemson,” Henry recalled. “Her response was, ‘I’d be insulted if you didn’t come here!’ We know the saying, ‘There’s something in those Hills,’ but there really is — the families we’ve met and friendships they’ve formed have made our Clemson experience so special. Lexi and Cortie are still going back to multiple football games, even after graduating. At Clemson, it’s not a four-year feeling … it’s a lifetime.”