Going for the Gold Anniversary
This year, Mary Hough Fisher ’67 celebrates her 50th UF graduation anniversary. In honor of this golden date, her family is creating a $50,000 endowment, the James F. Hough Family Scholarship, primarily named after her father but also for her and her three brothers, Jim, John, and Tom Hough ’75. Fisher’s father spent his entire career working at Bell South and strongly encouraged each of his children to get an education.
Mary Hough Fisher says the family endowment honors education. Coe Sweet
“I absolutely can’t tell you how valuable my liberal arts degree was to me. I used it as a platform to jump onto different things.”
Fisher took her father’s advice to heart and majored in English at UF. “At that time, women were not prominent in the business world,” she says. “But I turned my English degree into a job doing technical writing, which became my entry into business.” From there, her career developed, and she became adept at logistics, inventory management, supply-chain transfer, and IT management. “I absolutely can’t tell you how valuable my liberal arts degree was to me,” she says. “I used it as a platform to jump onto different things.” She later received an MBA from the University of Miami.
Fisher’s father passed away in February at the age of 97. Around the same time, Fisher received a visit from UF development officer Miranda McCown. “Our father had purchased land in Marion County,” explains Fisher. “As a family, we were struggling with what to do with this property. We also were discussing ways of giving to the university. Miranda’s visit was fortuitous.” The family soon learned that the process of gifting Florida property to a Florida institution was fiscally beneficial to both her family and UF. Plus, in doing so, Fisher says, “This is an honor for our father because of the way he raised us. He would love to know that he is continuing to help others get an education.”
Fisher plans to enhance the endowment with funds from her IRA: “The money goes directly to the university, so there’s no tax.” Though the endowment is a family affair, it will be used to support graduate fellowships in the English department. “My brother Tom was a grad assistant when he was at UF,” she says. “He always said he would have enjoyed having more money in college.”