Doctor Charles H. "Hap" Fisher was born on March 28, 1906 in Roanoke Virginia. He attended and graduated from Roanoke College in 1928 with a B.S. in chemistry. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois and taught at Harvard University before going on to a distinguished career in industry and government. He served as director of the U.S. department of Agriculture Southern Regional Laboratory for 22 years. After retiring in 1972, he returned to Roanoke College as an adjunct research professor and member of the Science and Math Advisory Committee.
A world-renowned research scientist, inventor, and professor, Dr. Fisher is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and holds 72 patents in the fields of organic and polymer chemistry. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and was on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In 1953, he was a U.S. delegate to the Seventeenth Conference of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry at Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden.
Doctor Fisher has received numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Citation of merit from the American Institute of Chemists. Among other citations, his name as appeared in the National register of prominent Americans and International Nobilities; Who's Who in the World of American Men of Science; and Two Thousand men of Achievement.
In 1963, Dr. Fisher was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Roanoke College, and in 1992, he was named one of the College's 150 Sesquicentennial Distinguished Alumni. He was awarded the Roanoke College Medal in 1996. The medal honors outstanding alumni who represent the ideals of the College through their professional achievements and service to their community and alma mater. The Dr. Charles H. Fisher Laboratory of Organic Chemistry was dedicated to his honor in 2002.
In 1978, in honor of his parents, Dr. Fisher established the Fisher Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an outstanding chemistry major. He also established the Fisher Lecture Series, which draws speakers on science-related topics to campus. Doctor Fisher has had a distinguished career that has included many different roles in industry, government, pioneer, researcher, inventor, author, educator, administrator, and public servant. His accomplishments include more than two hundred publications and seventy two patents, along with many national professional offices and national awards. He is an inspiration and a friend to all those who he has worked with.
Charles H. Fisher received the Roanoke College Medal in 1996.