SALEM, VA-Roanoke College presented its tenth annual Charles R. Brown Award to Dr. Richard "Dick" Fisher in recognition of his many contributions to Salem's community at a breakfast on October 5. The Brown Award is named for former dean of Roanoke College and mayor of Salem, Dr. Charles R. Brown.
Fisher's contributions to the quality of life in Salem are lengthy and impressive. In addition to his work directly with patients as a surgeon, Fisher found time to support the medical field in many other ways. He served on the board for the prestigious Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, an international group of leaders in the field. He founded the Lewis-Gale Medical Foundation and served as its president for 15 years. In 1980, he founded Life Guard 10 helicopter services at Lewis-Gale Hospital and was a principal supporter of the service.
Fisher was the founder of the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association and served as its president for 18 years. Fisher also was chairman of the Salem School Board during the period when the important decision was made to establish the independent Salem School system.
A strong supporter of many Salem civic organizations and historical groups, including Salem Historical Society, Rotary Club, and Sports Foundation, Fisher purchased and restored two historic buildings and received National Historic Landmark status for each. He was the driving force for the Andrew Lewis statue at Salem Civic Center, which sits on land once owned by Lewis.
Fisher served in the Air Force before returning to the Roanoke Valley to begin his work as an orthopedic surgeon at Lewis-Gale Clinic and Hospital. He was instrumental to Lewis-Gale's move to Salem in the early 1970s, bringing a tremendous medical resource and a major employer to the city.
The Brown Award serves to recognize outstanding citizens of Salem who have contributed to the quality of life in their community. The recipient is chosen for following in the example of Dr. Charles Brown, the first true dean of Roanoke College and the only employee to also serve as the mayor of Salem.
Previous recipients of the Brown Award include: Louise Braxton, Dr. Esther Brown, Clarence P. Caldwell Jr., Roy Henrickson, Brian Hoffman, the late Norwood C. Middleton, Warren Moorman, Missouri "Mo" Nelson, Gerald Pace, the late William J. Paxton Jr., Ray Robinson and the late James E. Taliaferro.
Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 1,970 students represent 40 states across the U.S. and 26 foreign countries.
For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.