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As the recipient of East Central University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980, Dr. R. Darryl Fisher has made a constant impact on his alma mater.

By virtue of his generosity and passion for the university, Fisher has been named the recipient of ECU’s Distinguished Service Award for 2018. He will receive the award on May 11 at ECU’s Evening of Honors and Recognition.

“East Central University and its faculty provided me the educational foundation to build my careers in medicine, law, banking and business,” said Fisher. “I am grateful for my ECU life experience that has guided me ever since.”

Fisher has been a continual supporter of ECU since the 1970s with the endowment of scholarships in the memory of the Morrison family to endowing a fund in 2001 to support the R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Competition that has evolved into ECU’s three-day Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.

Additionally, ECU students have regularly been employed in Fisher businesses, receptions for faculty have been held in his home and, most recently, he inaugurated with ECU the annual Showcase Events Series, with Oklahoma Heritage Bank’s sponsorship, for a memorable evening performance of “The Legendary Violins of Stradivarius and Guarnerius,” in November.

“Dr. Fisher has done so much for the university through programs which not only benefit our students and faculty, but the community as a whole,” said ECU President Katricia Pierson. “From the Fisher Creative Writing Competition to the Legendary Violins event, he is all about educating everyone in unique ways.”

Born in Wewoka, Oklahoma to R.D. and Lurline Fisher, his family moved to Ada in 1950 when his dad began working at the Ada News and Darryl continued his grade-school education at Willard Elementary, then Ada Junior High and Senior High, graduating first in his senior class in 1957.

Fisher went on to finish his premedical studies at ECU in 1960 with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while working in the Sugg Clinic in Ada. He later earned his M.D. at the University of Oklahoma, finishing first in his class.

His residency and surgical training required nine postdoctoral years (1964-73) at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Harvard Medical School in Boston and the National Heart Institute in Washington, D.C. Fisher ultimately became certified in general, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

For five years, he was a professor of surgery at the Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville before returning to Oklahoma City to enter the private practice of surgery. While practicing heart surgery, Fisher completed studies for a doctor of law degree as he graduated with honors from Oklahoma City University in 1989.

He has authored over 50 scientific articles, two medical book chapters and two novels.

In 1994, Fisher retired from surgery to devote his time to writing, expanding the Fisher family businesses (real estate, banking and insurance) and overseeing his family’s ownership in Oklahoma Heritage Bank and the family’s real estate business in Ada and Oklahoma City.

Fisher and Orpha Lou Morrison, his Ada High School classmate, married in 1961. Orpha passed away in 2005. They have two children – Eric, who is an attorney in Oklahoma City, and Laura, who teaches pre-kindergarten in Atlanta. They also have five grandchildren.

NOTE: Tickets and sponsorships are still available for ECU’s Evening of Honors and Recognition. For more information or to register, contact Kacy Clark at or at 580-559-5587 or go online at


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