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October 22, 2010

La Salle Student James Fischer Receives National Scholarship from Alpha Chi Rho Educational Foundation

La Salle University student James Fischer has received the Paul K. Addams national scholarship awarded by the Alpha Chi Rho Educational Foundation. An English and sociology major with a 3.69 GPA who hopes to attend law school, Fischer is president of the local chapter of Alpha Chi Rho at La Salle.

“Originally, I applied for a student loan from the Alpha Chi Rho Educational Foundation,” said Fischer. “After the spring semester ended, I received a phone call from Ruth Bedford, who directs the loan program, and she told me, ‘I am very impressed with the credentials you've provided and recommend you apply for one of our scholarships immediately.’” 

To apply, Fischer had to write about himself. “This may have been the hardest part for me because I had no idea what to write about myself.  I sat in front of a computer screen for hours to put together a two-page essay.  In the end, I decided to write about my interest in pursuing a law degree and how some experiences in my life up to this point, such as previous jobs, neighborhood experiences, and my fraternity duties, have influenced my making this decision.”

Along with the essay, Fischer needed a letter of recommendation, and asked a fellow Alpha Chi Rho brother, Father James Dever, La Salle’s minister, who is also advisor for the fraternity’s chapter. “Fr. Jim has been a crucial part of the success of our chapter and its members for years,” said Fischer.

In his recommendation letter, Fr. Dever wrote, “Jim is a dedicated, industrious student. He works hard to achieve his academic success, while still carrying the pressures of everyday life at La Salle, as well as in his position as President of Omega Phi. (Omega Phi is the name of the La Salle chapter of Alpha Chi Rho.) His academic talent allows him to synthesize information easily and quickly process that information into usable components.  He is organized and prompt in his academic efforts, so that he is able to achieve his goals in a timely and appropriate manner.”

Dever added that, “In addition to his own academic interests, he is always available to all the members of the fraternity to assist them in their academic pursuits. I am often amazed at how much time he is able to give to other brothers as he maintains his own level of academic success. Since he has a substantial knowledge base, he is able to assist the brothers in diverse course requirements.”

Fischer was on the way to Wildwood, N.J. for a camping trip with some friends when Mrs. Bedford from the Alpha Chi Rho Education Foundation called to tell him he had received the scholarship.

In July, he attended Alpha Chi Rho's National Leadership Scholarship Institute at Rider University.  “I had to speak in front of almost 100 people at a scholarship banquet, including representatives from almost every chapter, the National Graduate and Undergraduate Council, the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Bedford, and Scott Carlson, the National C.E.O. of the fraternity,” said Fischer. “That experience was really exciting for me.”   

The Paul K. Addams Scholarship is given annually to a member of Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity who is pursuing an undergraduate education.  Addams graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and served the fraternity as President and Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation before his death in 1992.