Gift to St. John Fisher College Supports iFisher Initiative

June 22, 2021

St. John Fisher College’s iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative has received further financial support thanks to a $350,000 gift from Randy M. ’75 and Susan White.

Students working on iPads in a classroom and interacting with other students on the screen.

Part of a broad initiative designed to enhance teaching and learning at the College, iFisher, announced in fall 2020, will provide all incoming first-year and transfer students, as well as continuing undergraduate students, with an iPad, keyboard case, and Apple Pencil. Fisher is the first college in upstate New York to implement an Apple 1:1 program for all undergraduate students. The gift will help to enable the College to provide iPads not only to all undergraduate students, but to faculty who are completing the College’s Apple Academy 1:1 training program. This initiative is an extension of the College’s commitment to providing students with transformative experiences designed to help them achieve their educational goals and early career outcomes.

“The iFisher initiative will transform the way that our students learn and that our faculty teach, bringing additional critical thinking skills, strengthened collaboration, and increasing creativity to their respective approaches. It also provides equal access to powerful technology to all of our undergraduate students, furthering our commitment to equity and inclusion. We are most grateful to Randy and Susan for their belief in the initiative, the power of technology in helping to innovate pedagogy, and in our vision to implement it,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College.

A portion of the gift will also be used to create the Randall M. ’75 and Susan C. White iFisher Endowed Fund to support the program and technology, including maintenance and equipment purchases.

“The iPads are creating brand new ways for professors to meet the unique needs of each and every student through the accessibility features and options to customize the learning experience in real time. I can’t wait to see our students excel in new ways and become competent digital creators,” said Dr. Kristin Picardo, director of the College’s Center for Student Research and Creative Work and a faculty participant in the pilot iFisher project.

In all, 230 faculty have completed the Fisher Apple Academy training and 170 have received the recognition of Apple Certified Teacher from Apple.

“Susan and I are very pleased to make our gift in support of Fisher’s campus community, enabling connection to each other, our community and the world, through a comprehensive mobile technology ecosystem.  The iFisher initiative will transform the living and learning environments on campus to support the four C’s of a 21st century education:  communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. With an expanded toolbox of resources, we are excited to see what academic innovation evolves through the implementation of this technology.  The iFisher initiative will be a game changer and a market differentiator for St. John Fisher College and all who are associated with the College,” said Randy White.