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1893 Society a natural extension of Schislers' philanthropy
By Susan Field
Arthur '62 and Fannie Greene '62 Schisler, long-time donors to East Stroudsburg University, believe in "giving from whence you got."
"I want to give back because I ask myself, 'how did I get where I am?'" Art said. "ESU provided me with so many experiences that have been integral in my
life. Through sports and classes, I learned about work ethic and how to succeed."
The Schisler's are long time members of the 1893 Society and have recently decided to augment their endowed scholarship that benefits Northampton Area High
School student-athletes by including a provision in their will for the ESU Foundation. Membership to the 1893 Society is open to individuals who have
established an endowment fund at the ESU Foundation and/or named the Foundation as a beneficiary in their estate plans, such as a will, living trust, life
insurance policy, retirement account, donor-advised fund or charitable trust.
Gifts through the 1983 Society have increased the Foundation's endowment, which provides an important source of income to address the University's
priorities for scholarship assistance, funds for faculty development, and opportunities for facility improvements.
Over the years, the Schislers have given back to the University in multiple other ways. Art, a 2006 inductee in ESU's Athletic Hall of Fame for Football
(1959-1961), served on the ESU Foundation Board of Directors. The couple also sponsors the Arthur '62 and Fannie '62
Schisler Endowed Football Scholarship and the Jack Gregory '52 Endowed Football Scholarship. In 2016, the Schisler Museum of Wildlife &
Natural History, which features the couple's extensive collection of taxidermied animals, opened on campus in the ground floor of the Warren E. '55 and
Sandra Hoeffner Science and Technology Center.
The Schislers often sit and talk fondly about their time as undergraduates, while enjoying their sprawling, scenic view of Blue Heron Lake at their home in
Dingmans Ferry. The Schislers, who will be married 56 years this August, ran Schisler Funeral Homes in the greater Lehigh Valley Area for 50 years. They
officially retired on January 1.
"The University has been a big part of our lives," Fannie said.
They reminisce about attending ESU when it was still called East Stroudsburg State Teachers College and the population was small enough to know every
student on campus. They remember being interviewed for admission by the University president and deans and having all their courses picked out for them.
Fannie remembers living in The Indian Queen Hotel, a residence hall for first-year women, on Main Street in Stroudsburg (because of a housing shortage on
campus), then Old Stroud Hall and Laurel Hall. Art recalls living in 226 Shawnee Hall and being involved in the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.
The couple, originally from Northampton, grew up four blocks apart and met in the 4th grade. They were high school sweethearts. When the time came to decide
where to attend college, for Fannie, the decision was easy.
"My parents had a place at Lake Minisink (in Pike County), so I was used to coming up to the Poconos," she said. "I always knew I wanted to go to ESU for
Art, on the other hand, wanted to attend mortuary college, so he could follow in the family business. Before enrolling, he was required to earn 60 college
credits, and decided to do so at ESU. He remembers interviewing with ESU University President LeRoy J. Koehler, the namesake of the Koehler Fieldhouse, in
Koehler's office in Sherlock Hall.
"Dr. Koehler was a simple, honest, hardworking man. He was from the area and never forgot where he came from. My English grade wasn't great, but he said,
'I'll give this boy a chance,'" said Schisler, who remembers Koehler speaking a Pennsylvania German dialect with his father, Harold, when they met. "For the
first year or two, I'd see Dr. Koehler around campus and he would always stop to ask me how English class was going. He was quite the gentleman."
Art enjoyed his time at ESU so much that when he finished his 60 credits, he didn't want to leave. He enrolled in the Physical Education program at ESU and
also completed his mortuary degree at an institution in New York.
"Dr. Koehler gave me a chance. It proved that it's not about what you have done, it's about what you can do. Then came along Coach Gregory, who was very
instrumental in shaping my ideas and attitudes," Schisler said. "His coaching and his work ethic taught me a lot on the field that translated to my work."
Fannie remembers Dean Ruth Jones and Dr. Lester Bowers as being influential during her undergrad years. Jones was the Dean of Women and Powers was the
Chairman of the Department of Elementary Education at the time.
After graduating, with her degree in Elementary Education, Fannie taught 2nd grade in the Parkland School District and 4th grade in the Northampton School
District before having their three children, Aaron, Harold, and Rebecca Schisler-Szilli '94. Their sons currently run the family business.
The Schislers are passionate about giving back to the University that has given them so much. They both smile and radiate pride when recounting stories of
attending University scholarship dinners and meeting students who have been recipients of their gifts.
"The University has been so appreciative of what we have done for them," said Art, who hopes that he and Fannie's gifts of support will inspire others to do
the same. "We're so pleased that we can help ESU."
An IRA rollover allows people age 70½ and older to reduce their taxable income by making a gift directly from their IRA.