By Ralph Moore, Special to the AFRO

When Frank P. Fischer heard the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King speak at the March on Washington in 1963, this White gentleman who was also a Jesuit priest at one time, was so moved that his life would never the same. He made a commitment to see what was then Loyola High School, where he taught, racially integrated. He raised scholarship funds and recruited African-American students from the inner city. In spite of his death in December, 2018, his work is continued by those on which it had the greatest impact. 

A scholarship dinner to benefit prospective African-American students will be held on what would have been Fischer’s 93rd birthday, Nov. 10, in the Bunting Dining Hall at Loyola Blakefield.

Soledad O’Brien (AP Photo)

Award winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien, the guest speaker for the event, has ties to Baltimore. Her mother, Estela (Marquetti) O’Brien was a boarding student at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore while in high school and college.  Her mother and father, Ted O’Brien, attended Johns Hopkins University. Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker for the 180th anniversary of the founding of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 2009. She is currently the host and producer of ‘Matter of Fact’ featured on WBAL TV 11 each Sunday morning. Soledad O’Brien is a member of the Starfish Media Group, a co-sponsor of the scholarship dinner named for Frank P. Fischer.

Anthony Day, Loyola’s president, will give remarks and there will be presentations by African-American alumni.  Mrs. Soledad O’Brien of the Starfish Media Group will be the guest speaker. Starfish is a co-sponsor of the scholarship dinner named for Frank P. Fischer.

African American alumni who graduated from Loyola Blakefield include:  Baltimore City Councilmen Carl Stokes, William Welch and Bill Henry. There are two judges among the black alumni ranks:  Judge William Jackson of the D.C. Superior Court and Judge Charles Dorsey III of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Businessmen Erich and Victor March, City Administrator Michael Guye, attorneys Ronald Richardson, Bernard Edward Justis and Aaron DeGraffenreidt also attended Loyola Blakefield.  Alum Bernard Bowers serves as the diversity director for the school. As many as 500 African Americans graduated from Loyola Blakefield since attorney Ken Montague was the first Black to do so in 1960.

Purchase tickets on Loyolablakefield.org by pulling down the alumni menu and going to the calendar.  The November 10th date will feature the Frank Fischer Scholarship Dinner. Clicking on Nov. 10 will allow the purchase of tickets @ $100 or sponsorship: $5,000 for a Men for Others Sponsor, $2,500 for a Roll Dons Roll sponsor, $1,000 for a Keep the Faith Sponsor and $500 for a Higher Achievement sponsor. For further information, contact Ralph Moore, class of 1970 at 443-255-5600.