Former inmate brings warning for students

Students listen to Fisher talk about drinking and driving. "I don't want any of you to make mistakes like I did," Fisher said.
Photo by Mitchell Kraus

MITCHELL KRAUS | Reporter

Understanding that choices have consequences was the message brought to Lindenwood’s campus Wednesday night.

Ethan Fisher is a convicted felon and former college basketball player who now gives presentations to groups of students, athletes and inmates all over the country. He was invited to campus by the Campus Activities Board as part of Better Yourself Week, an annual event in the fall semester.

Unlike the many self-building events of Better Yourself Week, Fisher’s presentation came as a warning for the 15 students in attendance.

“I am here to talk to you about your life and the opportunities you have,” Fisher said.

Fisher never set out to be a public speaker; in fact, he took his college public speaking course online. After what he went through, however, he knew that he had a powerful story to tell.

Fisher started drinking as a junior in high school. By his senior year he was drinking every day, and after high school his alcoholism and drug addictions forced him out of college every time he tried.

Fisher explained that he began drinking in an attempt to be cool and meet girls, but he started to use it as a coping mechanism when life became stressful.

“School was always easy for me,” Fisher said. “So I thought I would be able to drink and smoke weed and keep my grades up.”

While at his fifth college he attended a fondue party where he drank, jumped into the hot tub and drove off at a speed of 70 mph when he crashed into William J. Finnerty III, 57, killing him instantly.

Fisher wants the people to hear his speeches to live every day with their goals in mind and never lose personal accountability.

“Prison is much easier than knowing that I killed somebody” Fisher said. “But I did, and I have to live with it for the rest of my life.”

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