Kewanee High School & University of Illinois
Carl entered Kewanee High School in 1930 and was elected Freshman President. A popular student, he had an outgoing personality and was comfortable with public speaking. In fact, Carl spoke at the Kewanis Club as part of an oratory program of the Drama Club of Kewanee High School on the character of George Washington.
Carl won best actor in a contest of one-act plays performed for public audiences by the Drama Club. Upon graduating in 1934, Carl received the Kewanis Cup at the commencement ceremony, whose candidates were selected by students in the senior class. Carl continued to be held in high esteem by his fellow students to receive this award that was given for qualities of citizenship, loyalty to the school, its laws, respect, industry, and cooperation.
Though his home life was in contrast to the expectations of his high school, Carl was somehow able to navigate between the two. But in 1931, while studying upstairs on a quiet, winter's evening, the lights suddenly went out. Elizabeth later said that Carl stormed downstairs, loudly complaining of the dark. He was furious to hear that Louis could no longer pay the electric bill and thought they should have planned better.
Soon after, the family moved into Louisa's cottage on Main St., and the two older sons were called home from their out-of-state colleges. The family was plunged into the Depression, along with millions of others. The '20s and Prohibition were over.
In spite of the Depression, Louis refused to give up his racing trotters. Here Carl is exercising one of the horses, while looking quite stylish.
Carl began his freshman year at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign immediately after high school graduation and completed his BA in four years. Somehow his family was able to fund his tuition, room and board during the depths of the Depression. Carl was among the few, fortunate young men who attended university during the '30s. While an undergrad, he majored in history and became a charter member of the Newman Club on campus for Catholic students. Finding a home in the Catholic faith and a mentor in a highly regarded priest, Father OB (O'Brien), he converted or returned to the Fischers' traditional church. There he met Terry Stadler, a first generation German Catholic.