BYU Today

Fultons Donate Three New Academic Chairs


A gift of $15 million will provide scholarships, mentoring, and internship opportunities for students.

BYU announced the formation of three $5 million academic chairs in three colleges: Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Health and Human Performance; and Humanities.

The chairs, which are named in honor of donor Mary Lou Fulton, will support students through scholarships, assistance to academic programs, internship opportunities, and upgraded learning equipment. The endowment will also augment faculty support of mentored learning, boost research efforts, and provide for guest lecturers.

“This gift to Brigham Young University is another example of the generosity of our wonderful friends Ira and Mary Lou Fulton,” said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. “These chairs will provide students and faculty with extra resources, helping them accelerate their education and scholarship.”

Ira and Mary Lou Fulton began a relationship with BYU in 1999 after visiting campus and feeling a kinship with faculty, administration, and students. To date, the Fultons have given more than $50 million to the university—contributions that have had a campus-wide impact.

The three chairs just created are in addition to another Mary Lou Fulton Chair, which the Department of Theatre and Media Arts received in February 2004. The Fultons also purchased one of the fastest supercomputers in American higher education, helped fund the new Joseph F. Smith Building and the Athletic Complex, and financed many student scholarships. Among other donations, the Fultons have provided for improvements to the Psychology Department, the School of Technology, the Harold B. Lee Library, and the Museum of Art. In 2003, the university renamed its engineering college the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.

BYU is a special place,” said Mary Lou. “Ira and I feel that every time we set foot on campus. We’re just happy to be in a situation that allows us to play a role in helping students and faculty in need.”