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The table is set with 10 chairs to assist students

Thanks to Arizona businessman and longtime BYU supporter Ira A. Fulton, there are now 10 endowed chairs named after Fulton family members at Brigham Young University – each in a different college. Six of the chairs are named in honor of Ira’s wife, Mary Lou, who passed away in 2015.

While named chairs are commonly associated with aiding the work of a faculty scholar, the newly created chairs at BYU provide ongoing resources for student-assisted research and other student-focused learning activities, supporting President Kevin J Worthen’s Inspiring Learning Initiative.

“My hope is that these endowments will help students reach their goals and live their dreams,” said Ira. “I became involved with the Y because of the caliber of the faculty and administrators; I stay involved because of the students.”

Fultons.jpg
Ira Fulton (holding the Y flag with a suit and red tie) has contributed to BYU in many ways throughout his life.

The Fultons originally created and funded chairs for four colleges at BYU more than 15 years ago. A chair named for Ira was established in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering in 2019. Because of their love for BYU and its students, and as a lasting tribute, Ira wanted to “complete the set” of chairs.

This most recent gift helps with the creation of chairs in five more colleges: the Marriott School of Business, the College of Nursing, the David O. McKay School of Education, the J. Reuben Clark Law School, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The chair in the College of Nursing is named for Ira’s mother, Myrtie Lee Fulton.

“In our college, Fulton funds support students with internships, mentored research, and scholarly conference attendance,” said Dean Ben Ogles of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. “The benefits are profound and transformative and provide opportunities that could not be accessed without the Fultons’ help.”

“BYU is a special place — Ira and I feel that every time we set foot on campus,” said Mary Lou in 2005 when the original chairs were established. “We’re just happy to be in a situation that allows us to play a role in helping students and faculty succeed.”

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