Mary Lou Fulton
Mary Lou Henson Fulton was a retired teacher. She and her husband, Ira A. Fulton, were philanthropists who have given away more than half of their net worth. BusinessWeek has listed them several times among the top 50 most generous philanthropists in the nation.
She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 10, 1933. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1975. With a sizeable donation to ASU, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College was established to administer undergraduate and graduate programs in education. She had a passion for educating children.
Donating to education was a priority for the Fultons. Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, Arizona State University, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and the University of Utah have each received millions for various projects and funds. In 2004, Ira Fulton established The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences at BYU to provide meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. He felt to honor her passion for educating and elevating others and recognize her example. He has donated funds to BYU for five supercomputers, each of which are named after his wife. Fulton and her husband regularly met with students and participated in university events. They also have motivated other donors on BYU’s Presidents’ Leadership Council.
The Fultons have also made significant donations to the Hunstman Cancer Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America. They donate to the Perpetual Education Fund and the Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mary Lou was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having joined the Church after she married Ira Fulton in 1954. She and her husband have three children and made Arizona their home.
Mary Lou passed away on October 1, 2015, in Chandler, Arizona.