ASU Alumni — Founders’ Day
The Fulton family —Philanthropist of the Year Award
Presented by the ASU Foundation For a New American University
The Fulton family
Members of the Fulton family are being honored as the 2018 Founders’ Day Philanthropists of the Year for their vision, leadership and commitment to advance Arizona State University and the New American University. As a catalyst for the acceleration of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College — along with investments across the university, from athletics to performing arts — the Fulton family invests in ASU to inspire students, alumni and friends at the university and around the world.
Their investments have created a living legacy of engagement, support and mentoring on campus. Beyond the contributions of more than $160 million dollars to ASU, the Fulton family devotes valuable time and energy to the advancement of students, faculty and leadership on campus and in our community.
From their first moments at ASU, engineering and education students are welcomed by Ira A. Fulton and family; students are encouraged to take advantage of ASU’s resources for success and reminded that college is not a time to find yourself, but to create yourself.
The Fulton family also supports ASU through leadership representation on the Trustees of ASU, the ASU Foundation Board of Directors, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Campaign Board, the ASU President’s Club and the ASU Sun Devil Club.
Born near downtown Tempe in 1931, Ira Fulton grew up defining his own work ethic. At age six, he became a dishwasher in his mother’s café and eventually became the number one newspaper distributor for the Arizona Republic.
After attending Arizona State University on a football scholarship, Ira married Mary Lou Henson and went to work for National Cash Register. While at NCR, he rose to the heights of National Salesman of the Year.
In 1974, Ira became a consultant for Eagleson’s Big and Tall men’s clothiers. With the help of his son Doug Fulton and son-in-law Norm Nicholls, Ira purchased the company and brought it back from the edge of bankruptcy, growing the company to great success. Together they expanded Eagleson’s to 33 retail stores, with gross sales in the millions.
In 1980, Ira and Norm took over Aston Construction, a family building company that would go on to become Fulton Homes. After the sale of Eagleson’s, Ira, Doug and Norm accelerated Fulton Homes from building several homes a year to become one of the largest family owned home builders in the country, living the motto, “You’re proud to own, and we are proud to build.”
Learn more about Founders’ Day here.