Celebrating the Fultons

Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton

In 2006, nationally prominent philanthropists Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton of Phoenix, Ariz., issued a challenge to Utah Valley University (then Utah Valley State College) to help create a culture of giving: if the college reached its fundraising goals, the Fultons would match its efforts dollar-for-dollar up to $1000 per donor. "It's not how much you give," said Ira. "It's getting people involved in the spirit of giving that's most important." This challenge resulted in $1 million of charitable contributions by December of the same year, ushering in a new era of philanthropy at the university.

Reaching the fundraising goal was only part of the success story. "I have never seen one single act have such an impact in improving the culture of giving on a campus," said former UVSC president William A. Sederburg. The Fultons' generous offer to match donations stimulated an excitement for giving among everyone at the institution.

The Fultons explain they would rather see their money enhancing the lives of young people than lining the pockets of stockholders. Donating a significant amount of their corporate profits, they have invested many millions of dollars in worthy causes, primarily those associated with education in an effort to educate tomorrow's leaders.

UVU would like to thank Ira and Mary Lou for the amazing fundraising opportunity created through the Fulton Challenge and congratulate them on 60 years of marriage. UVU is honored to consider this wonderful couple among its dearest friends and supporters.