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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

SU Mourns the Loss of Charles R. Fulton: 1919-2005

class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---Charles R. Fulton, a philanthropist and leader in the poultry industry who, with his wife, Martha, founded the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University, died Sunday, October 30, at his home in Snow Hill, MD, following a long illness. With his death, SU lost a champion and friend.

class=""MsoNormal"">“Chuck Fulton, with his wife, Martha, has had a tremendous impact on Salisbury University and this region,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.  “Their founding endowment of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts in 1989 with a multi-million dollar gift established scholarships, faculty research and development grants, a visiting scholars program and increased library holdings for the University’s largest school.  Committed to education, he and Martha established a special scholarship program here for graduates of public high schools in Worcester County, their home.  With his friend, Dick Henson, who endowed SU’s Henson School of Science and Technology, Chuck was always an SU champion, serving on its Foundation Board of Directors with distinction. 

class=""MsoNormal"" style=""text-autospace: none"">“Chuck was a gentle man with a giving heart.  He will be greatly missed - but never forgotten at SU.  My heartfelt sympathy to Martha, his daughter Jennie, and her family.  Jennie once said, ‘He won’t let the land go barren.  If he cuts a tree, he plants a seedling.’  When SU awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1998, we noted that at SU, he had planted a forest which will continue to grow throughout the generations.   He and Martha helped make Salisbury University what it is today.  The campus is blessed to have such friends.”

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class=""MsoNormal"" style=""text-autospace: none"">Said Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, dean of the Fulton School, “Charles Fulton’s visionary commitment to higher education has expanded opportunities for students to attend Salisbury University; spurred student research; enhanced faculty teaching and scholarship in the arts, humanities, and social sciences; promoted cultural, civic, and artistic endeavors on and off campus; and supported continuous improvements in classroom space and technology. Since Charles and Martha Fulton endowed the School of Liberal Arts in 1989, the school has grown by more than 40 percent and its faculty enjoys a growing national reputation. Mr. Fulton’s spirit will continue to inspire and bond the students, faculty, and staff in the School of Liberal Arts, which is most often called, simply and quite fittingly, “the Fulton School.”

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class=""MsoNormal"">When the Fultons announced their gift of $2.5 million to endow the Fulton School of Liberal Arts in 1989, they touched the life of virtually every student on campus.  At that time some 45 percent of all undergraduates were majoring in the liberal arts and all had to study a strong core curriculum in sciences and the humanities, the largest of which  also was in the liberal arts.

class=""MsoNormal"">The impact of the Fulton gift continued in the following years as the number of liberal arts undergraduate programs grew from 11 to 18 (out of a University total of 43), the number of students majoring in the Fulton School increased by over 40 percent, the number of full-time faculty grew by more than 40 percent and the number of degrees awarded increased by 66 percent.

class=""MsoNormal"">At the announcement of his and his wife’s gift, Fulton said, “I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of education for our nation.  The world’s problems are becoming more and more complex and will have to be solved by better educated people.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Fulton maintained his ties to the University as a member of its Foundation Board from 1990-1999.  During that time he served with distinction as Investment Committee chair and on the Steering Committee of the successful SU Campaign for Excellence.

class=""MsoNormal"">In 1998 the University honored Fulton with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

class=""MsoNormal"">He and his wife also have been generous benefactors to their community.  In Snow Hill, their home, they funded the Snow Hill Christian Nursery School and helped launch a YMCA for nearby Pocomoke City.  For graduates of public high schools throughout Worcester County, they endowed a $400,000 scholarship fund for students at SU.

class=""MsoNormal"">Fulton once said, “You really aren’t making a contribution unless you work at it.” 

class=""MsoNormal"">In addition to a remarkably successful career in the poultry industry, he gave his time and energies as president of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, as a board member of the State Aviation Commission during a period of exceptional growth and, closer to home, as a member of the Worcester County board of education and committeeman for Whatcoat United Methodist Church in Snow Hill.

class=""MsoNormal"">True to his word, he worked at making a difference.

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class=""MsoNormal"" style=""text-autospace: none; margin-left: .25in""> The following was read at SU’s May 1998 commencement honoring Fulton with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters:

class=""MsoNormal"">The most meaningful moments in life usually occur quietly.  Charles R. Fulton, you have chosen to live your life doing good--often anonymously, often silently--but always with a remarkable sensitivity and affection for those whose lives you touch.  In short, you are the real thing.

class=""MsoNormal"">For many, you represent the best qualities of Eastern Shoremen--although you were born in Ohio.  As a young man growing up on a farm, you started working in the poultry industry during the 1930s for $13 a week.  You met your future wife, Martha Nock, at the 1939 World Poultry Congress in Cleveland.  A veteran of World War II, you moved to Snow Hill in 1946.  For the next 40 years you were actively part of the lives of Eastern Shore farmers, buying grain and selling both chickens and feed to many of Delmarva’s growers.  For them, you became a friend. 

class=""MsoNormal"">You once said, “I just had fun.  I enjoyed the work ... the people.”  The joy and businesses grew.  In 1965 you merged the companies of Fulton Grain Corporation, Fulton Broiler Service and Nocks Snow Hill Hatcheries with Holly Farms Poultry Industries.  Three years later, Holly Farms merged with The Federal Company of Memphis.  Together they became the largest poultry supplier in the nation.  Holly Farms Foods was sold to Tyson Foods in 1989.  You served on the separate boards of both The Federal Company and Holly Farms Foods.  You also served on the board of directors of First Maryland Bancorp in Baltimore, the second largest bank in Maryland.

class=""MsoNormal"">Such rare business achievement often comes at a price.  Remarkably, you maintained a successful family, social and religious life--and your health.  In balance you possessed your soul.

class=""MsoNormal"">Your public service has reflected that balance: president of the Delmarva Poultry Industry and a board member of the State Aviation Commission during times of exceptional growth. Closer to home, a member of the Worcester County board of education and committeeman for Whatcoat United Methodist Church in Snow Hill. 

class=""MsoNormal"">You once said “You really aren’t making a contribution unless you work at it.”  You wanted to make a difference--and you have:  Lives have been changed.  You and your wife have shown your concern for the problems and education of young people of all ages by funding the building of Snow Hill Christian Nursery School, helping launch a YMCA for Pocomoke City and generously reaching out to a university 20 minutes from your home by endowing the Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury State.  You have continued to serve this campus through its Foundation board, helping in ways impossible to enumerate.  Your latest gift is another major scholarship fund which starts this year. 

class=""MsoNormal"">Your daughter, Jennie, said, “He won’t let the land go barren.  If he cuts a tree, he plants a seedling.”  Through your life you have both blessed your community with bountiful harvests, and, as we look around this Civic Center today, planted a forest that will grow throughout the generations. Mr. President: Know you now that I present to you, Charles R. Fulton, and that I recommend him to you to receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa.

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>The following press releases were issued following the founding of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts and Fulton Hall:

>Fultons Give $2.5 Million to School of Liberal Arts at SSU

class=""MsoNormal"">ANNAPOLIS, MD—At a press conference with Governor William Donald Schaefer this afternoon, a major gift of $2.5 million to endow a School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, MD, was announced by Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton of Snow Hill, and Dr. Thomas E. Bellavance, president of Salisbury State University.

class=""MsoNormal"">This is the third multimillion dollar endowment for a school at the University in the past four years.  In 1986 Franklin P. Perdue, chairman of the board of Perdue Farms, Inc., donated $2.5 million to endow a School of Business.  Last year Richard A. Henson, chairman of the board of Henson Aviation, Inc., also gave $2.5 million to endow the School of Science and Technology.

class=""MsoNormal"">“This is truly a great day in the history of Salisbury State University,” said Dr. Bellavance.  “The gift by the Fultons will touch the life of virtually every student on campus.  Some 45 percent of all SSU graduates major in the liberal arts and all undergraduates must study a strong core curriculum in sciences and humanities (the largest of which is in liberal arts).

class=""MsoNormal"">“Everyone associated with the University is deeply indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Fulton,” said Dr. Bellavance, “both for their generous gift and their personal commitment to enhancing the quality of education in our region and the state.”

class=""MsoNormal"">“It is difficult to fully measure the impact of this very generous gift,” Governor Schaefer said.  “Students at Salisbury State University will benefit for years to come because of the generosity of Charles and Martha Fulton.”

class=""MsoNormal"">“They have done something wonderful for Maryland and we are very grateful to them.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Highlights of the Fulton endowment include the development of curricula emphasizing internships and community service through the liberal arts, a major scholarship recruitment drive to attract highly motivated students, the underwriting of faculty research and development, the enhancement of library holdings and the support of a visiting scholars program.

class=""MsoNormal"">Said Mr. Fulton, “I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of education for our nation.  The world’s problems are becoming more and more complex and will have to be solved by better educated people.”

class=""MsoNormal"">“Salisbury State University is an asset to the community and to the area,” Mrs. Fulton noted.  “A lot of Eastern Shore people would not have the privilege of attending college if it were not here on the Shore.  I think a college education is very important in this day and time.”

class=""MsoNormal"">“I’d like to stress three things,” Mr. Fulton continued.  “This gift is a tribute to the thousands of men and women who helped create an environment where my wife and I would want to work and live.  It’s also a way of saying thank you for the opportunities to live and work in the great state of Maryland and saying thank you to Governor Schaefer for his leadership in making the state a better place for all…to raise our families and share in the quality of life here.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Said Mr. Perdue of the Fultons’ gift, “I want to commend Chuck and Martha for their generous gift.  I can think of no better way to give something back to the community than to support this University as the Fultons have done, making it not only a major economic force in our area, but a vital and exceptional cultural resource affecting the live of all.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Said Mr. Henson, “I am indeed gratified to hear that Chuck and Martha have become another major benefactor to Salisbury State in initiating the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts.  It is not only a great tribute to higher education, but it will be a lasting asset to the entire Eastern Shore area.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Mr. Fulton grew up on a farm in Kenton, OH, and started working in the poultry industry during the 1930s for $12 a week.  He first met his future wife, Martha Nock, at the 1939 World Poultry Congress in Cleveland.  A veteran of World War II, he moved to Snow Hill in 1946 and for the past 43 years has been actively involved in the lives of Eastern Shore farmers, buying grain and selling both chickens and feed to many of Delmarva’s growers.  In 1965 he merged the companies of Fulton Grain Corporation, Fulton Broiler Service and Nock’s Snow Hill Hatcheries with Holly Farms Poultry Industries, Inc., of Wilkesboro, NC.  In 1968 Holly Farms merged with The Federal Company of Memphis, TN.  At one time the largest poultry supplier in the nation, Holly Farms Foods, Inc., was processing seven million chickens weekly at the time of its sale to Tyson Foods in July of this year. 

class=""MsoNormal"">Mr. Fulton served on the separate boards of both The Federal Company and Holly Farm Foods, Inc.  He also serves on the board of directors of First Maryland Bancorp in Baltimore, the second largest bank in Maryland and 86th nationwide.

class=""MsoNormal"">Mrs. Fulton’s roots on the Eastern Shore are both deep and wide.  The daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Nock of Snow Hill, Mrs. Fulton attended Salisbury State in 1937 and 1938.  Her classmates included Hamilton P. Fox, later prominent Salisbury attorney and leader in Maryland politics, Dr. S. Goldsborough Tyler, who became a highly respected professor at Salisbury State University, and poultry magnate Franklin P. Perdue.  Her family includes distinguished civic leaders:  Her aunt, Beulah Nock Allen, was a missionary to India and her cousin, Dr. Gladys Allen, was both a medical missionary there and later served as Somerset County Health Officer.  Allen Memorial Church, a prominent Baptist Church in Salisbury, was renamed honoring the Allens.  An uncle, Dr. Randolph Nock, a noted surgeon during World War II, performed many of the operations in this area at that time.  His widow, Mrs. Frances Nock, still resides in Salisbury.  Another cousin, Garland Nock of Salisbury, was married to the late Senator Mary Nock, President of Pro-Tem of the Maryland Senate who served there longer than any other woman in the history of the Maryland Legislature.

class=""MsoNormal"">The Fultons are deeply concerned about the problems and education of young people in all its aspects, and are active members of Whatcoat United Methodist Church in Snow Hill.

class=""MsoNormal"">They live on a working farm outside of the historic county seat of Worcester, located some 20 miles southwest of Ocean City.  Near their 18th century farmhouse is a pond which serves as home to hundreds of migrating Canada and snow geese during the winter, as well as mallards, black ducks and peacocks all year round.  The setting has attracted photographers from National Geographic magazine.

class=""MsoNormal"">The Fultons’ daughter, Jennie Lynn, is married to A.W. Owen also of Snow Hill.  The couple have two children and live nearby.

class=""MsoNormal"">Salisbury State University, founded in 1925, has an enrollment of 5260 students.  It offers 30 degree programs on the undergraduate and six on the graduate level.  It has five schools, including the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the School of Education and Professional Studies.

class=""MsoNormal"">The Fulton School of Liberal Arts has 11 undergraduate majors:  art, communication arts, English, history, liberal studies, modern languages, music, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology.  Three graduate programs offer the Master of Arts in English, history and psychology.  It is the largest school in the University.

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class=""MsoNormal"" align=""left""> SSU Dedicates $16 Million Fulton Hall"

class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury State University dedicates its first new classroom building in more than a decade, the $16 million Fulton Hall, on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m.

class=""MsoNormal"">The name Fulton Hall was chosen to honor Charles and Martha Fulton of Snow Hill, who endowed the School of Liberal Arts in 1989 with a $2.5 million gift.

class=""MsoNormal"">“The Fulton’s endowment enabled us to begin fulfilling the enormous potential this school has to offer the region and the state,” said Dr. Thomas E. Bellavance, president of SSU.  “Now we have a new facility and community resource which reflects the caliber of programs offered at the Fulton School.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Gov. William Donald Schaefer said, “Charles and Martha Fulton’s generous gift is an outstanding example of the private sector’s cooperation with the state government toward educating and training our future workforce.

class=""MsoNormal"">“This wonderful new facility will provide a great atmosphere for young people to study music, theatre and art,” said Gov. Schaefer.

class=""MsoNormal"">Word is spreading fast about the impressive technology and array of equipment housed in the graceful structure.

class=""MsoNormal"">According to Dr. Thomas G. Elliot, chair of the Music Department and conductor of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, “A number of musicians come here from Peabody and other schools to play in the orchestra.  When we had our first rehearsal in Fulton Hall, they raved about the facilities.”

class=""MsoNormal"">This state-of-the-art complex includes a custom-designed black box theatre, an expanded University art gallery, a modern music library, an electronic music studio, a ceramics studio with outdoor courtyard for raku and other special firings, photographic darkrooms including color and a full complement of rehearsal halls and studio spaces.

class=""MsoNormal"">In addition, one wing, all newly equipped, is completely devoted to computer services for students.

class=""MsoNormal"">This is the first new state-supported structure on campus since Maggs gymnasium, which opened in 1977.  New construction since then, mostly dorms and a University Center, has been paid for with non-tax dollars.

class=""MsoNormal"">The most expensive construction project in SSU history, Fulton Hall is an 85,000 square foot complex which covers approximately the same amount of land as Holloway Hall, the campus administration building and provides some 12,000 square feet more space than the new Guerrieri University Center, which opened in 1988.

class=""MsoNormal"">A sister structure to Holloway Hall, whose soaring classical columns and weathered copper cupola have become emblematic of the University, Fulton Hall also is Georgian in style with Flemish bond brickwork, a high peaked slate roof, a two-story columned entrance, and ornamental bricking.  Roof dormers, curving pathways, small brick plazas and a gently arced one-story portico add to its friendliness.

class=""MsoNormal"">Like Holloway, Fulton Hall is less a massive structure than a series of wings, each with its own personality and function.  The new complex houses a variety of disciplines and brings together under one roof for the first time in the history of the University, performing and fine arts programs in the Fulton School of Liberal Arts.

class=""MsoNormal"">Dr. Sharon Rubin, dean of the Fulton School, anticipates a “synergy” taking place between the different arts, now in the same building.  “I anticipate exciting things happening we can’t even guess about yet,” she said.

class=""MsoNormal"">“By having all of our fine arts together we can encourage the kind of cutting edge collaboration and exploration which is so exciting in a university setting,” said Rubin. Fulton Hall was designed by Gzesh and Associates in joint venture with Bohlin, Powell, Larkin and Cywinski of Pittsburgh and Baltimore.  The contractor was J. Roland Dashiell and Sons of Salisbury.

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