IU East mourns the passing of Chancellor Emeritus David Fulton


David Fulton

The Indiana University East community mourns the loss of Chancellor Emeritus David Fulton. He passed away Sunday, September 11. Fulton was IU East’s fourth chancellor and led the campus from 1995-2007.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and their children, Benjamin, Alison, Kate, and Alex, as well as grandchildren, family and friends. Fulton was a resident of Centerville, Ind.

IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said, “David Fulton left a lasting contribution to this community and campus through service and leadership. Throughout his time at IU East, David oversaw many campus transformations, from infrastructure to academics. As a campus community, we extend our condolences to Marilyn and David’s family.”

As chancellor, Fulton signed over 2,000 Indiana University degrees conferred at IU East.

In May 2016, IU President Michael A. McRobbie recognized Fulton for his service to Indiana University and IU East by presenting him with the Indiana University President’s Medal for Excellence. The medal was presented during IU East’s 45th Commencement Ceremony.

The IU President shared his reflections and condolences, “David was a wonderful and dedicated servant of the IU East campus and a fine university citizen, and he played an instrumental role in the development of IU East as a major educational resource in east central Indiana. Over his more than three decades at IU East, he oversaw a period of tremendous growth, and he led numerous efforts to strengthen the campus’ ties with the surrounding community and closely align its academic programs with the needs of the Richmond, Ind., area.

“All of us at IU were extremely pleased that we could honor David in May with the President’s Medal for Excellence in recognition of his outstanding service to IU and to IU East. We are grateful for the remarkable legacy he leaves, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his family and friends.”

As the top administrator of the campus, Fulton oversaw many projects including the construction of Springwood Hall and the expansion of academic programs offered at off-campus sites including the Danielson Learning Center in New Castle and courses in Connersville.

Fulton was an avid supporter of the fine arts program. He was instrumental in naming the gallery for Tom Thomas (1945-2009), an associate professor of fine arts for over 30 years and founder of the Whitewater Valley Art Competition (WVAC). In addition to championing the WVAC, Fulton helped to establish the campus’ extensive art collection and advocated for the creation of an art inventory at IU East.

Known for connecting the campus and the community, Fulton served on many community boards, including the Starr-Gennett Foundation and Wayne Bank and Trust. He served as part of the Planning Group CEO Roundtable of the Richmond Wayne County Chamber of Commerce; the Indiana University Foundation Development Committee; the Board of Historic Landmarks of Indiana; and the Greater Richmond Progress Committee. He was the chair of a task force dealing with the city master plan, performing arts center, and neighborhood development. Active in United Way of the Whitewater Valley, he served as the 1997 Campaign Chair and board president. He was a board member for United Way of Indiana, serving as treasurer in 1987 and vice president in 1988. Fulton also served on the Community Services Council, Social Services Planning Board, and he was a member of the Reid Hospital and Health Care Services board from 2001-2004.

Fulton was a frequent speaker on current East European affairs, as well as community and campus activities, to local organizations. In recognition of his service, Fulton received numerous awards for his community work.  Fulton’s involvement continued following his retirement from IU East in July 2007, including continuing service on the boards of the Starr-Gennett Records Foundation and Wayne Bank and Trust.

Before joining IU East, Fulton completed his Ph.D. in East European History from Indiana University Bloomington. As an undergraduate, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History degree from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. He studied political science at the University of Manchester in England. As a specialist in Balkan history, Fulton spent considerable time in Yugoslavia in the 1960s and held a Fulbright Fellowship in Zagreb, Yugoslavia in 1969-1970.

Fulton first came to Richmond in 1971 when he was hired as an instructor in history and political science, the same year IU East was established as an institution by the IU Board of Trustees. He was later promoted as an assistant professor in history and political science.

During his tenure as assistant professor, Fulton took on administrative duties as assistant to Chancellor Alexander Schilt for Campus Planning and Academic Development. He was later named director of Planning and Budget by Chancellor Glenn Goerke. In 1988, he was named vice chancellor for Administrative Affairs and also served as acting chancellor in 1986-1987 and again in 1994-1995, prior to being named chancellor.

Fulton previously shared a detailed history of the campus by providing his recollection of IU East programs, initiatives and events which are now archived through the IU East Campus Library.

A public memorial celebration for Fulton will be held at IU East at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, in Vivian Auditorium, located in Whitewater Hall. The family has asked that contributions be made to the Starr-Gennett Sustainability Fund at the Wayne County Foundation.