Fulton, wife give ASU $100M - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Fulton, wife give ASU $100M

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Posted: Sunday, December 25, 2005 5:27 am | Updated: 8:26 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Arizona State University received a Christmas gift this weekend that could top any Xbox or remote-control car: A $100 million donation.

It’s no secret who the Santa was behind the gift, which is one of the largest in the school’s history.

Millionaire homebuilder Ira A. Fulton and his wife, Mary Lou, donated the money in support of the university’s programs.

ASU President Michael Crow called the Fultons’ contribution "unprecedented," and thanked them for their generosity.

"What better Christmas present could anyone ever hope for than this enormous gift of philanthropic support?" Crow said.

The Fultons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are also giving $72 million to church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

The latest ASU gift means the Fultons have given nearly $160 million to the university, making them ASU’s largest single donors.

"The best gift I can provide today is the opportunity of a college education," Fulton said in a statement released by ASU.

ASU officials said they still are hashing out details of which programs the money will support, but they said they will not use the gift as budget relief or to pay for new construction.

The Fultons have made large donations to ASU and BYU for several years.

ASU launched the "Fulton Challenge" this year, in which the Fultons matched donations by faculty, students, staff and alumni for educational programs.

A similar challenge was made to raise money for ASU athletics. That effort raised $1 million, which the Fultons matched.

In 2003, the ASU School of Engineering was named for Ira A. Fulton after he set up a $50 million endowment.

BYU’s engineering school also is named for Fulton, who lives in Ahwatukee Foothills.

The Fultons both graduated from ASU. The husband and wife were recently named among the 50 most generous Americans by Business Week magazine.

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