Meet Ira A. Fulton, the namesake of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Born in Tempe, Arizona, in 1931, Ira grew up defining his own work ethic. At age six, he became a dishwasher in his mother’s cafe. He acquired his first “real” job as a newspaper courier at age eleven, eventually becoming the number one carrier for the Arizona Republic. Using this dogged mind-set, he elevated his sights to become his own best role model.
After attending Arizona State University on a football scholarship, then marrying Mary Lou Henson, Ira went to work for National Cash Register. While there, he rose to the heights of National Salesman of the Year. From NCR, he formed his own companies, serving the computer needs of many corporations.
In 1974, Ira became a consultant for Eagleson’s Big and Tall men’s clothiers, in southern California. Formed in 1867, Eagleson’s consisted of two retail outlets and was close to bankruptcy. Within two years, Ira purchased the company, turned it around, and expanded it to include 33 retail stores with sales in the multi-millions. He was also involved in a wholesale buying group which grew to $225 million in gross revenue.
During this same time period, Ira formed Fulton Homes in his home state of Arizona. With cash flow provided by his clothing business, he grew from building several homes a year to the present annual volume approaching 1,500 residential units. Quantity, however, is not Ira’s motivating factor. Rather, his desire is to serve the needs of homeowners to the best of his ability. He does this by providing a work-force of competent, caring people–those who select prospective neighborhoods, those who construct the homes, and those who work directly with potential homeowners.
Throughout his life, Ira has never viewed himself as competing with others. Regardless of occupation, his sole objective has been to be better than his own past self. With quality and integrity as his watchwords, he has worked tirelessly to present families with homes that “You’re Proud to Own, and We’re Proud to Build.”