Leaving a Legacy
General Carlton Fulford ’66, USMC (Ret.)
When Carlton Fulford Jr. graduated from the Academy in 1966, his classmates noted in the Lucky Bag yearbook that he was "bound for a successful career." That's an understatement.
Entering the Marines at the height of the Vietnam conflict, he commanded Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Later command assignments ranged from Commanding Officer, Task Force "Ripper" during Operation Desert Storm to Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command.
Following his retirement, he was a National Security Council envoy to East Africa’s Great Lakes Region, became the director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and was a negotiator in the Sudanese peace process resulting in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord. It’s not surprising that he was named a U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate in 2010. It’s also not surprising that Fulford and his wife, Mary Ann, have made the Naval Academy one of their top philanthropic priorities.
“I consider the lessons I learned at the Naval Academy as the foundation to whatever success I enjoyed in my almost 40-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps,” said Fulford, who also has served as a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Board of Directors. “The life lessons have served me well and the many friendships are enduring. I am concerned about our nation, our world and the complex environment in which today’s midshipmen will be destined to lead. The federal government supports our Academy, but that margin of excellence needed to prepare our graduates for the difficult and demanding tasks ahead will come through philanthropic support.”
The Fulfords have been supporting the Naval Academy for more than 30 years, beginning with relatively modest annual gifts and increasing over time, inspired by the example of Colonel Robert Means Thompson, the Academy’s first major philanthropist.
“While I could never hope to match Colonel Thompson’s accomplishments, I do share his passion about the Naval Academy,” said Fulford. In an effort to ensure his and his wife’s commitment to the Academy endures beyond their lifetime, the Fulfords included a gift in their will for the Naval Academy Foundation.
“I encourage you to consider planning a gift from your will,” said Fulford. “Through your giving, you will demonstrate your patriotism, your gratitude to the Naval Academy and your support for future naval leaders. You will not regret it!”
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