Emergency Fund Established for Students in Critical Need

Paul Fullum ’72 of Auburn, Ala., knows that sometimes, a little help can go a long way.

Following the death of his wife, Linda Searby Fullum ’72, in 2008, he decided to help others in emergency situations by working with the Salvation Army and the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in eastern Alabama.

There are times when financial support, like the kind provided by these agencies, can change everything for an individual in need, Fullum said.

“Sometimes people are in extremely difficult situations, and a helping hand with life expenses can make the difference in their success,” he said.

With that in mind, Fullum has established the Paul ’72 and Linda Searby Fullum ’72 Endowed Student Emergency Fund, to honor his late wife and to assist SUNY Oswego students who are dealing with an emergent, unforeseen circumstance during the academic year that could prevent them from continuing their education. Working through the Dean of Student Affairs Office, students experiencing an emergency can apply for the fund.

Paul, who met Linda at SUNY Oswego, shared with her a lifelong love of learning—and support for SUNY Oswego—that makes this a fitting way to continue her legacy.

“I’ve always believed that education is something you borrow, then you pay it back to someone else,” said Fullum, who retired and sold his company, Auto/Mate Dealership Systems Inc., only to begin a new educational adventure: law school, an endeavor he’d always dreamed of doing “for fun.” Fullum passed the Alabama state bar examination in 2014.

“We always valued education,” said Fullum, who earned a B.S. in political science at SUNY Oswego, while Linda graduated with a degree in childhood education. “It’s especially important to help those who might not be able to continue without help to overcome a difficult situation in their lives.”

—Eileen Crandall

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