Some decisions in life come easily. Cindy Evans Fuller ’72 knew that she wanted to follow in her favorite high school teacher’s footsteps by becoming a math educator. She also knew immediately that she liked college classmate, Larry Fuller ’72 M’76, a chemistry major, whom she and her twin sister, Sylvia ’72, befriended on move-in day.
“I had my eye on him really from day one,” Cindy said. So when he called her to invite her to “the union for a soda,” she dropped everything and raced to meet him for their first date.
Cindy and Larry, and Sylvia and Leslie Torok ’71, would eventually marry in a double ceremony in July 1973.
The Fullers have spent more than four decades as members of the SUNY Oswego community—as students, faculty members, alumni and currently officers with the Emeriti Association.
The couple were among the first students to study in the then brand-new Snygg Hall, and were there when the building was torn down to make way for the current Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation.
“Our entire career was spent in Snygg Hall,” said Larry, who returned to Oswego to earn a master’s in chemistry and was then kept on as the chemistry lab coordinator before moving into a teaching position.
He counts among his most significant contributions his work with colleagues on developing the first facility master plan, which led to the renovation of Rich Hall as the home for the School of Business and laid the groundwork for several other construction projects on campus.
In the classroom, Larry made chemistry memorable for students, especially for non-science majors. For example, in explaining the concept of an electron gaining energy as it moves from one level to another around a nucleus, he was known to hop onto a row of desks and race down the row, hop to the next row—making his way to the back of the room—and then run through the hallway and emerge through the door at the front of the classroom.
“I’d come back into the room, and they’d be laughing out of their minds,” he said. “And I’d say, ‘You guys are now ions and I’m a free electron.’ So that’s what I would try to do in my lectures—something they would never expect, something that would make them want to come back to class the next time.”
Larry also helped develop the forensic science minor at SUNY Oswego, and created chemistry courses in criminalistics and forensic science that complemented course offerings in the Public Justice Department. His expertise in forensic science, particularly in the analysis of unknown drugs and other physical evidence, led to his testimony in criminal court cases.
Early in her career, Cindy taught math in a variety of secondary schools, and then in 1992, she joined the SUNY Oswego faculty as a math instructor.
“My goal was to make math fun for my students,” Cindy said. “What stands out to me from my years here were connecting with those students who didn’t like math, or maybe college for that matter, and talking with them, showing patience so that by the end of the semester, you could see how their attitude had improved and how they could now see a future for themselves.”
They both retired in May 2015, but a Fuller still remains on staff, as their son, Greg, works as a network operations manager for Campus Technology Services. Larry and Cindy serve as president and vice chair, respectively, of the Oswego Emeriti Association.
“We got involved in that as a way to keep in touch with our former colleagues,” Larry said. “We plan social outings and organize a few lunches a year. It keeps us busy and connected.”
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