Lecture Contest

This year the Mary Lou Fulton "Faith-Intellect-Character Lecture" and Essay Contest had a record number of submissions. Students were asked to respond to this prompt:

Character is the aim of true education… An upright character is the result of continued effort and right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts.

Undergraduate Submissions:
Allie Oniki, 1st place winner - An Education in Kindness
Jessica Wood, 2nd place winner - A Giggle from a Nearby Tree
Bethany Gold, 3rd place winner - Building Character and Embracing Mistakes

Graduate Submissions:
Pamela Smalley, 1st place winner - Transcending Mere Instruction
Jannelyse Allred, 2nd place winner - A Test of Character
Sadie Clark, 3rd place winner - Life Beyond Tragedy: Lessons from a 10-Year-Old Girl 

This event is made possible by the generosity of Sister Mary Lou Fulton of whom this lecture and essay contest is named after.

Mary Lou Fulton grew up in a non-LDS family and had loving parents. She graduated from High School and immediately became employed. A family friend convinced her to attend Arizona State University, where she earned bachelor’s degree in education.

She met and married Ira A. Fulton. Always a Christian, it wasn’t long before Mary Lou studied and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She stayed at home to raise their three children, Lorie, Greg and Doug.

Mary Lou passed away on October 1st, 2015, in Chandler, AZ. She had a great sense of humor and was graceful and elegant as she enjoyed the beauty of the world around her. But she always said that the “eternal nature of the family is what makes life so very, very beautiful.”

Ira and Mary Lou Fulton have been very generous donors to BYU and the McKay School since 1999, helping shape the education for thousands of students with their generosity.  

In 2023, the David O. McKay School of Education established the Mary Lou Fulton Lecture and Essay Contest celebrating the Faith, Intellect, and Character espoused by President McKay. The lecture and essay contest will occur every winter semester. The lecture will focus on faith and intellect. The essay contest will focus on character, per David O. McKay’s emphasis on character.

We are so very thankful to the Fulton family.