G. Fulton Collins III (1943-2008)
2010 Outstanding Business Leader
Fulton Collins was a distinguished leader in business and community whose exceptional insight, energy and vision were transformational to industry and higher education. His ability to inspire was matched only by his desire to see others thrive, as evidenced by a legacy of enhancements he spearheaded at The University of Tulsa.
After graduating from Stanford University, Collins served as an executive from 1971 to 1980 with Syntex Corporation, a Palo Alto pharmaceutical and biotech company that developed naproxen (Aleve) and made other advances. He then moved to Oklahoma to lead Tulsa's Liberty Glass, which developed a breakthrough molding method and spun off a new venture before its successful sale in 1994.
Collins joined The University of Tulsa Board of Trustees in 1993 and was named chairman in 1997, beginning a tenure that would be marked by bold aspiration, decisive execution and unparalleled momentum. Under his leadership, the university experienced dramatic growth - doubling its endowment, doubling its facilities and more than doubling applications for undergraduate admission. These milestones and countless others sprang from Collins' vision of a nationally competitive university built upon solid finances, selective admissions and a vibrant residential campus.
His belief in potential synergies between the city of Tulsa and TU prompted him to work with business faculty to design a flexible MBA program addressing the evolving needs of Tulsa employers. To support that new MBA program, he launched a $30 million fundraising campaign that continues today. In his honor, the university named its business college the Collins College of Business in 2008.
Collins' history of service includes work with the Young Presidents' Organization; the World President's Organization; the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce; the Tulsa Philharmonic; the Tulsa YMCA and Westside YMCA; the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross; Tulsa's Children's Medical Center; Hillcrest Healthcare; the Philbrook Museum of Art; and the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce.
A three-time Stanford alumnus, Collins earned a BA in Economics (1965); an MBA (1967); and an MS in Operations Research (1968). He was an avid runner, bicyclist and tennis player who loved to travel. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather; a steadfast friend; a gifted and passionate leader. He is survived by his wife, Susie; four children, Fulty Collins, Carolyn Collins, Suzanne Yonkers, Chrissy Collins; and three grandsons.