Dr. Howard L. Fuller '62
2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement
Dr. Howard L. Fuller '62, director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, has devoted his career to improving educational opportunities in Milwaukee, specifically for low-income African-American children.
His skills on the basketball court, and his academic achievements led to a college scholarship at Carroll. Although he had attended a predominantly black high school, he purposely chose to attend a predominantly white college. During his first two years at Carroll, he was the only African American student on campus. Fuller was recruited to Carroll by Shirley Hilger ¢43, Carroll's legendary director of admissions. Carroll was also appealing because of the type of scholarship offered to him, the Trailblazer Scholarship, based on academic and athletic performance, and work. In addition to athletics, Howard was an active member of the Beta Pi Epsilon fraternity and elected student body president. Fuller graduated from Carroll in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and history.
Fuller's early career included working in North Carolina for Community Action Programs created by the "Great Society" Programs of the 1960s. He also worked for the Education Opportunity Program at Marquette University before accepting a position as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employment Relations managing a staff of 100 and a biennial budget of $10 million. He then moved on to become the Dean of the Milwaukee Area Technical College followed by a position as the Director of Milwaukee Department of Health and Human Services.
In 1991, Fuller's career took an important turn when he was hired to be superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools. Fuller combined his experiences as a community activist and his experience in social work to fight for and improve educational opportunities for children. Dr. Fuller became nationally known for his unending support for fundamental educational reform. Today, he is a strong supporter of parent choice and is nationally known for his advocacy for charter schools, vouchers, tax credits, and home schooling.
He served as chairman of the board at CEO Leadership Academy, Charter School Review Committee for the City of Milwaukee and Quest Milwaukee. He also serves on the Board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Partners for Developing Futures and Milwaukee Charter School Advocates. He is an Advisory Board member of the Big Picture Company, the National Association for Charter School Authorizers and Partners for Developing Futures.
Fuller credits the education he received from Carroll for much, "I have been very lucky in my life to have had great life experiences and opportunities. The education I received at Carroll has been the foundation for what I have been able to accomplish." Howard joined the Carroll Board of Trustees in 2012. Fuller is husband to Dr. Deborah McGriff, father to Kelli Fuller, Miata Fuller, Jacqueline Cooper, Darwin Mills and Malcolm Fuller and is grandfather to Zoe Cooper and William Rhatigan.