Winning Philosophy Inspires Fulchino Gift
The Fulchinos may sound like the typical Boston College Athletics benefactors. Paul Fulchino '69 holds an enduring love of sports, and both he and his wife, Pat, have strong Boston roots. But it is a personal connection to BC that truly motivates their support.
Fulchino is a Boston College High School Hockey Hall of Famer who played on the same team as BC Men's Hockey Coach Jerry York '67, MEd'70, CAES'73, in the 1960s. After a successful freshman year at West Point, Fulchino decided that a military career was not for him and subsequently entered BC as a sophomore. By then he was married with a child. During his undergraduate years, Fulchino kept up with the rigors of his math major while working full time at Raytheon.
Taking in a few Eagles hockey games provided a rare but much-needed indulgence for him.
Years later, that love of BC sports would be reignited during a University event in Dallas, where Fulchino, then the president, chairman, and CEO of Texas-based aerospace company Aviall Inc., and his wife listened to an address given by BC Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo.
"When Gene stated to the group, 'I'd rather be number 25 in the country and graduate 99 percent of our athletes than be number one and graduate 45 percent of our athletes,' the reaction was overwhelming," recalls Fulchino. "Everyone applauded him for that in the great state of Texas, the football capital of the country." Fulchino was impressed, too, and it wasn't long before he was also in touch with his old teammate Jerry York.
"I think those two guys drove my interest back into BC," Fulchino says of DeFilippo and York. "I trust them because they believe in education first and athletics second."
Now personally invested in BC in a way he hadn't previously considered, Fulchino and his wife have endowed a $1-million Cornerstone Scholarship for the men's hockey team.
The Fulchinos are not just subsidizing the education of team forward Bill Arnold '14; they provide guidance to him as a student and an athlete. In email exchanges, Arnold updates the couple on his life at Boston College, and Fulchino offers advice, most recently encouraging him not to turn pro until graduation.
"He's a great kid," says Fulchino, who has ensured that Arnold's education and growth as a student-athlete are in great hands—the Fulchinos', Coach York's, and BC's.