Dr. David A. Fullard

Dr. David A. Fullard

Fullard/Mills Scholarship for African-American Women

The Fullard/Mills Scholarship for African-American Women, established in 2014, is awarded to female, African-American (including students who identify as black, African-American and Afro-Caribbean), undergraduate students enrolled at the Metropolitan Center who meet the Empire State College Foundation’s scholarship eligibility criteria. Preference is given to students who are raising children while working and pursuing an education.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
– Nelson Mandela


“I started the Fullard/Mills Scholarship for African-American Women as homage to the most important women in my life: my mother, Florence Mills; my aunt, Dorothy Mills; and my grandmother, Lula Mills.

These special women raised and guided me in a fatherless household, which is quite common in black families today. They were loving and supportive and knew no limitations as to what one can achieve. They instilled this conviction in me as far back as I can remember.

My hardworking mom, Florence, worked at Macy’s for 30 years until her retirement and continues to participate actively in church activities. Aunt Dorothy retired from Bell Telephone & Telegraph (now AT&T) after 30-plus years and, at age 80, is pursuing her longtime love of photography with renewed vigor. Grandmother Lula, who passed away several years ago, worked at Bienen Davis (a handbag manufacturer) for more than 30 years before retiring.

In recognition of the efforts of this powerful trio, who literally sacrificed and dedicated themselves to maintaining a lifestyle focused on making education a priority in my life, I decided to create a scholarship that would help other families like us. In so doing, I hope they, too, can have a foundation upon which to build a successful and enriching life.

Even though I knew many women throughout the years who raised children on their own while working and going to school, the true reality of my situation was “in my face” when I became involved with Empire State College. So many of our students are self-sufficient, African- American women who “juggle and struggle” to provide for their families while trying to better themselves by furthering their education. So often, no matter how hard they may try, financial issues interfere and their efforts can be thwarted.

I decided to “pay it forward” by sharing the wealth with others who are trying to manage their households, careers and education – especially women who are trying to better themselves, become stronger and more successful while encouraging and inspiring their children to be strong, educated and successful as well.

I especially hope to significantly impact the future of these often unheralded female heads of households who know the key to their family’s career, societal advancement and security is a solid education and who simply need a financial boost to help them achieve their academic and career goals."

– David A. Fullard, Ph.D.