William A. Fullagar, founding dean of what is now the University of Rochester's Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, died Sunday, October 22 at his home in Chapel Hill, NC after an extended illness. He was 79.
Fullagar joined the University faculty in 1956, and headed the education school from 1958 when it was established until 1968, when he returned to full-time teaching and research. He was named the Earl B. Taylor professor of education upon his return to teaching.
Fullagar was active in many state and national education associations, and had been a visiting professor and lecturer at several universities, including Cambridge University.
He held bachelor's and master's degrees from New York State College for Teachers at Albany, and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University Teachers College.
He and his wife, Roberta, lived for many years in Mendon. Following his retirement from University in 1978, the Fullagars moved to North Carolina. Mrs. Fullagar died earlier this year.
"He was our founding dean, and I valued his views about the future of the Warner School," said Philip Wexler, dean of the Warner School. "He believed that we needed strong ties with professionals in education. His own administration embodied this view and we are also committed to that idea as a way of achieving educational reform and social improvement."
Professor Harold Munson, a long-time colleague of Fullagar, called him a "great leader" who established the college and helped it win recognition at both the local and national levels. "He was a genuine, caring person, always sensitive to needs of others," Munson said.
In keeping with Fullagar's wishes, there will be no funeral or burial service. He is survived by sons Paul of Chapel Hill, NC, and Neil of Alameda, CA, and daughter Lois Gayle Horn of Athens, GA. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Family members say those who wish may direct memorial gifts in Fullagar's name to the Rochester School for the Deaf, Wolfson College of Cambridge University, or the Adirondack Mountain Club.