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“Everybody needs a hangout.” When Ed Fuller was a BU undergraduate, local pubs were just that—and much more. Those years were a tumultuous time for Fuller (Questrom’68). He’d started out at Wake Forest University, but then his parents divorced. Reeling from the change, he transferred to BU.
“At first, I was frustrated,” he says. “I felt a little lost in the crowd. But then I made some close friends, and they encouraged me to stick around.” By the time Fuller graduated, he was the business manager of one of the two University newspapers, a member of the student government and the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, and treasurer of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He was also tapped to join Scarlet Key. “BU was a critical crossroads,” he says. “The University helped me get my life back together.”
For Fuller and his friends, places like the BU Pub or the Dugout on Comm Ave were among their favorite gathering spots. “I have tons of great memories of being out with my friends,” Fuller says, smiling. “When we had been through stressful situations like big tests, we’d sit down and, well, make sure we got ourselves reinforced for the next one.”
In 2017, Fuller and his wife, Michela Fuller, made a major gift to support the renovation and expansion of the BU Pub, which reopened as Fuller’s BU Pub in their honor in September 2018. Still located on the ground-floor level of the Castle on Bay State Road, the Pub continues to serve the BU community year-round—only now it boasts a full kitchen, an expanded floor plan, and a four-season terrace. Upstairs is the new Dahod Family Alumni Center.
That the Pub is adjacent to BU’s alumni center has special meaning for Fuller, one of the University’s most dedicated alumni leaders. He has served BU as a trustee, vice chair of the Board of Overseers, and president of the Alumni Association; he remains a member of the International Advisory Board. In 1998 he received a Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award, and, through his generous support of the Pub and many other BU programs and activities, he is a member of the William Fairfield Warren Society.
He also knows a thing or two about what makes a good pub. He worked for Marriott International for more than 40 years, serving as president of international lodging for the last 22 of them—essentially leading Marriott’s global expansion, and visiting many pubs in the process (he cites the Red Ox Inn in Germany’s Heidelberg as a particular favorite).
“The community of a pub is really what makes it successful,” he says. “You really want a pub to be an exciting place, where people come together. When you put alumni in that sort of setting, they’re telling stories, they’re reconnecting. That’s why a pub is perfect next to an alumni center.”
Today, the Fullers live in California—Ed is president of the consulting cooperative Laguna Strategic Advisors LLC, and engages in a wide range of civic and professional activities—so they’re especially glad to have a place to meet up with friends when they visit campus.
“Bringing the alumni together is hard to do when you don’t have a space. Now, you can say, ‘Hey, I’ll meet you over at the alumni center.’ You can do some business at the center, and then meet up with friends at the Pub.
“I knew I was going to make this gift to BU, so the only question was just where to put it,” Fuller adds. “The Pub turned out to be the answer. I felt this would support all alumni, but also touch my friends. I’ll see them there soon, we’ll have a good drink, and we’ll celebrate our lives and our experiences.”