Stewart Fulbright, Tuskegee Airman who became professor emeritus at NCCU

Michael Eli Dokosi May 28, 2020 at 03:00pm

May 28, 2020 at 03:00 pm | Faces of Black Excellence, History

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

May 28, 2020 at 03:00 pm | Faces of Black Excellence, History

Stewart Fulbright via findagrave.com

While still a young fella, Stewart Fulbright desired to fly, so constructed model airplanes and read magazines about flying. After graduating from Lincoln High School in Springfield in 1937, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and trained in Tuskegee, joining the training program held for African-American pilots at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. He would serve with the 477th Bombardment Group.

Life in the segregated army was tough, especially when confronted with racist white instructors. African-American pilots nonetheless played crucial roles during World War II and Fulbright as a trailblazer piloted a bomber during the war. Fulbright was one of the first pilots on the B-25 in charge of the crew. He was among the Tuskegee Airmen present in 2007 in Washington, D.C., when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

But if Fulbright had satisfied his burning desire for flying, his other commitment was to education and learning so upon completing his military service, he earned a BA in French from Lincoln University, attended the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business where he earned his MBA in 1947. Later he enrolled in a doctoral program at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Business Administration in 1953.

Dr. Fulbright became the first dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Business. After many years of service as a faculty member and administrator he retired from NCCU in 1982.

Fulbright was born on December 11, 1919 in Springfield, Missouri. His other accomplishments was getting appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the advisory committee for the Commodity Credit Corporation and getting named professor emeritus by North Carolina Central University.

Dr. Fulbright was inducted into Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2012. He passed away at Durham, N.C. on Jan. 1, 2012 aged 92.

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