A family friend’s generous gift allowed Adrian Fulle ’95 to attend Columbia. Now, he’s paying it forward with the Fulle Family Scholarship.
Adrian Fulle ’95 studied Television at Columbia College Chicago, which started him on the journey to his current role as executive producer for Variety Content Studio. He and his wife, Cecilia, just pledged a $50,000 gift to create the Fulle Family Scholarship to provide financial support to students in the Semester in LA program. Here, Fulle talks about his inspiration to make the pledge.
Why did you decide to establish the Fulle Family Scholarship?
When I went to Columbia, my parents didn’t have the money to send me to school. A friend of the family heard that I wanted to go to film school and they gave us the money. Not as a loan, but as a gift. They told me, “Make something of yourself and give back.” Now I’m in the position to make good on that and give back.
I was talking with Sarah Schroeder in Alumni Relations about Semester in LA. I didn’t know all the nuances of the cost of the program or what it takes for students to be able to participate in it. I was learning that some students don’t have the financial means to come out here this semester, and when I remembered this promise I made, I thought, “OK, these two things line up perfectly. I should give back to some of the kids who deserve to come to LA.”
How was it starting out in LA for you?
I moved to LA in the late ’90s and when I got here, I didn’t have a lot of money. On top of that, it’s tough working in entertainment. It’s feast or famine. I’ve been through it so much myself. The one [thing] that always made things tough was being stressed about paying the rent, buying groceries, etc. while you’re trying to practice your craft and launch your career. In contrast, when I went to Columbia—thanks to that gift—that was one of the greatest time of my life. I didn’t have to worry. I just showed up and got the education.
Why do you recommend alumni give back their time, talent, and treasure to Columbia students?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without Columbia. The learning at Columbia, the actual getting out with the cameras and learning from that experience—I am pulling from those skills every day in my career leading up to now. The more I can help others who want to pursue storytelling, the better.