A native Chicagoan, Tim Fuller’s impact upon the Colorado College community — and that of political scholarship at large — is virtually unmatched. A curriculum vitae of 40 pages gives testament to a life of research, teaching, and constant engagement on the frontlines of political science.
His early academic days at Kenyon College, where he was introduced to the work of 20th-Century British philosopher Michael Oakeshott, laid a foundation of intellectual exploration that has since become a hallmark of Fuller’s half-century at CC.
Joining the Colorado College political science faculty in 1965, Fuller arrived from Johns Hopkins where he’d received his M.A., and later his Ph.D. in 1971. Early in his teaching career at the college, Fuller quickly established himself as one of the college’s leading intellectual lights. He is described as “the voice of liberal learning for our time” by Paul Carrese, a professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Carrese has known of Fuller since his undergraduate days at Middlebury College, when he was assigned both an Oakeshott reading as well as Fuller’s own scholarship on Oakeshott. Over 18 years since Carrese took a teaching post at the Academy, he and Fuller have become close friends and collaborators across numerous conferences, events, and discussion groups.
In 50 years of service, Fuller has left something more than a mark on Colorado College; he helped redefine it for the modern era. He helped develop Colorado College’s Block Plan, received three National Endowment for the Humanities grants, served as both a dean and acting president in the ’90s and 2000’s, and mentored generations of students. Fuller’s classes are known for their simultaneous rigor and flexibility, and according to Samantha Ford ’12, produced “some of my fondest memories and most in-depth learning at CC.”
Published extensively around the world, Fuller is a globally recognized authority in political science, public policy, and contemporary political thought. While the life and work of Oakeshott are nearest to his heart (he and Oakeshott became friends after Fuller invited him to speak at the college’s centennial celebration) he is also deeply versed in Hobbes, Mill, and constitutional theory. His connections to the college go far beyond his own, as his wife Kalah earned her MAT degree here, and his two daughters both graduated from CC.
Celebrating 50 years at Colorado College, Tim Fuller remains as active a member of this community as he was when he first joined us all those years ago. Innumerable things have changed in that time; revolutions, wars fought, peace brokered, nations fallen and begun anew. Here with us through it all, as a guide and a friend, has been Timothy Fuller.
Long may it continue; he’s just getting started!
Contributions by Kirk Woundy
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