Fulton Remembers Her Greatest Supporters With Gift to MU

Joanne Fulton MSW '76

Joanne Fulton MSW '76

Norman Gerald "Jerry" Barrier submitted an entry into a high school essay contest describing why he wanted to be a social worker.

He won.

His own essay convinced him that he could not be a social worker.

As Joanne Fulton, Jerry's wife of 29 years, put it, he was too sensitive. Joanne, MSW '76, served Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo., as director of continuing care and then directed the social work program at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., until her retirement. Her husband often remarked that he could not do what she did as a social worker.

"He lived a little bit vicariously through me," Joanne says.

Jerry's essay showed something else: a sensitivity and intelligence in its author that was fit for an academic career mentoring students. Jerry retired from the faculty of the MU College of Arts and Science, where he served as Middlebush Chair in the Social Sciences and as a leader in the field of Asian studies. He also taught for the Peace Studies Program. Jerry died in 2010.

"My husband cared deeply about the welfare of others," Joanne says. "He had an unwavering confidence in the importance of what I did as a social worker, which inspired me to accomplish more than I ever imagined possible in what I can only describe as a wonderful and wonderfully rewarding career."

Jerry had an aunt back in North Carolina, Catherine Broyhill, who shared his love of books, sensitivity for people in need and interest in mentoring students. She was a high school English teacher with no children of her own so, "Jerry was the son she never had," Joanne says. When Catherine died, Joanne and Jerry agreed they would establish a scholarship in her name. When Jerry passed away, Joanne decided to honor both of them through an estate gift establishing the Norman Gerald Barrier and Catherine Sherrill Broyhill Memorial Scholarship in Social Work.

If you would like to honor loved ones through a planned gift benefiting MU, contact The Office of Gift Planning and Endowments at 1-800-970-9977 or 573-882-0272 or You can also learn more on our website.

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