Deborah Simmons Fulton retired as Executive Associate to the President and Secretary to the Board of Regents Emerita on July 1, 2013, after 37 years of service to Southeast Missouri State University. As Executive Associate to the President and Secretary to the Board of Regents for 21 years, Debbie witnessed first-hand the care with which decisions were reached to benefit the students of Southeast Missouri State University.
Debbie served as a mentor to many students over the years. She celebrated their successes and counseled them with their challenges. It was obvious to her that many students juggled studies and work in order to address their financial need.
Debbie was raised on a farm in Alexander County, the daughter of Roy C. and Mildred Prater Simmons. From an early age, her parents stressed education, hard work, and responsibility. Debbie was an honor student and loved to learn, and she was a first generation college student. The University wasn’t just a job to her; the University provided a daily learning opportunity and an environment of learning that she considers a blessing in her life.