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A letter from an alum about Bill Fuellhart ’51

September 25, 2003

It may seem redundant to extol my friend William Clarke "Bill" Fuellhart '51 after an excellent class memorial. Yet that did not fully show why Bill's midlife dedication to a cause most important to him, the salvation of Terrace Club, should be meaningful to us. We encounter opportunities every day that with our maximum effort could be undertaken with significant future effect. Bill chose his turf in his mid-50s: saving Terrace from probable extinction.

It was not a politically correct choice. As clubs had down years and small sections and endured poor management, major maintenance was deferred, and operating debt was incurred. The University provided loans, subject to mortgages, that it ultimately hoped to foreclose. Cannon, Court, Key & Seal, and Prospect went this way, and most recently Dial and Elm. But for Terrace, Bill reversed the process. His skill was personalized direct mail. In the ’80s he developed a cadre of devoted alumni members who responded to each quarterly solicitation.

Built as a colonial-style residence, inhabited by Woodrow Wilson as a teacher, and remodeled as a Tudor Revival-style club in 1920, there had been no major renewal to Terrace in more than 65 years. Bill had new structural supports installed, new wiring and roofing, and the first new kitchen on Prospect Ave. Every detail of the property, including the landscaping was redone. The debt to the University was repaid. An endowment fund was started. The famous fire was not the beginning but only an interruption this crusade. Terrace arose from it like a phoenix.

In Bill's tenure as chairman, the concept was developed of offering imaginative food rather than the routine roast beef, hamburgers, and spaghetti. This was especially appealing to the new women members. Terrace developed a reputation for some of the finest food on the Street. Its sections have overflowed. A little club off the beaten path had beaten the odds of extinction. Bill Fuellhart played a major role as Terrace approaches its centenary in 2007.

Frederick W. Fraley III ’54
Dallas, Tex.

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