A Dartmouth graduate and ordained clergyman, Homer Fuller began his educational career as had his predecessor, in secondary school teaching. During his tenure in office, the Institute came of age. The original three-year program was expanded to four years. Teachers became faculty members. And in 1887, Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science became Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Under Fuller's leadership, Salisbury Laboratories was built, more than doubling the academic space on campus. The north wing of the Washburn Shops (now known as Stoddard Laboratories) was added. Property was acquired in nearby Holden to establish what is today Alden Research Laboratory. Planning and construction of the Engineering Laboratories (now Stratton Hall), the Power House, the Magnetic Laboratory (now Skull Tomb), and the first official residence of the president (now Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity), were well under way by the end of Fuller's term.