Harold Murphy



Harold Murphy

Biographical Text

Born in Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1901, Mr. Murphy received his elementary and high school education in Delevan in that state. After he graduated from high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from that institution. While he was an undergraduate, Mr. Murphy was a member of the track team and the livestock judging team

After he received his master's degree, Mr. Murphy (Murph to his friends, which was almost everyone he ever knew), came to Dickinson in 1927 to teach chemistry, agriculture, and several other subjects. His day began at eight o'clock in the morning, and he taught a different subject every hour of the day. A picture in The Slope Teacher shows him with the 1927 football team, and identifies him as "Assistant Coach Murphy," standing next to Coach Harry Wienbergen.

When Murphy came to Dickinson State, the only buildings on campus were May Hall, Stickney Hall, and the powerplant. When he retired in 1966, he said "Our academic program has changed from that of a high school and normal school to a nationally recognized college granting a B. A. and B. S degree.

"Murph" did additional graduate work at the University of Wisconsin during the summers. In 1929, he accepted a teaching position at Iowa State Teachers College. The next year he went to Mayville State Teachers College in Mayville, ND, where he stayed for six years.

Nineteen thirty-six saw him, with his wife Ruth and their daughter (another was born in Dickinson), back at Dickinson State, where he assumed the position as chairman of the Division of Science and Mathematics and completed his teaching career. He retired from that position in 1966.

"Murph" enthusiastically promoted science education and was active in the science and mathematics sections of the North Dakota Education Association. He served several terms on the executive committee of the North Dakota Academy of Science. Mr. Murphy held membership in Delta Sigma Phi social fraternity, Phil Delta Kappa educational fraternity, and was a director of Lambda Delta Lambda national science fraternity, as well as adviser to the local chapter of that organization for many years. During his term as national president of Lambda Delta Lambda fraternity, he published the society’s first newsletter. He was especially proud of the success of the members of the Xi chapter at Dickinson. After a new group of initiates had been accepted he would always look back over the list of members and would frequently say, "It reads like a Who's Who.”

"Murph" received his greatest satisfaction from the success of Dickinson State alumni no matter what their field of endeavor. He claimed that his greatest avocation was playing bridge, but he also enjoyed reading, golfing, fishing, and gardening. In 1940, he said "I have enjoyed my work here because I like to work with young people... and I think the Slope area students rank high in ability."

"Murph" enjoyed every moment of his teaching career, and enjoyed all the students that he came to know. He was particularly proud of the science building at Dickinson State College. He helped plan it and felt fortunate to be able to teach in it for three years before he retired. In 1964, the building was dedicated and named Murphy Hall, an honor deserved by a long-time servant of the "College on The Hill."



“Harold Murphy ,” Dickinson State University Archive, accessed May 26, 2024, https://www.dsuarchive.com/items/show/28.