Leroy Pulver



Leroy Pulver


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Biographical Text

Born in Iowa in 1893, Mr. Pulver attended night school while working for the railroad in order to attain a high school education. In 1916, he entered Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa on a scholarship, and from that institution received a Bachelor of Arts. Choosing the ministry as his life’s work, he pursued a divinity degree, and graduated from Garrett Theological Seminary in 1922, with Bachelor of Divinity degree. During that year, he served a pastorate in Greeley, Iowa, as a Methodist minister. Following that he attended the University of Iowa and received his master's degree.

Mr. Pulver had to work his way through school as his family was not able to assist him. He earned his education by washing dishes and doing janitorial and secretarial work. He became a very proficient typist (he once won a typewriter in a contest), he worked in offices at every college and university he attended, and earned the munificent sum (for that time period) of thirty-five cents an hour.

For three years he taught at Cabin Creek District High School at Eastbank, West Virginia, then became head of commerce and political science at Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska. In 1931, Mr. Pulver came to Dickinson with the promise of a job for the summer. Since his employment was originally for the summer session only, with no commitment beyond that, Mrs. Pulver and their daughter did not join him until September of that year, after he had been offered and accepted the position as head of the commerce department.

Mr. Pulver recalled that "One evening shortly after their arrival, Mrs. Pulver and I were strolling toward the campus, when she asked 'Well, how do you like it?' My reply was 'It's all right for two or three years.'" Thirty two years later, Dean Pulver retired from Dickinson State College.

Mr. Pulver and his wife Marion were the parents of two daughters, one of whom died in infancy. In later years, their daughter Patricia and her six children came to live with the Pulvers, and their house was full with the activities and affection of their grandchildren.

He was recruited to serve under President Kjerstad and saw the bitterness that resulted in the dismissal of both Kjerstad and Pippin. President Kjerstad unfairly blamed Mr. Pulver for his (Kjerstad's) trouble because a Dickinson native, E. C. Culver, signed a petition asking the board to remove Kjerstad. Kjerstad confused the names of Culver and Pulver.

The economic distress of the 30s which resulted in a thirty-six percent cut in faculty salaries made life very difficult, but Mr. Pulver always added that the landlady reduced their rent payment from $37.50 to $35 a month after the salary cut.

In 1943, Mr. Pulver was appointed Dean of Men at Dickinson State, a position he held until his retirement in 1963. He was the unofficial chaplain of the college, and his friendly and sympathetic demeanor endeared him to the students, faculty, and townspeople.

Mr. Pulver was a former Master of the Masonic Lodge, a past president of Lions, an active member of Phi Delta Kappa and the national president of Phi Sigma Pi for two years.

The six story high rise building which bears his name provides testimony to the esteem in which Mr. Pulver was held, recognizes his many years of dedicated service to Dickinson, and perpetuates his name on campus.



“Leroy Pulver,” Dickinson State University Archive, accessed May 26, 2024, https://www.dsuarchive.com/items/show/30.