The Finding Aid of the Earl Vivon Pullias Papers 0009

Finding aid prepared by Jessica Geiser and Jamie Henricks
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA, 90263-4786
(310) 506-4434
April 2012

Title: Earl Vivon Pullias papers
Identifier/Call Number: 0009
Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
Physical Description: 20.19 linear feet (34 boxes)
Date (bulk): 1928-1991
Date (inclusive): 1910-2009
Abstract: Earl Vivon Pullias was a professor, administrator and scholar of higher education. The collection includes materials that document his positions at Pepperdine College and the University of Southern California, his academic career and research on higher education, and his personal and family life. Materials in the collection range from the 1910s to the early 2000s.
Location note: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
Creator: Pullias, Earl Vivon, 1907-

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Earl Vivon Pullias papers, Collection no. 0009, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the material was given to the University Archives around the time of Pullias's death. Further materials were donated by Patsy Lovell Trowbridge on April 7, 2010.

Biographical note

Earl Vivon Pullias was born on March 12, 1907 in Castalian Springs, Tennessee. He attended David Lipscomb College, and then transferred to Cumberland University, where he received his BA in 1928. After graduating, he taught English and served as assistant principal at Hardy Memorial School in Richard City, Tennessee, from 1928 to 1930. During this time, Pullias met his wife Pauline, who also taught at the school, and they married in 1930.
Pullias left Hardy Memorial School to attend the University of Chicago, where he received his Masters in Education in 1931. He went on to attend Duke University, where he studied for his doctorate while also teaching courses part-time at the university. Pullias received his PhD in Educational Psychology from Duke in 1936, and continued to work at the school as an instructor, as well as an Assistant Psychologist at the Duke Hospital Psychiatric Clinic.
In 1938, Earl and Pauline moved to Los Angeles, California, in order for him to begin work as a Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine College. In 1940, he also began serving as the Dean of Faculty at Pepperdine, while continuing to teach courses. Pullias also taught courses in the summers at the University of Southern California (USC) as a visiting professor beginning in 1940.
In 1957, Pullias left Pepperdine and took a permanent position as a Professor of Higher Education at USC, where he helped found the Department of Higher and Postsecondary Education. He taught there until his retirement in 1977, whereupon he became a Professor Emeritus of Higher Education. While at USC, he also established a series of colloquiums on higher education, known as the Pullias Colloquiums, which occurred annually from 1965 to 1977.
In addition to his career as a professor, Pullias was also involved in many other education organizations. He served on the Los Angeles County Board of Education from 1954 to 1977, as well as the California Commission on Higher Education from 1960 to 1966. Pullias was also a prolific author, writing numerous research articles on education, as well as several books. His most famous book, A Teacher is Many Things, was translated into nine languages, and other works include A Search for Understanding, Toward Excellence in College Teaching and A Common Sense Philosophy for Modern Man: A Search for Fundamentals.
In 1978, after Pullias's retirement, an annual lectureship series was established at USC in his name. The Pullias Lecture continues today, and is the oldest endowed lectureship series on higher education in the United States. In February of 2012, the USC Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis was renamed in Pullias's honor, and is now known as the Earl and Pauline Pullias Center for Higher Education.
Earl and Pauline Pullias had two sons: Calvin, and John, who drowned in 1957. Pullias lived in Los Angeles until his death on August 20th, 1994.

Scope and Content

The collection contains the personal and professional papers of Earl Pullias, including professional correspondence; copies of speeches and related notes and programs; drafts and copies of published articles and books; files related to Pullias's work as a student; notes and course materials from classes taught by Pullias; files related to his positions at Pepperdine College and the University of Southern California; personal correspondence and writings; family and work-related photographs; journals written by Pullias and his wife; personal memorabilia; and awards he received.


The collection is arranged within series by topic, with items arranged chronologically within a particular topic, unless otherwise noted. The collection is organized in eleven series:
  • Series 1: Correspondence
  • Series 2: Speeches
  • Series 3: Publications
  • Series 4: Duke University & Educational Background
  • Series 5: Pepperdine College
  • Series 6: University of Southern California
  • Series 7: Personal Material
  • Series 8: Photographs
  • Series 9: Journals
  • Series 10: Memorabilia
  • Series 11: Awards

Related Archival Materials

Materials related to the change of administration in the 1957 and 1958 at Pepperdine can be found in the Donald V. Miller papers.

Processing Information

The collection was arranged and inventoried at the item-level by James Smythe in 1998. Smythe's original item-level inventories are available by request. The collection was rearranged and described by Jessica Geiser and Jamie Henricks in April 2012, to group similar materials together and create more appropriate series for the finding aid.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Duke University.
Hahn, James K., 1950-
Hahn, Kenneth
Los Angeles County (Calif.). Board of Education.
Pepperdine College.
Pepperdine University.
Pullias, Earl Vivon, 1907-
University of Southern California. Dept. of Higher and Postsecondary Education.
University of Southern California.
College administrators--United States--History
Education, Higher--California
Los Angeles (Calif.)--History
Psychologists--United States
Speeches, addresses, etc., American--20th century
Universities and colleges--California--History

Box 1

Series 1: Correspondence 1956-1990

Scope and Content

The series contains general correspondence related to Pullias' professional career as an educator and administrator. Topics addressed in the series include speaking engagements, associations, his relationships with other colleges, student and peer appreciation of his work, Los Angeles City Attorney James Hahn, and his trip to Iran in 1958.
Box 1, Folder 1-4

Letters of Recommendation 1957-1990

Box 1, Folder 5

Letters About His Consultations With Colleges 1972-1979

Box 1, Folder 6-7

Letters About Speaking Engagements 1957-1979

Box 1, Folder 8

Letters About The Western College Association 1956-1960

Box 1, Folder 9

Letters About The American Association of Christian Counselors 1977-1978

Box 1, Folder 10

Letters About His Monetary Donations to Colleges 1973-1987

Box 1, Folder 11

Letters About Cumberland College 1970-1985

Box 1, Folder 12

Letters of Appreciation to Pullias 1962-1975

Box 1, Folder 13

Letters of Appreciation for Awards He Had Received 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 14

Letters About His Excellence as a Teacher 1965-1986

Box 1, Folder 15

Letters from City Attorney James Hahn 1984-1985

Box 1, Folder 16

Miscellaneous Letters 1958-1990

Box 1, Folder 17

Letters About His Trip to Iran 1958

Box 2-3

Series 2: Speeches 1956-1986

Scope and Content

The series contains notes, drafts, articles and programs related to speeches given by Pullias. The speech topics mostly concern education, with specific emphasis on teachers, higher education, psychology, and individual growth.
Box 2, Folder 1

Speeches at Christian Colleges 1964-1969

Box 2, Folder 2-3

Speeches Related to Christian Colleges 1962-1976

Box 2, Folder 4

Challenges for Teachers 1959-1980

Box 2, Folder 5

The American Dream 1972

Box 2, Folder 6

Facing the Challenges of our Troubled Times 1970-1971

Box 2, Folder 7

Outdoor Education undated

Box 2, Folder 8

Academic Freedom 1961

Box 2, Folder 9

Personal Growth 1976

Box 2, Folder 10

The College As Community 1960

Box 2, Folder 11

The Individual in Modern Society 1961

Box 2, Folder 12

Public Education 1978-1979

Box 2, Folder 13

These Things Are Fundamental 1964-1968

Box 2, Folder 14

A Teacher is Many Things 1972-1984

Box 2, Folder 15

The Junior or Community Colleges 1967-1974

Box 2, Folder 16

Higher Education 1964-1982

Box 3, Folder 1

The Spirit of Place 1981

Box 3, Folder 2

Some Things I Try to Remember 1972-1976

Box 3, Folder 3

Developing Excellence in Teaching 1961-1983

Box 3, Folder 4

For Physical Education Teachers 1969-1971

Box 3, Folder 5

The End of an Age 1973-1977

Box 3, Folder 6

Accreditation Talks to College Faculty 1966-1970

Box 3, Folder 7

Human Aspects of Education 1961-1975

Box 3, Folder 8

Education for Modern Man 1962-1966

Box 3, Folder 9

Speeches Related to Psychology 1956-1970

Box 3, Folder 10

Youth and Age 1959-1973

Box 3, Folder 11

Latter Day Saints' Faculty Workshop 1975

Box 3, Folder 12

The Future 1961-1977

Box 3, Folder 13

Speeches for Individuals and Events 1967-1980

Box 3, Folder 14

Seventh Day Adventist's North Pacific Conference 1969

Box 3, Folder 15

Snow College Conferences 1960-1979

Box 3, Folder 16

Speeches on Miscellaneous Topics 1967-1975

Box 3, Folder 17

Interviews, Speech Plans and Invocations 1974-1986

Box 4-8

Series 3: Publications 1931-1984

Scope and Content

The series contains notes, drafts, articles and correspondence related to Pullias's planned and completed publications. Topics in the series include bibliographies of Pullias's publications, planned books on aging and Christian education, ideas for articles and books, and materials related to published books.
Also in the series are published copies of articles and books, including Pullias's master's thesis and PhD dissertation, signed copies of his books, and various translations of A Teacher is Many Things.
Box 4, Folder 1-6

Pullias's Books 1946-1984

Box 5, Folder 1-6

Translations of A Teacher is Many Things 1968-1974

Box 6, Folder 1-2

Pullias's Thesis and Dissertation 1931,1936

Box 6, Folder 3-7

Pullias's Articles 1946-1982

Box 6, Folder 8

Bibliographies of Pullias's Publications 1932-1971

Box 7, Folder 1

Planned Book on Aging 1973

Box 7, Folder 2

Planned Book on Christian Education undated

Box 7, Folder 3

The Environment of Learning undated

Box 7, Folder 4

Ideas for Articles and Books 1957-1961

Box 7, Folder 5-11

Items Related to A Teacher is Many Things 1962-1983

Box 7, Folder 12-15

Items Related to A Common Sense Philosophy for Modern Man 1967-1981

Box 7, Folder 16

Items Related to Principles and Values for College and University Administration 1982-1985

Box 8, Folder 1-2

Letters About Articles & Reviews 1967-1979

Box 8

Series 4: Duke University & Educational Background 1928-1981

Scope and Content

The series contains correspondence, articles, coursework, notes, and other materials related to Pullias's graduate work and teaching position at Duke University, including correspondence with Duke officials throughout his career. Also included in the series are transcripts of Pullias's work from colleges and universities he attended, as well as materials concerning his teaching credential.
Box 8, Folder 3

Materials Related to Pullias's Work as a Student 1928-1957

Box 8, Folder 4

Papers Pullias Wrote at Duke University 1933-1934

Box 8, Folder 5

Courses Pullias Taught at Duke University 1937

Box 8, Folder 6

Materials Pullias Collected at Duke University 1929-1937

Box 8, Folder 7

Pullias's Correspondence with Duke University 1957-1981

Box 8-10

Series 5: Pepperdine College 1930-1990

Scope and Content

The series contains correspondence, course materials, programs, and notes related to Pullias's years at Pepperdine College as dean and a professor of psychology and education. Also included are audiocassettes of two lectures given by Pullias, and an oral history of his time at Pepperdine.
Box 8, Folder 8-12

Pepperdine Publications 1937-1957

Box 8, Folder 13

Pullias's Correspondence 1930-1942

Box 8, Folder 14

Letters About Pullias Joining Pepperdine Faculty 1936-1939

Box 8, Folder 15

Pullias's First Roll Book at Pepperdine 1938

Box 9, Folder 1

Course Materials: Psychology 5A 1938

Box 9, Folder 2

Course Materials: Psychology 101B undated

Box 9, Folder 3-4

Course Materials: Psychology 135 - Personality and Mental Hygiene 1933-1956

Box 9, Folder 5

Course Materials: Psychology 220 - History and Systems 1930-1954

Box 9, Folder 6

Course Materials: Education 403 - The Learning Process undated

Box 9, Folder 7

Course Materials: Education 29 - The Psychology of the Exceptional Child 1938-1939

Box 9, Folder 9

Materials Related to Pepperdine Crisis 1957-1958

Box 9, Folder 10

Correspondence Related to Pepperdine 1960-1990

Box 9, Folder 11

Non-Pullias Letters About Pepperdine 1939-1948

Box 9, Folder 12-13

Miscellaneous Pepperdine Material 1940-1957

Box 9, Folder 14-15

Letters Pullias Kept 1946-1990

Box 9, Folder 16, Box 9, Folder 17, Box 10, Folder 1

Pullias's Notebooks, Audio-Cassettes and Video Cassette 1953-1984

Box 10-15

Series 6: University of Southern California 1956-1998

Scope and Content

The series contains correspondence, course materials, rollbooks, notes, reports, articles, programs, memorandums, and meeting minutes related to Pullias's position as Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California. Also included are programs, notes, correspondence, articles, lists of attendees, memorandums, and speech transcripts from the colloquiums and lecture series named for Pullias.
Box 10-13

Sub-series 6.1: USC Courses 1958-1979

Box 10

Pullias's Rollbooks 1958-1977

Box 11, Folder 1-3

Course Materials: Higher Education 680 1958-1975

Box 11, Folder 4-6

Course Materials: Higher Education 681 1962-1979

Box 11, Folder 7-9

Course Materials: Higher Education 684 1959-1977

Box 12, Folder 1-3

Course Materials: Higher Education 686 1958-1967

Box 12, Folder 4-9, Box 13, Folder 1-8

Student Papers on Their Learning Experience in Pullias's Courses 1966-1975

Box 13, Folder 9

Miscellaneous Course Materials 1969-1979

Box 13-15

Sub-series 6.2: USC Colloquiums and Lectureships 1965-1991

Box 13, Folder 10-18, Box 14, Folder 1-7

The Pullias Colloquiums 1965-1978

Box 14, Folder 8-16, Box 15, Folder 1-7

The Pullias Lectureships 1978-1991

Box 15

Sub-series 6.3: USC School of Higher Education 1956-1998

Box 15, Folder 8-14

Various Material About the USC School of Higher Education 1956-1998

Box 15, Folder 15

Special Report on the Doctoral Programs of the School of Education at USC 1965

Box 15, Folder 16

The Waite Phillips Hall of Education at USC 1968

Box 15, Folder 17

Faculty Reaction to the Revision of the Doctoral Programs of the School of Higher Education 1964

Box 15, Folder 18

Graduates of the Department of Higher Education at USC 1961-1982

Box 15, Folder 19-20

Concerning the Search for a New Dean for the School of Education at USC 1972-1975

Box 16-20

Series 7: Personal Material (bulk) 1927-1991, (inclusive)1865-2009

Scope and Content

The series contains materials saved by Pullias throughout his life, as well as personal materials about and produced by Pullias. Materials include notes, articles, biographical sketches, autobiographical essays, personal and early works, speeches from his memorial service, as well as saved quotations and publications, including copies of some 19th-century materials.
Also included in the series is a variety of personal correspondence, including letters from the Pullias family, between Pullias and his wife, from friends after the death of his son John Pullias, and between Pullias and his first grade teacher Nancy Lee.
Box 16, Folder 1

One-page Essays Pullias Wrote about His Early Life 1985-1987

Box 16, Folder 2

Material Related to Pullias's Life 1934-1978

Box 16, Folder 3

Letters from Pullias Family 1929-1977

Box 16, Folder 4

Personal Notes Pullias Wrote to Himself 1968-1990

Box 16, Folder 5

Materials Related to the Vermont Ave. Church of Christ 1938-1979

Box 16, Folder 6

Pullias's Thoughts on Various Subjects 1963-1975

Box 16, Folder 7-8

Newspaper Articles about Pullias 1957-1975

Box 16, Folder 9-11

Miscellaneous Material 1980-1989

Box 16, Folder 12

Copies of Nineteenth Century Material Sent to Pullias 1865-1890

Box 16, Folder 13

Publications Pullias Saved 1962-1980

Box 16, Folder 14

Newspaper Clippings Pullias Saved 1934-1976

Box 16, Folder 15

Quotations Pullias Saved undated

Box 16, Folder 16

Pullias's Early Writings 1928-1931

Box 17, Folder 1-9

Letters between Earl & Pauline Pullias 1928-1978

Box 18, Folder 1-2

Miscellaneous Letters, Records, Etc. 1927-1984

Box 18, Folder 3-5

Biographical Sketches of Pullias and the Pullias Family 1935-1988

Box 18, Folder 6-8, Box 20

Correspondence and News Articles Related to the Death of Pullias's Son John 1957

Box 18, Folder 9

Correspondence with Pullias's First Grade Teacher Nancy Lee 1936-1968

Box 18, Folder 10

Letters to Amy, a Child who Shared His Birthday 1987-1990

Box 18, Folder 11

Letters about Louzelle Malcom's Will 1982-1984

Box 18, Folder 12

Letters about his Contribution to the Library at Hartsville, TN 1968-1971

Box 18, Folder 13

A Book of Essays by Pullias 1983-1991

Box 18, Folder 14

Letters from Patsy Lovell Trowbridge to Pullias Family Members 1995-2009

Box 19, Folder 1

Notebook #1: Meetings and Lectures 1960-1961

Box 19, Folder 2

Notebook #2: Records of Consultation with Southern CA Colleges 1961-1962

Box 19, Folder 3

Speeches at Pullias's Memorial Service 1994

Box 19

Series 8: Photographs 1910s - 1990s

Scope and Content

The series contains photographs from throughout Pullias's life, but mainly focuses on his professional career. Photographs in the series include Pullias with Los Angeles City Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, Pullias's work with the Los Angeles County Board of Education, special events attended by Pullias, events at Pepperdine College, portraits of friends and colleagues with and without Pullias, and personal and family portraits.
Box 19, Folder 4

Pullias with Supervisor Kenneth Hahn 1975-1988

Box 19, Folder 5

Los Angeles County Board of Education 1954-1964

Box 19, Folder 6

Special Events 1967-1989

Box 19, Folder 7-8

Pepperdine Years 1947-1953

Box 19, Folder 9-10

Pullias with Others 1964-1982

Box 19, Folder 11

Friends, Colleagues and Students of Pullias 1940s - 1980s

Box 19, Folder 11-13

Personal Photographs of Pullias 1910s - 1980s

Box 21-28

Series 9: Journals 1929-1992

Scope and Content

The series contains journals written by Pullias, from 1929 to 1992, which include his daily activities, his thoughts on various topics and people, and book reviews. Also included are a smaller number of journals written by his wife Pauline, which include her responses to daily events, including Pullias's work, her work with students, and family trips.


The series has been kept in original order, and arranged by volume markings assigned to each journal by Pullias. The journals in the series are arranged initially by letter volumes (A-O), but then change to numerical volumes (1-119). For the most part, the journals are arranged chronologically.
Box 29-31

Series 10: Memorabilia 1924-1959

Scope and Content

The series contains memorabilia collected by Pullias related to his life and academic career. Materials include Pullias's academic diplomas from high school, undergraduate and graduate institutions; his academic robe, hood and cap from Duke University; family and personal bibles; and a cup and saucer printed with Pullias's name.
Box 29

Pullias's Academic Robe, Hood, and Cap from Duke University 1936

Box 30

Academic Diplomas 1924-1936

Box 31

Miscellaneous Memorabilia 1954-1959

Box 32-34

Series 11: Awards 1956-1991

Scope and Content

The series contains awards, plaques, and certificates given to Pullias, including honorary degrees, his certification as a psychologist, certificates of appointment to the Los Angeles County Board of Education, and various education awards.