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The Finding Aid of the Earl Vivon Pullias Papers 0009
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Processing Information

  • 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