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Faces Behind the Places of DePauw University

This guide includes historical information about the people behind DePauw University's building names.

Eugene S. Pulliam

                                                                 Eugene S. Pulliam
                                                               September 7, 1914 – January 20, 1999

Eugene S. PulliamRespected journalist Eugene S. Pulliam’s career began as a paper delivery boy. Pulliam moved up the ranks in his career, working for United Press International in Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo for two years, following his graduation. He then joined WIRE radio in Indianapolis as news editor in 1937. His journalism career took a brief break during WWII, when Pulliam served four years in the U.S. Navy. After returning from the war, he became the assistant publisher to both the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis News in 1962. By 1975, Pulliam became the paper’s publisher. And in 1979, he became President of the Phoenix Newspapers Inc. Executive Vice President of Central Newspapers Inc. and Publisher of Indianapolis Newspapers Inc. Under his leadership, the Star won two Pulitzer Prizes.

He was an advocate for freedom of speech, publicly denouncing government methods that threatened it, such as the smear tactics of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. His defense of the First Amendment earned him the First Freedom Award from the Hoosier State Press Association in 1995. In 1987, he was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

One of five Pulliam generations to attend DePauw, Pulliam graduated with the class of 1935. He was a Rector Scholar, majoring in history. He served as editor of The DePauw and as president of Sigma Delta Chi, the journalism fraternity now known as the Society of Professional Journalists. Pulliam’s father had been one of the founding members of the society that originated at DePauw University.

Pulliam was inducted into DePauw’s Media Wall of Fame along with his father in 1995. He served as a trustee of the university for 20 years. Two of Pulliam’s children, Myrta and Russ, also journalists, served on DePauw-affiliated boards. The family gave the university a $5 million gift from the family to support the DePauw tradition of graduating highly successful and significant journalists. In recognition of the gift, DePauw established a Eugene S. Pulliam Visiting Professorship in Journalism and its media center was renamed as the Eugene S. Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media.

                                                         Pulliam Center