Drew University mourns the passing of former President Vivian Bull

Drew University mourns the passing of former President Vivian Bull

Dr. Bull taught economics for 32 years, while serving as associate dean for eight years.

August 2022 – Drew University is saddened to announce the passing of Vivian Bull, Past President, Associate Dean and Professor, at the age of 87 last week.

Dr. Vivian A. Bull was Professor of Economics at Drew for 32 years from 1960 to 1992 and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1978 to 1986.

Bull left Drew in 1992 to begin a 13-year term as president of Linfield College in Oregon, a term that earned her president emeritus status upon her retirement.

A valued member of the Drew community and a longtime Madison resident, Bull came out of retirement from 2012-2014 to serve an interim two-year term as Drew’s 12th president.

“You know, there’s something about Drew. He has a way of being one of the people associated with it,” she said at the time.

During his presidency, the Hall of Sciences underwent extensive renovations and Drew began his ever-active partnership with the global education organization INTO to increase international enrollment.

In honor of her service to the University in all of her roles, Bull was named President Emeritus in July 2014 and was honored with the appointment of the Vivian A. Bull Academic Commons to the University Library.

Bull graduated from Albion College where she was the first student to receive a Fulbright scholarship, which led her to study at the London School of Economics.

She met her future husband, Dr. Robert J. Bull, on a trip to Jerusalem and followed him to Drew in 1955. He taught at Drew Theological School for 37 years and retired in 1991 in as Professor Emeritus of Church History. The couple had two sons, R. Camper Bull C’91 and W. Carlson Bull.

Bull started at Drew herself five years after her husband, taking a part-time job teaching accounting. She eventually accepted a full-time role on the condition that she get a doctorate, which she earned at NYU.

As a faculty member, Bull led Drew’s European Community Semester in Brussels four times and engaged in more than 20 Drew-organized archaeological digs in the Middle East.

In the Distinguished Service Resolution that formally conferred on her the status of President Emeritus, Bull was commended for the attributes that set her apart – her selfless service, exceptional wisdom, creativity, fairness, patience and the valuable perspective of her long and exemplary career as an educator, university administrator and scholar.

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