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Drew's Interim President Leaves Lasting Impact on Madison Community

Madison mayor recognizes Dr. Vivian Bull for her accomplishments during her short time leading the university.

Dr. Vivian Bull (Contributed photo)
Dr. Vivian Bull (Contributed photo)

The following was submitted:

Commitment and leadership are only some of the admirable qualities Dr. Vivian A. Bull possesses.  

Madison Mayor Robert H. Conley proclaimed May 12, 2014 to be Dr. Vivian A. Bull Day in recognition of her achievements as well as commending her dedication and loyalty to education leadership. 

“It was an honor to present Dr. Vivian Bull with a proclamation recognizing her time as interim president of Drew University," Conley said. "While her time as president was brief, she made such a positive impact, especially as it relates to town and gown relations and her work as a founding co-chair of the Chief Executive Council for Madison. We will be seeing the positive work of the Council for years to come.”

Upon teaching at Drew University in Madison for more than 30 years, she had served eight of those years as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Drew University Board of Trustees had appointed Dr. Bull to serve as president for the interim term in July 2012. 

The following November, Dr. Bull, as founding chairwoman for education, had worked with Mayor Conley and Quest CEO Steve Rusckowski to form the Chief Executive Council for Madison to promote stakeholder collaboration, corporate impact and education leadership. 

Wanting to recognize Dr. Bull’s commitment to education leadership, members of the Chief Executive Council for Madison have funded the Dr. Vivian A. Bull Chief Executive Council for Madison Emerging Leaders Fellows program, which for the next three years will fund a position for a Drew University undergraduate to work with the Chief Executive Council to progress its mission.

Dr. Bull received her doctorate from New York University and her bachelor’s degree from Albion College. She did graduate work at the London School of Economics on a Fulbight Scholarship and has studied in Norway, Great Britain and the Netherlands. She is the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Portland, Drew University and Albion College.

In 1992, Dr. Bull left Drew to serve as the eighteenth president of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon where she remained for 13 years. She led the school through a dramatic transformation, increasing its visibility and stature, steadily improving the quality of its students and more than doubling the size of its campus. 

After her retirement in 2005, Dr. Bull started back up by becoming Drew's eleventh president on July 1st, 2012; something that all members of the Drew University community will be forever grateful. Bull also directed the Semester on the European Community in Brussels four times, and served on a total of 21 Drew-led archaeological expeditions in the Middle East.

A resident of Madison, Bull was married to Robert J. Bull, Drew Professor of Church History Emeritus, until his death in 2013. She has two sons, R. Camper Bull, a 1991 graduate of Drew’s College of Liberal Arts and a former president of its alumni association, and Carlson Bull.  

The proclamation given to Dr. Vivian A. Bull was not only well deserved, but also recognizes her outstanding achievements and commends her dedication and commitment to education and leadership. Although her career at Drew University has come to an end, the impact and legacy she left behind will continue to make a difference.

Sig June 16, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Madison Mayor Robert H. Conley proclaimed May 12, 2014 to be Dr. Vivian A. Bull Day in recognition of her achievements as well as commending her dedication and loyalty to education leadership. Are you kidding me? I've lived in Madison 30 years my mother for 50 and neither of us have heard of this woman. Please inform me what she has done for the town of Madison. There has got to be something of significance that you forgot to add to the editorial.

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