Starin Hall to be Renamed in Honor of Roger Pulliam

(Information for this story provided by Jeff Angileri and Kristine Zabellos, UW-Whitewater University Marketing and Communications; photos provided by Jim Mead and Craig Schreiner)

In recognition of Roger Pulliam’s years of service and contributions to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the UW System Board of Regents recently approved the re-naming of Starin Hall, the residence hall located at 901 West Starin Road, to Roger Pulliam Hall in his honor.  The naming resolution was confirmed at the board’s July 8th meeting, after being previously approved by all of UW-Whitewater’s shared governance groups — Academic Staff Assembly, Faculty Senate, University Staff Council and Whitewater Student Government.  The university is planning to hold a public celebration during the upcoming academic year, and more information about the event will be shared in the coming month.

Opened in 2010, Starin Hall is a 207,900-square-foot residence hall located near the central academic zone of UW-Whitewater’s 400-acre campus. The building holds suite-style units with a 446-bed capacity, two staff offices, one faculty office, and a common kitchen, laundry room and computer lab. It was the first state-owned LEED-certified residence hall in Wisconsin.

Pulliam, who passed away in February 2020, had a 60-year career in education in which he showed an unrelenting devotion to representing, including, and advocating for diverse students and educators and promoting the success of his students and community. At UW-Whitewater, he worked in various roles from 1989 to 2018. During his tenure, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Support Services, Director of Advancement and, most recently, Interim Chief Diversity Officer.

In a statement issued by University Marketing and Communications, UW-Whitewater Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson called the naming of Roger Pulliam Hall “a welcome tribute to a wonderful man who exemplified the Warhawk family values.”

The first person in his family to graduate from high school and college, Pulliam won state and federal funding to enhance the achievement of first-generation, low-income and multicultural students at UW-Whitewater. He also succeeded in helping hundreds of students participate in travel-study experiences. These efforts extended to his work as a founding member in 1998 of the Office of National Black Student Union, fostering numerous co-curricular experiences for students.  His efforts were so remarkable that he was the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime of Service Award from the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action, an achievement celebrated at the Wisconsin State Capitol in October 2019.

Alumni spanning several decades credit Pulliam as their guiding light and hero who compelled them not just to complete an undergraduate degree, but to seek advanced degrees. Many of his students have gone on to make tremendous contributions to the State of Wisconsin and the country at large.  He inspired students and alumni — especially those from diverse and first-generation backgrounds — to contribute to the growth and success of the university. The Pulliam-Dunlap Scholarship at UW-Whitewater includes the name of the aunt who raised him and his eight brothers and sisters.

The Roger L. Pulliam Memorial Scholarship endowed fund was created in his honor and memory as a place to direct memorial donations.

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