University of Arkansas home page Special Collections
  bullet Library Home  Special Collections Home  Manuscripts Home

David W. Mullins Papers
Professional and Family Papers, 1942-1987

Manuscript Collection 1116

David Wiley Mullins was born on August 11, 1906, in Ash Flat, Arkansas, the son of Roscoe C. and Emma Matilda Mullins.  He entered the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1927, majoring in history and mathematics.  He received his B.A. from the University of Arkansas in 1931, graduating Cum Laude.  He then began work as a teacher in Williford, Arkansas.  At Williford he began his long career in school administration, serving as superintendent of Williford schools from 1932 to 1935.  In 1934 he completed an M.A. in history and political science at the University of Colorado, and in August 1935 he married Eula Elizabeth Harrell.  Together they had three children, Carolyn, David Jr., and Gary.  Mullins subsequently was superintendent of Lepanto, Arkansas, schools from 1935 to 1941.  In 1941 he completed his Ed.D. at Columbia University and was hired as an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Educational Administration by Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API), a branch of Auburn University.  World War II interrupted his career in education; Mullins served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946.  In 1946 he resumed his duties at API, becoming an executive vice-president of Auburn in 1949.  He held this post at Auburn until 1960, when he was appointed president of the University of Arkansas.  His career at Arkansas was characterized by an unprecedented development and expansion of the university, and earned him recognition from several sources.  In 1965 Hendrix College awarded Mullins an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and in 1969 the Arkansas Democrat named him Man of the Year in Arkansas.  Mullins retired as president of the University of Arkansas in 1974, completing a fourteen-year tenure, the second longest term served by any president of the university.  In 1983 the University of Arkansas awarded  Mullins an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.  He died on September 22, 1987, at the age of eighty-one.


The papers of Dr. David W. Mullins, Sr., were donated to Special Collections on August 15, 1990, by his widow, Mrs. David W. Mullins.

The papers of David W. Mullins include a variety of materials, ranging from correspondence and speeches to newspaper clippings and scrapbooks to photographs and academic regalia.  The bulk of the collection dates from  Mullins's term as president of the University of Arkansas.  However, the collection also contains material related to Mullins's ancestors, and some material dating before 1960.  The photographs include pictures of Mullins with two presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon; Vice President Hubert Humphrey; and numerous prominent Arkansas politicians, including United States Senators and state governors.  The photographs also include an album of rare tintype images dating from the nineteenth century.

Processed by Todd E. Lewis, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in July 1997.


Series 1. General Correspondence.  Boxes 1-3.

Series 2. Speeches.  Boxes 4-5.

Series 3. Subject Files.  Boxes 6-9.

Series 4. Photographs and Artifacts.  Boxes 10-11.

Return to Special Collections Home Page
Return to University of Arkansas Libraries Home Page