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Mallett, Donald R., 1910-1971



  • Existence: July 23, 1910 - November 26, 1971

Biographical Information

Donald R. Mallett was born in Guthrie Center, Iowa. Mallett received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Drake University in 1931. He attended the University of Iowa and earned his master's degree in psychology in 1934 and a doctorate in 1936.

After graduating from Drake University in 1931, Mallett served as an instructor in physics and a football coach at Belle Plaine High School in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Beginning in 1936, he served as the manager of housing services at the University of Iowa for three years. Following this he served as the Assistant Dean of Men for three years and as the Associate Director of Student Affairs for two years. During World War II, while at the University of Iowa, he taught physics and mathematics in the U.S. Army Air Corps pre-meteorological program.

In 1945, he arrived at Purdue in the position of Assistant to the Director of the Office of Student Affairs and later became the Associate Director. At the beginning of the 1952 fiscal year, Mallett assumed the position of Dean of Men and was given the rank of full professor. He became the Executive Dean in 1956 and later Vice President in 1961. The position title was changed in 1968 to Vice President for Student Services.

As vice president for student services, Mallett’s duties were to assist the President on policies, practices, and procedures for registration, admission, student financial aid, student affairs, and the Offices of the Deans of Men and Women. He was responsible for student scheduling, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, placement services, counseling, armed services college programs, the student hospital, commencements, convocations and public lecture programs, musical organizations and university bands, speech and forensic activities, examination and testing programs, the Measurement and Research Center, and alumni relations.

Mallett served as an examiner for the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and an education advisor to the National Interfraternity Council. He also served as Vice President of the National Association of Student Personal Administrators; and was a member of the American Personnel and Guidance Association and the National Vocational Guidance Association. He also served on the Student Loan Advisory Committee under Indiana Governor Roger D. Branigin in 1966.

His association with ROTC programs was extensive. He served for two terms as president of the National Association of Naval ROTC from 1966 to 1970, and he was a member of the advisory board of the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California; the Secretary of Defense’s Special Committee on ROTC; and the Plans and Policies Control Group of the United States Navy. He received the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 1963 and in 1969. He also received the U.S. Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award in 1965 and two similar citations from the U.S. Air Force, the first in 1961 and the second in 1970.

Mallett was also a member of a several fraternities, including Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Delta, Gamma Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Kappa Psi, Iron Key, and the Arnold Air Society.

Locally, Mallett served as Vice President of the United Fund of Greater Lafayette, Vice President of the United Fund Campaign, President of the Lafayette Rotary Club, and President of the PTA in West Lafayette. He sat on the Board of Governors of the YMCA, was chairman of the camp development committee of the Tippecanoe Council of Girl Scouts,and a member of the Harrison Trails Council of the Boy Scouts. He was involved with the Indiana Historical Society and was a member of the Community Fund Board, a board member of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Elks Lodge.


UA 58, Purdue University Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.


MSO 2, Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Research Center, Purdue University Libraries

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Mallett, Donald R., July 2, 1970 - October 29, 1970

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSO 2, Series 1, Sub-Series 24
Scope and Contents Two oral history interviews with Donald R. Mallett by Robert B. Eckles.
Dates: July 2, 1970 - October 29, 1970

Donald R. Mallett papers

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSF 561
Scope and Contents Papers of Donald Mallett, including notes, speeches, student evaluations, and related papers. The bulk of the papers are notes for speeches by Mallett on a variety of topics such as student life and education, the military, the government, communism, socialism, the ROTC, and women. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory.
Dates: 1946 - 1970

Purdue University Office of Publications Oral History Program collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSO 2
Scope and Contents The Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection documents Purdue University history through oral history interviews with Purdue University professors and administrators. Types of materials include: printed material, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, compact discs, and digital materials. Interview topics include Purdue history and changes in administration and academic departments.
Dates: 1969 - 1989; Majority of material found within 1970 - 1972