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Pfendler, David C., 1908-1998



  • Existence: August 25, 1908 - September 12, 1998

Biographical Information

David C. Pfendler came to Purdue University in 1926 as a freshman and had to return home after completing one year. Several years later he returned and received his bachelor's degree in 1932. After graduation he again returned to his family farm due to the Great Depression. In 1936 he returned to Purdue and graduated with his masters in 1939. That same year he became assistant to the dean of the School of Agriculture at Purdue and in 1959 he became a full professor. In his time at Purdue he served as a counselor, assistant dean of the College of Agriculture from 1957 to 1969, Associate Dean, Associate Director of Resident Instruction, and head of the general agriculture curriculum beginning in 1969.

Pfendler served as a member and later chairman of the Wabash Valley Interstate Commission. This commission was concerned with the economic growth of the counties within the Wabash River watershed in both Illinois and Indiana. The members were appointed by the governors of both states. He was also an officer of the Agricultural Alumni Association, the board of directors of the Purdue Alumni Association, and secretary of the Aberdeen-Angus Breeders Association. He was secretary of the Agriculture Faculty and served in the University Senate, the Student Affairs Committee, and the Military Advisory Committee. In 1966, Pfendler was named grand president of Alpha Gamma Rho for a two-year term. Prior to this he had served two terms as grand second vice president and then grand first vice president. He was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa, a 32nd Degree Mason, the Lafayette Rotary Club where he served as president, and was the director of the Tippecanoe County Red Cross.

In his honor Agricultural Hall, the second oldest building on campus, was renamed the David C. Pfendler Hall in 2001. His other honors include being a co-recipient, with Dr. Eva L. Goble, of the first Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana, sponsored by the Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. in 1974; a Certificate of Distinction from the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association; a Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Air Force; and being named an honorary Hoosier Farmer by the Indiana Future Framers of America.

Pfendler retired in 1974.


David C. Pfendler papers, MSF 430, Box: 1; Box: 2. Purdue University Archives and Special Collections


"David C. Pfendler Jr." Find A Grave. Accessed March 24, 2021.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

David C. Pfendler papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 430
Scope and Contents Papers of David Pfendler, primarily relating to agriculture, education, and student freedoms and responsibilities. Includes some speeches and papers by Earl Butz; "Comments for Coeds" (a handbook for women students, 1958); information on flag desecration and Students for a Democratic Society; Statewide Educational Programs Committee; and information on women in agriculture. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory.
Dates: 1941-1973

David C. Pfendler papers, addition 01

 Unprocessed — Box: 01
Identifier: 20180329