Skip to main content

Merle Lewis "Lew" Gulick papers

Merle Lewis "Lew" Gulick papers

Save page 1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

Merle Lewis "Lew" Gulick papers MSD.1944.011

Class of 1944

Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism
11 E. Larabee Street
Greencastle, IN


Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2017-09-28T18:11-0400
Language: Description is in English.

Repository: Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism
Title: Merle Lewis "Lew" Gulick papers
Dates: 1944-2009
Quantity: 0.02 Linear feet, 1 file folder
Identification: MSD.1944.011

Collection Statement

Photograph, letters, writings, awards and an obituary.

Biographical Sketch

Over the course of nearly a century, the groundbreaking scholarship fund endowed by philanthropists Edward Rector (1863-1925) and Lucy Rowland Rector (1855-1949) has supported a wide range of promising students who went on to lead highly meaningful lives. However, it could be argued that few individuals have lived up to the intent of the scholarship as much as a 1944 graduate of DePauw, M. Lewis “Lew” Gulick. Not only is Gulick’s life story compelling, he also went on to heavily promote, and generously augment, the very scholarship fund which allowed him to attend DePauw.

Gulick was born in Japan in 1923 to American missionary parents, and spent his youth around people of various nationalities. Long before it was in vogue to speak of “global citizenship,” Gulick fully comprehended what that ideal looked like and how it should be lived out.

After completing high school in Michigan, Gulick applied to college. Coming from modest means, it was the Rector Scholarship which allowed him to begin his studies at DePauw in 1940. His time at DePauw – marked by the beginnings of wartime military service – were critical in Gulick’s life. The education he received, due to the generosity of the Rectors, would in turn be critical to his future.

After serving as an Army officer from 1943-1946, graduating from DePauw in absentia in 1944, Gulick went on to earn both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Georgetown. His first career was as a journalist, covering Capitol Hill and then the State Department. His work often took him abroad, at times finding himself accompanying the President on Air Force One. In 1973 Gulick changed gears and became a senior staff consultant for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He would later go on to act as executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association.

Throughout this fascinating career, Gulick never forgot the liberal arts education which helped start him down life’s path. “Education was priceless to him,” notes Gulick’s daughter, Spencer Gulick Baker ’91. “He absolutely loved DePauw. He was grateful every single day of his life for his education.”

Looking ahead, Gulick established two planned gifts over 20 years ago with the goal of supporting the Rector Scholarship Endowment. In doing so, he hoped not only to pay back the cost of his own education, but also to provide for future generations of students who, like him, would need assistance to receive the exceptional education DePauw could provide.

Yet, Gulick went even further. Realizing the difference the Rector gift had made to thousands of students, and comprehending the capacity of the Rector story to inspire others, Gulick researched and wrote An Investment in Humanity: Edward Rector and his Historic Scholarship Program for DePauw University. This 2009 book utilized the Rector Endowment as a central feature through which to tell the entire story of philanthropy at DePauw. In so doing, Gulick managed to capture the spirit of hope, of giving, and of gratitude which permeates DePauw University.

Gulick passed away on May 20, 2017. A champion of higher education in general and of his alma mater in particular, he has left behind the sort of perpetual legacy which only a grateful heart can provide. “He was a wholesome, great dad and person,” Baker recalls, “a great role model.” Surely, Edward Rector himself would have been proud. - William Pike

DePauw alumni
Gulick, Merle Lewis "Lew", class of 1944
Manuscripts of alumni. Class of 1944.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection are held by DePauw University.

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search