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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 64, Number 8 (May 1963)

Harry Bullis named Alumnus of the Year,   p. 22


Page 22


   Harry Bullis Named
Alumnus of the Year
H   ARRY A. BULLIS, former chair-
    man of the board of General
Mills, Inc., has been     named
"Alumnus of the Year," and will re-
ceive his award at the Alumni Din-
ner, June 8.
  The life of Harry Bullis reads like
a romanticized American success
story. Born in Hastings, Nebraska
in 1890, Bullis began his business
career by delivering copies of the
Council Bluffs (Ia.) Nonpareil.
  Hard work was something Harry
Bullis grew to accept as the normal
patten of his existence. While he was
working as a bookeeper for the Cit-
zens Gas and Electric Company at
Council Bluffs, he was also earning
high school credits. Later, he worked
his way through Simpson Academy,
at Indianola, Ia., and then came on
to the University of Wisconsin. He
had to work to pay his way through
the University, too-this time it was
selling sewing machines and serving
as an assistant electrician. A member
of the Class of 1917, Bullis gradu-
ated with a,% degree in. economics,
and was elected to the select Phi
Beta Kappa, national honorary scho-
lastic fraternity.
  Like so many of his classmates,
Bullis served overseas during World
War I. Following his return from
military service, he became associ-
ated with the Washburn Crosby
Company, a flour miller in Minne-
apolis. Once again, true to the story-
book tradition, Bullis began at the
bottom-this time as an ordinary mill
hand-and worked his way up. By
the time General Mills was formed
in 1928 through the merger of sev-
eral local milling companies, he was
named secretary and comptroller of
the newly-formed company. From
that point on, he rose steadily
through the General Mills organiza-
tion and was named president in
December, 1942. He served five
years as president and then became
chairman of the board, succeeding
James F. Bell in 1948. He was chair-
man of General Mills until his re-
tirement in 1959.
  Throughout his years of service
with General Mills, Bullis pushed
the company's diversification pro-
gram and played a key role in the
development of the firm's axioms of
22
research, product development, and
human relations.
  But his work with General Mills
is only a portion of the story of Harry
Bullis. He is a man with a broad
scope of interest, and his aggressive,
positive approach to life has found
him active in several varying fields of
interest. His list of organizations and
personal achievements fills pages.
Business and educational groups,
civic organizations, and branches of
the government have called upon
him for his executive talents. He has
served in an advisory capacity under
two former presidents-Truman and
Eisenhower-and has outlined his
personal philosophy in his book,
Manifesto for Americans, published
in 1961.
  Honors have come to Bullis from
many directions. The American
Marketing Association presented
him with its Charles Coolidge Par-
lin award in 1949: he was named
National Association of Manufactur-
ers' "Man of the Year" in 1953, and
received the first award of the U. S.
National Student Association in
1956. The Free Enterprise Awards
Association gave him the "American
Success Story" award in 1957, and
a "Friend of 4-H Club Work" came
a year later. Northwest Bancorpora-
tion made him "Man of the Year"
in 1961.
  Always a loyal Wisconsin alumnus,
Bullis was president of the Wisconsin
Alumni Association in 1936-37, and
is currently serving as a member of
the  Wisconsin  Alumni Research
Foundation. Last year, he was the
featured speaker at the Alumni Din-
ner and attended the 45th consecu-
tive reunion of his class. His most re-
cent gesture of allegiance to Wiscon-
sin came when he sent 50,000 plastic
roses to the campus shortly after the
Badgers were designated as the Big
Ten representative in this year's
Rose Bowl classic.
  In recognition of his abiding loy-
alty, a grateful University presented
him with an honorary degree in
1943. The "Alumnus of the Year"
award is a further testimony of the
high regard the University of Wis-
consin and its alumni hold for one of
our truly distinguished alumni.
              Wisconsin Alumnus


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