Black and white photos of Nina Mason Pulliam at a typewriter, at graduation, and writing in a book

Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars

Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars banner - black graduation cap on brown background

The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program is a collaboration between the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and four institutions of higher education in Arizona and Indiana, including Arizona State University. The ASU Nina Scholars program is supported by an Advisory Council which consists of ASU and community representatives. 

The Nina Scholars Program is a scholarship program dedicated to providing educational opportunities for individuals who would not normally receive traditional academic scholarships and whose personal commitments and financial circumstances would preclude their attendance without substantial, long-term scholarship support.


The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust serves as the primary funding source for the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars Program. The individuals with the Nina Scholars Trust are dedicated to the success of each and every scholar in the program.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families, to protect animals and nature, and to enrich community life in the metropolitan areas of Indianapolis and Phoenix.

History of the Trust

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established upon the death of Nina Mason Pulliam on March 26, 1997 to support for 50 years the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana. In 2001, the Trust established the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program in tribute to the life and values of its benefactress. Participating schools are Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Ivy Tech State College-Indianapolis Campus, Arizona State University (ASU), and Maricopa Community Colleges (MCCCD).

Who was Nina Mason Pulliam?

Nina Mason Pulliam headshot - black and white photo, fair-skinned woman, smiling, button-up shirt, holding two koalas
Nina Mason Pulliam

Nina Mason Pulliam (1906 - 1997) was a journalist, a business leader, a humanitarian and a lover of all creatures. Nina Mason Pulliam was born in 1906 in rural Martinsville, Indiana, one of seven children. 

As a high school sophomore, she received her first compensation for a literary essay. She went on to study journalism at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, and later attended Indiana University and the University of New Mexico. After college, she took a full-time job at Farm Life, a national magazine published in Spencer, Indiana. When the magazine folded during the Great Depression, she went to work in Lebanon, Indiana, for an ambitious publisher named Eugene C. Pulliam. They were married in 1941. 

During their marriage, the Pulliams traveled abroad extensively as a husband-and-wife team. They were among the first Americans to visit and write about post-World War II conditions in Europe. Over 11 years, Nina Pulliam was published in newspapers throughout North America and her articles were compiled into seven books. 

Nina Pulliam was the founding secretary-treasurer and a director of Central Newspapers, Inc. (CNI), which Mr. Pulliam had established in 1934. Upon his death in 1975, Mrs. Pulliam served as president of CNI until 1979 and was publisher of The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette until 1978. 

She was the first woman admitted to Sigma Delta Chi, now the Society of Professional Journalists. Mrs. Pulliam also loved flying and was the first woman to earn a private pilot's license in Indiana. She was also known for her lifelong love of animals and for her nature conservancy efforts.

Nina Pulliam was a compassionate business and civic leader, devoting many hours to civic, charitable, and community work. During her career, she shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities in Indianapolis and Phoenix.