Nina Mason Pulliam

Nina Mason Pulliam

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

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, she 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.

At her direction, upon her death (in 1997), her assets were placed into an irrevocable charitable trust to support the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana. The Trust began its grant-making in 1998 and will be in existence for 50 years. The program provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds the resources and financial support to successfully complete their college education.


The Nina Scholars Program is available to students at all Maricopa County Community Colleges. This program provides a unique opportunity where students from disadvantaged backgrounds can obtain the resources and financial support needed in order to successfully complete their college education.

Program benefits include:

  • Full tuition and fees up to four years
  • Reimbursement of book costs
  • $2,750 annual living allowance
  • Assigned campus academic mentor

Available to individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria:
Incoming freshmen ages 18-25 who have been raised through the child welfare system* and have no form of financial support
College-age youth and adults with physical disabilities*
Adults who are 25 years or older who have dependents in their family units*
*see eligibility definitions below

Applicants must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be working toward their first college degree
  • Be a United States citizen and resident of the state of Arizona
  • Demonstrate financial need, with priority given to those with a household income of 80 percent or less of the median income for Maricopa County (approximately $44,079 annually).
  • Note: Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Have previously completed no more than 24 college level credits

Scholarship Eligibility Definitions

*Child Welfare System: *
For the purposes of this scholarship program, Child Welfare System is described
as the public-supported system that serves neglected, abused, abandoned, at-risk children and/or those
who are wards of the courts. A person who has experienced time in the child welfare system may have
lived in an institution such as a group home, child protection agency, or special facility for children,
and/or with a foster family. This applies particularly to those persons who were raised away from their
biological parents or relative caregivers for extended periods of time, were financially supported by
sources other than their families, and are presently responsible for themselves financially. This does not
include applicants and/or their biological parents receiving TANF, food stamps, or other state aid such as

Physical Disability:
A physical disability for the purposes of this scholarship program is one that limits or
impairs a person’s ability to access and/or be fully mobile on campus, and/or creates a special challenge
for classroom instruction, tutoring, student support services, participation in campus offerings, and
other academic and extracurricular activities. This includes disabilities that substantially limit major life
activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, writing and working. These disabilities
may be results of, but not limited to, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, speech impairments, visual
impairments, hearing impairments, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy,
loss of limbs, and severe orthopedic injuries. Applicants are to provide official documentation of their
physical disability from a medical or health care provider.

Adults with Dependents:
These are adults who are 25 years of age or older and have dependents
in their family units (self not included). These adults may be first-time college students or returning
students (those with previous college experience). The family unit may include relatives or other
persons who may live in or outside the applicant’s household for whom the Internal Revenue Service has
determined there is a financially dependent relationship.