CORVALLIS - Dan Poling, a former long-time faculty member and administrator at Oregon State University who was known as "Dean Dan" to many alumni, died Oct. 2 in Corvallis. He was 91.
Poling was on the OSU faculty from 1937 to 1972, serving as Dean of Men for many of those years. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor of political science after he had returned to campus to pursue a master's degree. He had received a bachelor's degree from Oregon State in 1928, then worked as a high school teacher and coach.
"He is one of our outstanding alumni and was very active in alumni affairs through the years," said Crawford H. "Scram" Graham, former director of the OSU Alumni Association. "He always led assembled groups in singing the alma mater during alumni gatherings. He was a great Oregon State traditionalist - and proud of it."
Born in The Dalles, Poling graduated from Albany High School in the early 1920s. His family had extensive ties to Oregon State University. His uncle taught math at OSU, his brother and sister were also OSU alumni, and his three children - Dow, Kathryn and Ann - all attended Oregon State, as did two grandchildren. Dow Poling also served on the OSU faculty for years.
His father, Daniel V. Poling, was brought to OSU during World War I to direct the university's "Y-Hut," a precursor to the Memorial Union. Poling Hall, a residence hall, was named after his father.
The OSU Alumni Association named its service award after Dan Poling, and awarded the first one to him in 1988. It is the university's highest award for alumni service.
Don Wirth, director of the OSU Alumni Association, said the university lost "an icon and a very dear friend."
"Dan was Mr. Oregon State, and his love for OSU was legendary," Wirth said. "The fact that our Alumni Association named one of its highest awards after him speaks loudly about 'Dean Dan's' importance to Oregon State over the last seven decades.
"He will be greatly missed for many years to come."