Malcolm Poyer Price


Malcolm Poyer Price was called to serve as the fourth president at the University of Northern Iowa; he administered the school from 1940 through 1950.  His predecessor was Orval Ray Latham. Price was born in 1895 in Carroll, Iowa.  In 1918 he graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.  Soon after graduating, Price enlisted in the army and earned the rank of second lieutenant.  After he completed his service, he worked as a chemist in Chicago for two years.  Later, he became a teacher of science in Harrisburg, South Dakota, and the superintendent of schools as well. In 1927, Price earned his M. A. in educational administration, and began work on his doctoral degree.  After finishing his schooling in 1929, he became the Assistant to the Deputy of Schools in Detroit, Michigan, and in 1934 he served as the Director of Personnel.  He and his wife, Mary, had two children.

Construction of new buildings was restricted during the Price administration because of World War II.  Latham Hall was the only instructional building erected while he was in office. After ten years as president, Price resigned and accepted a position in the UNI Department of Psychology and Educational Foundations, where he taught until his retirement in 1963.  Dr. Price died in 1975 at the age of eighty.  Price Laboratory School was named in his honor because of his dedication to education and the teaching profession. Price was succeeded by James William Maucker.

Compiled by Susan Witthoft; edited by Gerald L. Peterson Special Collections and University Archives January 1996

Memorial Services Today for Malcolm Price A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 4, 1975, at the First United Methodist Church, Cedar Falls, for Dr. Malcolm P. Price, former president of the University of Northern Iowa, who died Saturday evening, August 1, 1975, of an apparent heart attack. The fourth president of UNI, Dr. Price served from 1940 through 1950, when the school was known as the Iowa State Teachers College.  He was well known for his work in establishing the UNI laboratory school which was named in his honor in March 1959.  His educational philosophy is inscribed above the entrance to the school: "One stands with humility before a child to be educated." The 80-year-old educator died at Schoitz Memorial Hospital where he was taken Friday afternoon from Friendship Village Retirement Center, 600 Park Lane, his residence since October 1970. Dr. Price was born July 6, 1895, at Carroll, Iowa, the son of Norman Augustus Price and Nancy Jane Spohn Price.  He married Mary E. Day of Omaha, Nebraska, June 29, 1921. He was a second lieutenant in the US Army during World War I, serving with a machine gun battalion. A graduate of Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, he worked as a chemist for a pharmaceutical firm in Chicago from 1919 to 1922, when he became superintendent of schools in Harrisburg, South Dakota.  He began graduate work at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, earning the M. A. degree in 1927 and the Ph. D. degree in 1929.  He was a member of the honorary fraternities Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Delta Kappa. Dr. Price was director of personnel for the Detroit, Michigan, public schools from 1929 to 1940, when he assumed the UNI presidency. After resigning the presidency in 1950, Dr. Price served the university as a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations until his retirement in 1963. Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to Port Charlotte, Florida, where he was adult education director at Port Charlotte University for five years. Dr. Price received one of the five Civic Association Awards in Port Charlotte for making the community a better place to live and was elected to the Charlotte County Senior Hall of Fame.  "Price Circle," a street, and "Price Court," the central court in the cultural center in Port Charlotte, were named in honor of the Prices. Dr. Price also received one of the one hundred Centennial Achievement Awards from the State University of Iowa. Dr. Price is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Howard J. (Nancy) Thompson, 2309 Iowa Street, Cedar Falls, and a son, John D., Pasadena, California. The family has requested that all memorials be sent to the Mary and Malcolm Price Scholarship Fund in care of the UNI Foundation. Dahl-VanHove-Schoof Funeral Home, Cedar Falls, is in charge of the arrangements.