After serving in the Army (1950-52) during the Korean War, he earned a MS degree in Higher Education with certification in Counseling and Guidance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While in the service he was selected to be on the Modern Pentathlon National Training Team to prepare for the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. In 1955, at Miami University, he met and married Gay Kimbrough who was teaching in the Miami University Laboratory School.
In 1957, after five years at Miami and having risen to the rank of Assistant Dean of Men, he accepted a position at Georgia Tech as Assistant Dean of Students. Three years after arriving at Georgia Tech he was made Associate Dean of Students and four years later in 1964 he became the Dean of Students. He retired in 1991 as Vice President/Dean of Students Emeritus. During his 34 years at Georgia Tech, he served nine seated or acting presidents. Enrollment grew from 5,200 in 1957 to 13,000 in 1991. Female enrollment grew from 11 in 1957 to 3,050 in 1991.
Dean Dull was responsible for the coordination of all disciplinary processes and policies. Additionally, he had administrative charge of all Student Personnel Services and activities outside of the curriculum including New Student and Parent Programs, Residence Halls and Family Housing, Student Counseling, Fraternity Affairs, Religious Affairs, International Student Affairs, Community Services, Student Athletic Complex, Health Services, Handicapped Student Services, Student Publications, Student Radio Station WREK, and all student organizations. His pride and joy was serving as advisor to the Student Government and in this capacity he attended weekly meetings for 33 years.
When he retired in 1991 approximately 80% of the living alumni had been students during his career. He remained in contact and corresponded with many of Tech’s alumni since retiring. He was proud of the dramatic growth of Student Affairs facilities, in both quality and number, during his years of service. Residence hall beds grew in number from 1,100 in 1957 to 4,200 in 1991. Family housing units grew from 220 to 300. Construction included a new 60 bed Health Center, a new Student Center, a new Student Athletic Complex, a new Student Services Building and a Theatre Complex including the Dean James E. Dull DramaTech Theatre. For 31 years his family lived on the campus. During this time his wife, Gay, and he were selected to become honorary alumni of Georgia Tech. Together they wrote a book, It’s For You, Thirty-One Years of Our Life On the Georgia Tech Campus. In 1960 he found and acquired the official Ramblin’ Wreck. Later he designed the costume and persona of “Buzz,” the Yellow Jacket Mascot; he also inspired the design of the signet class ring. In an extracurricular “options” program he taught students beginning Ballroom Dancing for 30 years. He also organized a national championship winning GA Tech College Bowl Team and trained the Wreckette Dancing and Drill Team. In retirement he remained active with the Theatre Complex and wrote a “50-year History of DramaTech” and the forerunner drama organization “The Georgia Tech Marionettes.” He was an active member in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Association of Southern Deans, and Southern College Personnel Association. In addition he was a member of ANAK, ODK, Pi Kappa Phi Social Fraternity and Friends of DramaTech. He served on the Council of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and the Advisory Board of the Greater Atlanta Council of the Boy Scouts of America (Jim was an Eagle Scout), a member of the Partners Class and the official board of Peachtree Christian Church.
Jim is survived by his wife, Gay, two sons: Dr. John R. Dull and wife, Beth of Atlanta and David A. Dull and wife, Cindy of Winter Springs, FL, grandson, Grant Dull and granddaughter, Taylor Dull. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 5, 2:00 p.m., at Peachtree Christian Church, 1580 Peachtree Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309. Rev. Neal P. Ponder officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Peachtree Christian Church Columbarium or the DramaTech Scholarship at the Georgia Tech Foundation, 760 Spring Street, N.W., Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30308. A celebration reception at the church will follow the service. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Georgia, Inc.