From the Ground Up

Pulte Family Charitable Foundation Honors Master Builder William J. Pulte with Construction Management Scholarship and Endowment

By Kylie Bunting ’11 BS


William J. Pulte (1932-2018) was a master builder and philanthropist who built a Fortune 500 company from the ground up—literally. He constructed his first home at the age of 18 and went on to found Pulte Homes, which became the largest homebuilding company in America.

Bill’s family strives to honor his legacy through the work of the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation, which supports humanitarian initiatives led by nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the globe. Northern Michigan University’s Construction Management program was a perfect fit.

As a result of its academic rigor, exceptional teaching and extensive career- and community-service focused opportunities, 100% of students graduating from the program are nearly immediately employed in their field.

The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation has now established the William J. Pulte Scholarship Fund and the William J. Pulte Community Service Endowment fund at NMU to support student success and enhance the program’s community service mission.

The William J. Pulte Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to construction management students who have the most energy, passion and dedication toward their scholarly pursuits, community service and future careers.

“The William J. Pulte Scholarship Fund seeks to honor Bill’s legacy,” said Karen Pulte, director of the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship Program. “We are looking for scholars who demonstrate many of the traits that Bill admired most, including hard work, compassion, integrity and a commitment to creating a better and more just world.”

One of the first students to benefit from this gift is Hannah Reaman, who graduated in spring 2023. A leader with an impeccable work ethic, Reaman embodies the characteristics of a William J. Pulte scholar.

“As an individual who comes from a humble upbringing and is a minority in my chosen career field, I am so appreciative of the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation for providing me with the wonderful gift of education and professional training experiences,” said Reaman.

She and her classmates implemented several community service projects this past academic year, with the support of the William J. Pulte Community Service Endowment, which supports tool and supply purchases for the program’s community service projects, including the senior capstone project. Projects included: boardwalk construction near County Road 550 in Marquette County on the North Country National Scenic Trail; the design and build of cabinets and bicycle storage for the Janzen House; and the creation of a new display at the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum.

“We have always prided ourselves on building relationships, helping the surrounding community and providing better opportunities for our students, and these funds significantly help us do those things all at once,” said Evan Lucas '11 BS, construction management professor. “Instead of spending countless hours each semester trying to either raise more funds or replenish accounts that help support our students and/or community, we can now spend that time focusing on the efforts that really matter. We couldn’t be more excited and thankful for the support the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation has provided our program and our students, and are eager to continue to put this funding to productive use for the betterment of all.”

In the way that Bill used hard work, perseverance and goodwill to build his company, the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation is helping to build the futures of our Wildcats, and supporting the community in the process.

“The Pulte Family scholarship and endowment are game changers for our program.” —Professor Evan Lucas



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