Paul F. Bender was born in Primrose, Iowa. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, an M. A. degree from Columbia University, and an Ed. D. from New York University. During the two years before he came to UNI, Bender was athletic director at Shenandoah (Iowa) High School. He was also an assistant instructor of gymnastics at the State University of Iowa from 1916 until 1918. He served in the military in both World Wars.
Professor Bender came to UNI in 1921. He served as track coach, wrestling coach, football coach, Dean of Men, and Dean of Students. He organized wrestling as a varsity sport on campus and coached the team from 1922 until 1930. During his five years as football coach, 1925-1929, his teams compiled a 25-9-6 record. From 1948 until 1952, he served as Dean of Men, and was Dean of Students from 1952 until he retired in 1964. One of his greatest accomplishments was the development of the "head resident" system.
Professor Bender married Mary Adeline Short in 1934. She had taught romance languages at UNI from 1924 until 1933.
Professor Bender died in 1992.
Compiled by Library Assistant Susan Witthoft; edited by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, January 1996; last updated, January 14, 2014 (GP).