NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dove Kull (1897-1991)
Dove Kull was raised in Oklahoma. In 1922, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma with social services and journalism certificates. In 1927, she earned a master's degree in 18th century literature at Columbia University. In 1940, she received her master's degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma.
During the depression, Ms. Kull was second-in-command of the federal Works Progress Administration in Oklahoma. She also worked at a mental health hospital and was a faculty member of the University of Oklahoma.
In 1959, she moved to Alaska and created adoption, foster care, and other programs for children in need around the state. As an activist, Ms. Dove secured funds from the Federal Children's Bureau in 1961 to establish Alaska's first accredited childcare center that was set up in Juneau. In 1969, she moved from Kotzebue to Juneau to become director of an agency sponsored by the Episcopal and Methodist churches. The agency ran the first nationally accredited service of homemaker and health assistance to the elderly.
In 1976, she lobbied for funds to build Juneau's Mountain View Senior Center and Apartments and later worked to fund its expansion. In 1977, she was a delegate for Alaska to the International Women's Conference in Houston. She was also involved in other efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
Ms. Kull was instrumental in setting up the state's Older Alaskan Commission in 1981, which she served on for many years.
She was honored for her service when the AWARE women's and children's shelter was named Dove Cottage in 1985. Other honors include a U.S. Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1973. She was named Woman of the Year by the Soroptimists in 1981 and by the Business and Professional Women in 1982.