Leonard Paulu '22
Leonard Paulu '22 earned his laurels the hard way as a decorated veteran of WWI who became one of Grinnell's national sprint champions. In 1917 Paulu was hit by shrapnel while serving in France, sustaining a leg wound and losing an eye. As a result of the wounds, Leonard's right-leg stride was four inches shorter than that of his left leg, and occasionally he lost the glass eye which he wore. He ran the 100 yards in :10.4 after enrolling in the spring of 1917, and lowered his time to :10.2, :10 and :9.4 in succeeding seasons. A consistent winner at all levels, Paulu as a senior won both the 100 and 220 in the National Collegiate Meet. A chemistry, physics and math student, he earned Phi Beta Kappa membership and was a campus leader. In 1924 the Grinnellian qualified for the Olympic tryouts but withdrew because his wife was awaiting birth of their child. Paulu taught and coached track in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school system for 40 years, retiring in 1963. As tributes to his career he was named honorary referee of the 50th anniversary Drake Relays and was elected to the Iowa Track Coaches Hall of Fame. He died in 1988.