- UA 4.1.1
Harold J. Leraas was born in Barrett, Minnesota on December 30, 1908. He attended Barrett High School in the mid-1920’s. In 1930 he graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. He later attended the University of Michigan in 1932 and 1935, where he received his master’s degree and doctorate, respectively. The same year that he earned his doctorate, he married Helen Stein and joined the Pacific Lutheran University faculty as a biology professor. He is credited for establishing the strong reputation of the university’s pre-med and pre-dental programs. In the 1940’s he began practicing dentistry and maintained a practice in Parkland until 1960. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He worked at Pacific Lutheran University for 39 years, retiring in 1974. Before his retirement he was presented with an Outstanding Teacher Award by the campus chapter of Blue Key. He died on Tuesday May 7, 1985 at the age of 76. Many of his former students contributed funds to the establishment of the Leraas Lecture Hall in his honor.