Clara Paulson was an English faculty member at Luther from 1939 until 1971 and was one of the first women to receive tenure and become a full professor at Luther. She served as Dean of Women from 1940-43 and from 1944-47, involved in the early stages of the college's approval by the American Association of University Women in 1958, and was also the Iowa state representative for the AAUW for a number of years. She taught the first black studies course at Luther College (now called Africana Studies). She was a Fulbright exchange teacher to Bergen, Norway, in 1951-1952. Upon retirement, Paulson moved to northern Minnesota and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.