Conrad, a "preacher's kid," had a great love for knowledge. He graduated from Iliana Christian High School and then from Calvin in 1957 as a history major. Afterward, he spent two years in the army as a helicopter mechanic. When he left the army in 1959, he continued his education at the University of Michigan, receiving two masters degrees in history and library science. For a time, he was librarian at Iliana and taught English at Chicago Christian High School. In the fall of 1965, he returned to Calvin’s Franklin Campus as the periodicals librarian. He eventually oversaw the periodicals, rare books and reference departments at the Hekman Library from 1965 to 1999.
During his years at Calvin, Conrad was a regular at History department gatherings. For years, Conrad was known as the public face of Hekman Library and he loved serving others finding resources or supporting student and faculty research. Along with loving knowledge, Conrad loved books. With his wife, Delores, ("Dee") who worked in the Financial Aid office for more than twenty years, the Bults collected nineteenth and early twentieth-century illustrated children's books. In their 50 years of collecting, the Bults amassed an astounding collection of more than 5,500 children’s books, each hand selected for its beauty, rarity, and delight it brought these bibliophiles. The collection also includes children's literature-related ephemera and realia, such as toys, plates, character cut-outs, illustrations, and advertising.