At a glance
Two of Dr. Bruce’s former students who graduated from Alfred State in 1977 and are now industry leaders are co-chairing an exciting industry-wide campaign to raise $500,000 to build The Doc Bruce Construction Materials Laboratory on campus.
For more than two decades, Alfred State College (ASC) Professor William “Doc” Bruce, DE, PE, was a beloved mentor and gained the respect of faculty, industry leaders, and students alike for his excellence in education.
Two of Dr. Bruce’s former students who graduated from Alfred State in 1977 are now industry leaders – Jimmy Smith, president of Advance Testing Company, and Gary Hill, president of Union Concrete Construction Corporation. They are co-chairing an exciting industry-wide campaign to raise $500,000 to build The Doc Bruce Construction Materials Laboratory on campus.
This fundraising effort is part of Alfred State’s Major Gifts Campaign, which is looking to raise $8 million for athletics, new programs, scholarships, technology, and the greatest needs of the college. To date, the Doc Bruce Campaign has raised over $203,000 toward its goal and the Major Gifts Campaign has raised more than $6 million.
Located in the Engineering Technology Building, the new lab will honor Doc Bruce’s memory and contributions, support students in the Civil Engineering Technology Department, and help develop new industry workforce. This state-of-the art facility will provide outstanding experiences in laboratory and field testing of various construction materials, focusing on soils, concrete, and asphalt.
“Doc” Bruce, as his students knew him, was the initial adviser for the Alfred State College Associated General Contractors (AGC) student chapter. He worked tirelessly with industry leaders, including the New York State Asphalt Pavement Association (NYSAPA), to connect students with industry through site visits and internships. The AGC and the college will hold a celebratory fundraising event on June 18 at the Turning Stone Resort.
Bruce was also the first lead examiner for the statewide New York Construction Materials Association hot mix asphalt QC/QA certification program. His efforts over the years made an impressive impact in the construction field through the many Alfred State graduates who are now industry leaders, including Smith and Hill, who have donated $50,000 each toward the campaign.
Smith noted that Bruce was a very student-focused professor.
“If I was to describe Dr. Bruce, (I would say that) he was a living conduit that connected us on a real-time basis with potential employers, engineering firms, fellow students, and alums,” Smith said. “He was just a really great communicator that cared about the industry and he believed in building from the foundation up and that’s why this lab is so appropriate.”
Helping students make those all-important connections with industry professionals was very important to Doc Bruce, as was remaining up-to-date with the needs of the construction industry.
“It was that constant connection, and before the term ‘networking’ was even known, Dr. Bruce was a true networker,” Hill said. “He followed that up by being very involved with the AGC chapter. He would come up to our tech conference. He was involved with keeping the student chapter going and listening to the industry so that he knew what the industry needed. I think that’s what’s so important about this lab that we’re going to hopefully update and upgrade. Our fundraising campaign is going to be a very needed thing.”
To learn more about the Doc Bruce Campaign, visit www.AlfredState.edu/Make-A-Gift, or contact Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Danielle White at 607-587-3935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, be sure to watch this video about the Doc Bruce Campaign.