Happy 101st birthday, Bruce K. Nelson!Bruce K. Nelson

Bruce K. Nelson's turns 101 on November 13th!

On Friday, November 11th, we will be hosting a small birthday party in honor of this milestone. While Bruce can't be with us in person, we would still like to celebrate. The FDC will have cake and a card for everyone to sign that will be sent to his home in Bloomington, IN.

Please stop in on November 11th between 10:00am and 2:00pm to have a cupcake and to sign his card. 


According to his daughter, Nancy Nelson, Bruce "is still as engaging, fun and bright as ever. He still loves to play scrabble, partake in home cooking and enjoys looking at pictures and reading the New York Times!"


Bruce K. Nelson began a long and distinguished career of services at Eastern Michigan University in 1954. He was the director of the EMU lab school and superintendent of Lincoln Schools. He quickly assumed the role of Vice President for Instruction (equivalent to the current Provost position) and served in that capacity for 21 years. During this time, Dr. Nelson played a major role in shaping the academic structure of the University and helped facilitate the creation of the College of Education. He was responsible for registration, advising, and developing expanded class offerings to make more classes available for students.

Dr. Nelson also shepherded the building of the then "new" library, which has now been transformed into the Porter Building. In 1975, Dr. Nelson returned to his professorship in the Department of Educational Leadership. He retired in 1981.


In tribute to Dr. Nelson's work and in particular his devotion to the needs of faculty, the Faculty Development Center was renamed "The Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center" at a large and successful celebration of Dr. Nelson's life and work in March 2005. The funds raised in connection with this event have provided for a renovation of the space that the center occupies in the Halle Library. The renovation makes it possible to provide small group technology instruction, flexible seating for small group meetings, and a quiet study/reading area for faculty. The EMU Foundation, a large number of emeritus faculty, and the Provost's Office have graciously made this renovation possible.

Bruce currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana near his family. I had an opportunity  to meet with Bruce when he was 96 years old, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing  about him talk about his years at EMU. One of his quotes that really resonates with me hangs in the Center, "Instilling in others a love of learning is the teacher's greatest challenge."

Please join the FDC in wishing Bruce a very Happy Birthday!