Bruce T. Halle was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1930. He first enrolled at EMU in 1948, living in Munson Hall. In 1950, at the start of the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After his tour of duty, he returned to EMU in 1953, graduating three years later. "I always wanted to go back and finish my college degree at Eastern Michigan," Halle said. Working on campus in McKenny Union (now known as McKenny Hall) in a variety of roles including landscaping, janitor and soda bar attendant; working off campus, Halle also sold automobiles. After graduation Halle tried insurance sales, and one day while selling, came upon an old high school friend who joined him in a wholesale tire, battery and accessories business. Although that partnership failed, Halle had found his passion, and in 1960 opened the first Discount Tire store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. By 2016, Discount Tire had garnered over $4.2 billion in annual sales with over 900 stores, three cross-dock distribution centers, and over 17,000 employees in 31 states throughout the U.S. and by the end of 2018 will have over 1,000 stores in 34 states.
Giving back to the communities where customers and employees reside was a focal point of Halle’s leadership. He and wife, Diane, launched The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, a philanthropic resource for a broad range of charitable endeavors. Halle also created programs to benefit Discount Tire employees such as the Bruce T. Halle Assistance Fund, which provides financial assistance to employees in need, as well as the Bruce T. Halle Scholarship Program, which has awarded over 2,700 scholarships for employees’ children to attend college.
Halle also wanted to give something back to his alma mater, The Bruce T. Halle Endowment was established with a $1.5 million gift. "The University gave me a lot," Halle said, "I received a wonderful education and a wonderful lifetime experience. I have fond memories of the University, and once I was able to, I wanted to do something for the school. Part of the money was to go toward [endowing] a new library, as that was a need for the University." When he received an honorary doctorate from EMU and gave the commencement address in 1995, Halle said he “was able to look out at all the nice, young students going out in the world as products of Eastern Michigan University just like I was." Halle said.
When he died January 4th, 2018, Bruce T. Halle left a legacy that touched not only EMU, but nationally the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Liver Foundation, American Red Cross, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Childhelp USA, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association; and more locally in Arizona, his adoptive state, the Arizona Boys and Girls Clubs, Arizona Opera League, the Phoenix and Scottsdale Symphonies, the Crisis Nursery, Arizona Kidney Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and was the first to pledge charter membership of the Children's Urban Survival Program in Phoenix.
Halle Library, 955 W. Circle Dr, Ypsilanti MI, USA 48197 Phone:734.487.0020