Alumnus Endows The Bross Family Scholarship in Business

Natalie Bombatch

posted May 19, 2014


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is excited to announce that Johnstown native and Pitt-Johnstown alumnus Richard Bross ‘73 has endowed the Bross Family Scholarship in Business. The endowment will reward students who are Business majors, who have demonstrated academic excellence, who possess strength in communication and interpersonal skills, and who have demonstrated ethical leadership.

Bross family“We are deeply appreciative to Rick and Susie Bross for this generous endowment gift. Not only will it make a significant difference for many Pitt-Johnstown students for years to come, but I expect that it will prompt other alumni to consider how they can help secure the University’s mission for future students. Rick has set a high standard for other alumni to follow, and we are profoundly grateful,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar.

Mr. Bross graduated from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown magna cum laude with a BA in Economics and was a Divisional Scholar in Economics. Despite gaining a wonderful education overall, Mr. Bross felt that he graduated lacking strong communication skills, specifically in critical reading and writing and in public speaking. He worked hard during the beginning of his career with Hormel Foods to develop those skills through taking classes, training, personal study, practice, and even working with his wife, Susie. In addition, Hormel Foods, a company with strong values and ethics, instilled in him a deep commitment to people – employees, customers, shareholders – who deserve the best leaders they can trust to build their companies the right way, over time with all stakeholders’ best interests in mind. To this end, Mr. Bross is a fervent supporter of Business graduates possessing strong skills over a wide spectrum of learning.

"Our goal for the Bross Family Scholarship is to develop strong leaders with the communication skills and unwavering integrity needed to assure our bright future. We need such leaders both in the private and public sectors,” said Mr. Bross.

To support that goal, the Bross Family Scholarship in Business will provide tuition and support to one student per year who has a major in Business. To be eligible for the Bross Family Scholarship in Business, a student must be a Business major entering his/her junior or senior year with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed at least 9 credits in Economics. Finally, the student must demonstrate proficiency in communications, human relations, and ethical leadership through coursework, academic awards and honors, and extracurricular activities. A student may earn the scholarship for both his/her junior and senior years, but must be taken through the nomination and selection committee process each year.

In regard to their donation to Pitt-Johnstown, Mr. Bross closed, “Susie and I worked hard, but we were also very lucky. We believe it is important to give back to our communities, both in time and financially. We have done so for much of our lives. We decided to narrow our financial giving to only a few areas so the amount dedicated to each would be meaningful. For some time we have wanted to help Pitt-Johnstown develop talented, future leaders. This will be our number one beneficiary. We are delighted our wish is now reality. We encourage others, especially alumni, to consider investing in the University’s future.”

Mr. and Mrs. Bross also made a substantial commitment to the University for a future, planned gift.

Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University is the regional leader, educating for the RealWorld. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).