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Build Our Future: Eric Bronson

12 February 2019

“I received the Above and Beyond Scholarship so I thought serving on the Foundation board was a great way to give back to the organization I benefited from as a student.”

Before serving as a Pratt Community College Foundation Board member, Eric Bronson grew up in Pratt County where he attended Skyline all through grade school and high school. He then attended PCC on the Above and Beyond Scholarship where he studied education, before graduating with his associate’s degree in December of 1999.

“Attending PCC was a good experience,” said Bronson. “I had great instructors and I really liked the smaller setting. It was also a cost efficient stepping stone into my higher ed. I was able to work my way through college and what I didn’t get covered by scholarships, I was able to pay for by working. That was a big deal to me.”

After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK, Bronson moved back to Pratt County and taught at Skyline for eight and half years. Coming home to teach was not necessarily planned, and he certainly did not plan on teaching in the school he grew up in alongside the teachers he had when he was a kid, but Bronson saw it as an excellent experience. After eight and a half years, a new opportunity presented itself and Bronson switched careers to work as a trust officer at the Peoples Bank in Pratt. It was there he was introduced to a chance to give back to the school that began his higher education.

“Another trust officer at the bank, Ernie Richardson, was on the PCC Foundation board for several years,” said Bronson. “When his term expired, the board asked members who they knew that would have an interest in serving and be a good candidate. Ernie threw out my name and I agreed to it.”

Bronson has served on the board since July of 2014. His favorite project he has worked on to date has been the recent project to raise money for updated and new facilities, such as a new track and field complex.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the projects that will bring some nice facilities to the community and strengthen participation among the various community entities, such as the college, local school districts, rec programs and so on,” said Bronson. “It will be neat to see how that is all intertwined with some additional athletic facilities. It will also be beneficial to the college to help strengthen their track and field and soccer programs and be a drawing card for athletes to come to PCC.”

Bronson also enjoys helping raise money to provide scholarships to students. He sees PCC as an avenue for a wide variety of students to achieve their goals. After spending eight and a half years in the education profession, he is a firm believer in the field, however he is not a believer in the cookie-cutter approach that every student needs to have the same educational experience by going to a four year college to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

“There are lots of career paths that PCC can be the full and complete preparation for students through vocational tech programs,” said Bronson.

In addition to giving back to the organization that provided his scholarship and helping to provide students the same opportunities he had, Bronson believes serving on the board is a way to support the college, which is important to the Pratt community.

“I think PCC has a vital role in our community, both in terms of the local economy and keeping Pratt as a vibrant community,” said Bronson. “If you look at census numbers, Pratt County is only one of the handful of western Kansas counties to not lose people. I think PCC is important to that dynamic and serving on the Foundation board is one of the ways I could show my support.”

This year, Pratt Community College is honoring those who choose to help build the futures of our students. Each month during 2019, PCC is proud to feature those alumnae, community members, board members and faculty who have done their part to build the future of the lives of students as well as the growth of the institution. If you would like to be considered for one of our monthly features, contact Jessica Ward at 620-450-2192, jessicaw@prattcc.edu.