“Dr. Chowan” will be missed

Published 7:27 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

He was the living, breathing soul of Chowan University for more than three decades. He was, as current Chowan President Dr. Chris White said, “Dr. Chowan.”

When Dr. Bruce E. Whitaker died Tuesday morning, he left behind a legacy of a success in Murfreesboro. He and those who worked with him led the institution from a small, almost non-existence entity to perhaps the best junior college in the country.

From literally nothing, Chowan sprang to life under the guidance of Dr. Whitaker. He built buildings, increased endowment, paid debts and generally made Chowan what it was in those days – the premier college of its kind.

As Dr. White and his administration work to move Chowan forward – with the change to university status, improvements throughout the campus and moving athletics to NCAA Division II – their success is forever linked to the hard work of Dr. Whitaker.

No matter how long since he retired, when Dr. Bruce Whitaker showed up, he still had the college spirit with him. He loved Chowan and he loved the people who made it a thriving college.

Be it at a football game, a trustee meeting or a small gathering on campus, Dr. Whitaker was always a fan of Chowan. His love for the school made it his driving passion and his work showed it.

We all lost a wonderful man Tuesday morning and an institution lost part of its history – a part that is filled with success, love and of being the absolute best.