Dedication Ceremony Planned for Terry L. Bruce West Richland Center

Sep 13, 2023

The West Richland Center will be formally renamed and dedicated in honor of former Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Chief Executive Officer Terry Bruce during a ceremony on September 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Bruce served as IECC’s CEO for 23 years, retiring in 2019. The Board of Trustees issued a proclamation in June dedicating the West Richland Center to honor Bruce’s legacy. “I was very surprised,” said Bruce. “It was not something I had ever thought about, but I’m very honored.”
Dr. G. Andrew Fischer served as the Board Chairman during part of Bruce’s tenure as CEO. “Terry Bruce was a fantastic CEO, statesman, and leader in our communities.  Illinois Eastern Community Colleges was so very blessed to have him at the helm for so many years.  Mr. Bruce's vision and aspirations for the district were always such a driving force.  Terry had a way of envisioning a concept or idea and bringing it to fruition in such a way that benefitted everyone involved.”
Fischer and current Board Chairman Gary Carter agree that one of those concepts was the West Richland Center.  “The West Richland Center is something that he had a great vision for,” said Carter. “He saw how the facility could be used to strengthen our communities with workforce education. He saw how that could be a key function of Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.”
The Terry L. Bruce West Richland Center currently houses programs for welding, cosmetology, and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as IECC’s Business and Industry division, which provides workforce training and development opportunities for employers within the District and across the state. 
In addition to dedicating the Terry L. Bruce West Richland Center on September 29, the day will also mark a grand opening ceremony for the Small Business Development Center located in the building. IECC’s SBDC is a part of a network of similar facilities throughout the state. They provide training and technical assistance to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. 
Reflecting on his legacy at IECC, Bruce remains humble. “I was a conductor. I was fortunate that we had a lot of good people working at IECC while I was there. We did a lot to make IECC financially secure. I am also proud of all of the students that we helped educate in my time.”