Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Sr. provided exemplary leadership and service to Bethune-Cookman College, where he served as president from 1975-2004. Though he was working as president, Dr. Bronson did many things in his free time that would change the face of Bethune-Cookman College. He came to the College with bold ideas, initiatives, and strong vision. This visionary leader was able to bring Bethune-Cookman College to a level where it is respected nationally and internationally for its academic excellence. Students come from almost every part of the world to attend Bethune-Cookman College.
The benefits of Dr. Bronson’s efforts as president are seen in many areas. Early in his tenure Dr. Bronson took on the difficult fiscal challenges of putting the College on a sound financial footing by developing a strategy for fund raising and fiscal discipline. Dr. Bronson made a significant contribution to the College through an increased endowment.
Through his unwavering and tireless efforts, he was able to raise the College endowment from $1 million when he took office, to $28 million before his retirement. Under his leadership the operating budget grew from $1 million to over $45 million. During his presidency, Bethune-Cookman College became one of the leading institutions generating a huge economic impact of over $250 million annually in the Daytona Beach community and the state of Florida.
Edward Waters College
After retirement, Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Sr. was appointed as the 27th President of Edward Waters College on June 23, 2005 after serving as Interim President since February 2005.
Dr. Bronson’s administration is guided by “The Double E Principle: Excellence and Ethics”. The Principle envisions graduates who think critically and humanely, whose grammar and expressions represent college-level education. Further still, the Principle calls for conduct and attire nurtured by those moral and spiritual values that characterize a mature, responsible, and well-rounded individual who practices honesty and reverence. The Principle also focuses on ‘right’ behavior and on conduct that is honest, accurate and dependable. In this context, Dr. Bronson believes that ethics critique the extent to which integrity flows through one’s character and performance.
His vibrant personality, genuine concern for the growth of the institution, and commitment to the founder’s vision, has enabled him to bring unprecedented private, corporate, and governmental support to the institution. Under his leadership, EWC has received the R&R Grant (Access Retention and Graduation Grant) at $3.1 million, the Student Support Services (TRIO Grant) at $1.4 million, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund Grant at $132,000, and the Dual Engineering Degree Program Grant from the Department of Defense (Army) at $1.8 million.
Labeled a “key power broker for the nation’s black colleges” by Black Issues in Higher Education, Dr. Bronson’s leadership and achievements have become a benchmark in higher education.