After serving Wheaton College for the past 34 years, business and economics professor Bruce Howard was unanimously chosen on Tuesday to receive the 2015 Distinguished Service to Alma Mater award.
Howard graduated from Wheaton in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Since then, he has taught numerous business and economics courses, ranging from microeconomics to finance and accounting. In conjunction with his teaching career, Howard maintains an active professional association with Tyndale House Publishers by serving on their board of directors. He also has work experience in healthcare administration and banking.
Currently teaching accounting classes, Howard is loved and respected by his students. Many have commented that Howard is skilled in telling insightful stories that directly correlate to the topic at hand.
“I had Dr. Howard for microeconomics last year and I absolutely loved it,” said senior Stephen Quillen. “Not only was he deeply engaged with the subject matter, but it was evident to everyone that he cared about his students.”
“Bruce howard establishes rapport with his students right off the bat with his quirky sense of humor and strong grasp of the material,” said sophomore Kirkland An.
Howard is also committed to the integration of liberal arts, incorporating elements of theology, marketing, sales and foreign language into many of his lectures.
“It’s amazing how Dr. Howard teaches economics. He does it in a way that is compelling even to students who wouldn’t normally be excited about the class,” added Quillen.
Not one to boast of his own achievements, Howard attributed his success to his family, particularly the influence of his father. According to Howard, his father and mother-in-law also received the award for their contribution to Wheaton’s community.
Howard’s father, in fact, was instrumental in bringing him on as a professor at Wheaton, urging Howard to take over his class one semester while he was recovering from surgery. That was Howard’s first time teaching at Wheaton, and he eventually fell in love with it, especially the relationships he developed with students.
Despite Howard’s self-proclaimed introverted nature, he says that he loves his students and what he does. “I try to get beyond superficial stuff because introverts really enjoy interacting with other people, but in sort of a known setting.”
In Dr. Howard’s accounting class this semester, he explained his desire to emulate the character of Barnabas, who he explained was a crucial figure for the life of the church. If Barnabas had not given Paul or Mark his stamp of approval, Howard said, their ministries would have never taken root.
Likewise, Howard hopes to act as a Barnabas for students on campus, vouching for them and enabling them to “perform at their highest potential.”
“I try to live up to the example of Barnabas in how I live and teach,” Howard says.