Dr. Richard Bryson, Leaving a Legacy 42 Years and Still Hitting It Out of the Park
Forty-two. It’s a significant number in American history. Baseball fans know it’s the number that the great Jackie Robinson wore as he battled prejudice and politics to become the first African American to play in the Major League. It was not easy for him, but his perseverance, dedication, and passion for the sport kept him going.
The number forty-two is also noteworthy in our local community’s history. It marks the number of years that Dr. J. Richard Bryson has been the President of Marion Technical College. Forty-two years. That’s a LONG time. And much like the great Jackie Robinson, Dr. Bryson has fought battles for this College and for the communities we serve.
He tells stories of the “good old days” when MTC began. Employees would go out and “scoop people off of the streets” to form a student body. His goal has never wavered over the years. MTC’s goal was – and still is – o educate and employ members of our community. To give them better lives with meaning and purpose, and to give this community an educated workforce that promotes economic opportunities and growth.
The College was founded in 1970, but officially opened the doors for classes with 187 students in 1971. Bryson came to the College in July 1972 to serve as Vice President for Administration before he was named as the President of Marion Technical College in December of 1973. His leadership, vision, and passion for education has provided an opportunity for more than 40,000 students to learn something through MTC – be it one class, a certificate, some type of training, and/or a full two-year degree.
As we approach baseball season, summer term, and the end of the Bryson legacy at MTC, please help us pay tribute to a man who has impacted our community in so many ways – not for praise (he wouldn’t even let us throw him a party) – not for recognition, but simply because he was doing what he loved. That devotion is admirable and those who will continue on at Marion Technical College will not lose sight of the mission – it is our goal to make him proud by continuing to serve our community.
If you see “Dr. B” out walking (as he often does) – stop and shake his hand, thank him for his service to the community and know that he did it to serve local employment needs, change lives, and because of his passion for education. He did it for you – those who live here, work here, and own businesses here. This is YOUR College.
Our goal is that Dr. Bryson sees the College continue to succeed as he turns out the “stadium lights” on his career. He built it – they came! They will continue to come and the community will continue to prosper because of his initial had work. Not a bad hit – in fact, it’s an out-of-the-parker!