The dedication paid homage to Unger's lasting influence on
the college and his many students.
On Saturday, October 15, 2011, Randolph-Macon College honored the late Bruce Unger,
who taught political science at R-MC from 1968-2008. The formal dedication, which
took place on the lawn between the McGraw-Page Library and Fox Hall, named Unger’s
former office, Fox Hall 105, in his honor.
Dedication for a slideshow of photos from the event.
R-MC faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends attended the dedication, which
paid homage to Unger’s lasting influence on the college and his many students.
Alan Rashkind ’69, Chair of the R-MC Board of Trustees, welcomed guests.
“Today we gather to remember and honor one of Randolph-Macon College’s most beloved
faculty members, Dr. Bruce M. Unger, and the lasting influence he had on our community,
by dedicating the office that he occupied for over 40 years, Fox Hall, Room 105,
in his name,” said Rashkind.
R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren lauded Unger’s gifts as a master scholar and prolific
“Bruce had a big heart, an inquiring mind and a vested interest in the welfare of
R-MC,” said Lindgren. “Bruce forced us to question assumptions, to deviate from
familiar paths and always, always, to make decisions with the best interests of
our faculty, staff, and students in mind.”
Provost William T. Franz called Unger “one of the most profoundly influential members
of our faculty.” He went on to say, “During Bruce’s teaching career, he managed
to challenge his students and get more out of them than they thought they had the
capacity to manage. Perhaps this is because he challenged himself to get the most
out of every moment, the most out of every class meeting, every exam given, every
book discussed, indeed every article assigned.”
Other speakers included Brian Turner, chair of R-MC’s political science department,
who was Unger’s colleague, and Robert B. Lambeth Jr. ’71, and Robert Rankin ’71,
who were Unger’s students.
Adrian Rice spoke on behalf of the founding donors of the Dr. Bruce M. Unger Faculty
and Student Enrichment Fund, which was created by R-MC Professors Lauren Bell (political
science), James Doering (music), Adrian Rice (mathematics) and Deonna Woolard (physics),
all of whom were hired by Unger during his service as acting dean of the college
during the 1998-99 academic year. The fund was established September 1, 2010 on
the occasion of these faculty members’ promotions to the rank of professor, with
grateful appreciation to Unger for his four decades of leadership and service to
the college. Subsequently, other faculty members, as well as alumni, have also donated
generously to the fund.
To carry on his example of lifelong inquiry, the Unger Faculty and Student Enrichment
Fund is designed to help faculty members and students defray the cost or enhance
the experience of professional or personal experiential learning opportunities.
Unger joined the faculty in 1968 and served as chair of the political science department
from 1999–2002 and from July 2003–February 2004. He was respected by his peers as
demonstrated by their election of him to serve numerous years as the faculty representative
on the president’s cabinet and as the faculty liaison to the Board of Trustees.
He engaged and challenged students in the classroom and was just as diligent in
helping them secure internships and research projects. Remembered for his wit, humor,
and zest for life, Unger loved to travel and would delight his colleagues and students
with stories about what he learned. He understood that one’s education does not
stop in the classroom; rather, he believed that experiential learning is equally
as important as formal instruction for gaining insight and understanding.
In 2008, the college established The Bruce M. Unger Award for Retiring Faculty.
Unger had planned to retire from R-MC in 2008 after 40 years of service to the college.
In his honor, the Bruce M. Unger Award for Retiring Faculty was established. The
award recognizes the contributions of retiring faculty with more than 10 years of
service to the college. Recipients are recognized each year at Commencement and
presented with a monetary award.
A ribbon-cutting and reception on the lawn of Fox Hall concluded the dedication
ceremony and included the program participants, the faculty donors and Unger’s widow,
Arlene Unger; daughter Ashley; and son Erik, his wife Heather, and their 9-month-old
son, Ethan Bruce.
For additional details, or to make a gift to support either of these funds, please
contact Myra Legg, executive director of development, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 752-8502.