Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., president emeritus of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, passed away at his home in Port Orange, Florida, on February 17. He was 91 years old.
Dr. Bronson served as the fourth president of what was then Bethune-Cookman College from 1975 until his retirement as president emeritus in 2004. During his tenure, he added accredited nursing and teaching programs, increased enrollment, oversaw the addition of 15 new buildings on campus, and vastly increased the college’s budget and endowment. Major fields of study at Bethune-Cookman increased from 12 to 37 during Dr. Bronson’s 29-year tenure as president.
In addition to his career at Bethune-Cookman, Dr. Bronson also served as president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta from 1968 to 1975. He was president of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida, from 2005 to 2007. His life is memorialized in the book, Chief Servant Leader: The Life and Leadership of Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., President of Bethune Cookman (Legacies & Memories, 2004).
An ordained United Methodist minister, Dr. Bronson was a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College. He held a bachelor of divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.