Julia Bruce

Julia Bruce

Terre Haute native Julia Bruce’s Indiana State University experience, by the numbers:

  • 40 years as administrative assistant at the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center
  • Has served under five University presidents
  • Worked out of two locations that have housed the center

“I came here after high school. I worked for Columbia Records for a while before they moved, then I got this job at ISU, and I’ve been at the same place ever since,” Bruce said. “I’ve seen a lot of change at Indiana State and the African American Cultural Center since I came here in April of 1981, but I love working here and have a passion for the students that we serve.”

One of the most recognizable changes for Bruce has been the relocation of the center in 1995.

“We were located by Rec East, across from the where the Towers were, when I started here, and it was a convenient place for the students. We were on one floor and I shared an office with the assistant director. After being there for about my first 15 years on campus, it was a change to go to a new location, but changes are good and it offered us more space and was closer to campus, which are both good for the students.”

It’s one of many displays of Indiana State’s commitment to its students and their long-term success.

“I, and everyone at the African American Cultural Center, love to see our students graduate and become a success. That’s why we offer so many networking opportunities for students, internships and opportunities for them to experience diversity and engage with people who are different,” Bruce said. “Then, there’s the social aspects, like students organizations, leadership and professional development opportunities and ways to advance their personal growth. The best part is that I get to be a part of it all with the students we employee at the center.”

For Bruce, the relationships with everyone who comes into the center is what has meant the most during her tenure.

“I’ve built many relationships over the last 40 years that have been long-lasting. I still have the occasional alumni who will call or message me on social media,” she said.

One thing Bruce has noticed is that students, while different and surer of what their likes and dislikes are than previous generations, their core values and reasons for desiring an education have remained much the same.

“These days, students can get almost everything they want or want to know online or through social media,” Bruce said. “But it’s good to see that they still come to college wanting to seek opportunities for things like leadership relationship building that will help them get the ultimate result – that first job after college.”