At CHA, Bruce was actively involved in Players and served as its president in 1960. After graduating, he attended Washington & Lee where he majored in journalism and continued his involvement in the theater. Bruce was recognized by W&L in 2019 as a Distinguished Five-Star Alumni Award winner.
Following Washington and Lee, Bruce pursued an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and entered the world of finance, serving as a commercial banker in New York for Irving Trust Company. In 1968 his career path took a turn when he left Irving in 1968 to work on Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. He followed Nixon to Washington in 1969 and worked in the White House as a staff assistant in the White House Press Office until Nixon’s resignation in 1974. After the Nixon administration, Bruce returned to finance, working for Alex Brown & Sons, then the oldest investment banking firm in the country, where he became a partner and shareholder of Brown Advisory. Today, Bruce is managing director with William Blair’s Private Wealth Management group.
This fall Bruce issued a generous challenge grant to all alumni and friends in support of the Restore the Rec Campaign in addition to making a transformative leadership gift to the project. To build momentum for the campaign, Bruce met with current and past Players, encouraging them to “get the job done.” He has publicly pledged in a letter to all Players alumni that he is “personally committed to getting the Players back in the Rec as soon as possible.”
Honorary alumnus and former faculty member Jim Talbot H’81 shares that “Bruce Whelihan, CHA ‘60, discovered his love for the performing arts as a student at CHA that continues to this day. His wonderful support of the “Restore the Rec” campaign, with both a lead gift and a matching gift challenge, has bolstered our plan to update the home of our drama program. Renovations are already underway, and Bruce has urged SCH to get our students back into the Rec 'as soon as we can!'"
For his unbounded enthusiasm, it is our honor to award Bruce with this year’s Alumnus of the Year. Thank you, Bruce, for your inspiring support!