1971 Alumnus Honored with Catawba’s Prestigious Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award
November 12, 2018
Catawba alumnus and trustee Daniel T. Bross of New York, N.Y., was honored on Sunday, November 11, as the 2018 recipient of the College’s prestigious Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service.
Bross, who serves as co-chair of Catawba’s recently launched $38.2 million Mind Body Soul Campaign, was presented the award by College President Brien Lewis, during a special 1851 Society Celebration for the institution’s major donors. The event was held in Peeler Crystal Lounge of the Robertson College-Community Center.
In recognizing Bross, Lewis noted that he had “repeatedly railed against social injustice and discrimination, and rallied for diversity and inclusion.”
“He has been a strong voice and a tireless advocate for those marginalized and voiceless, especially in the LGBTQ community. Using his skills, his intellect, and his sense of fairness, he has demonstrated time and again, the value and importance of difference in an evolving world of change,” Lewis said.
Bross came south to attend Catawba from his family’s farm in rural Pennsylvania. He majored in Political Science, served as the Student Government Association president during his senior year, and was a student of Professor Sanford Silverburg. It was Professor Silverburg, Lewis explained, who instilled in Bross “a need to live a life of purpose, who made him realize that his work needed to make a difference.”
After his Catawba graduation, Bross served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, taught junior high school history, earned his master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University. He worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for a member of Congress. He worked for a time with his brothers in his father’s business, and even made an attempt to run for political office in his home state of Pennsylvania, but lost to a longtime incumbent.
Returning to Washington, D.C., he landed a lobbyist job with a Houston-based energy group. That job eventually took him to Houston where he led the company’s State Government and Community Affairs Group. It was in Houston that Bross came to terms with the fact that he was a gay man during a time when homophobia was rampant, and as fears of AIDS and HIV were national and even international news.
He decided to put his skills as a lobbyist and his knowledge of government affairs to work combating HIV and AIDS, and the fear and discrimination that surrounded the disease. He left Houston and that company, and spent the next 10 years working on HIV/AIDS issues in California; New York, and Washington, DC. He served as Executive Director of the AIDS Action Council, from 1990 to 1995.
In 1998, he was hired by Microsoft and initially worked in Microsoft’s Government Affairs Group until 2002, when he was promoted to create what is today the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program.
When he retired in 2016 from Microsoft, he was Senior Director for Business and Corporate Responsibility and had a wealth of global experience with a wide-range of international organizations.
Bross was recognized by Catawba in 2016 with its O.B. Michael Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. He began his service on Catawba’s Board of Trustees in February of 1997.
Named in honor of the late Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. of Conover, a businessman and a long-serving member of the College Board of Trustees, the Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service is presented annually to individuals whose actions and generosity to both the college and their communities emulate those of Mr. Shuford. Originally named the President’s Award for Distinguished Service and first presented in 1983, the award was renamed to honor Mr. Shuford in 1984 for his service and generosity to Catawba.
Other Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award recipients and the year in which they received the award include Dr. Theodore P. Leonard, 1983; Enoch A. Goodman, 1984; Clifford A. Peeler, 1985; James F. Hurley, 1986; Ralph W. Ketner, 1987; Elizabeth C. Stanback, 1988; Roy E. Leinbach, Jr., 1989; Frances H. Johnson, 1990; Patricia P. Rendleman, 1991; Mariam Cannon Hayes, 1992; Tom E. Smith, 1993; Claude S. Abernethy, Jr., 1994; Millard F. Wilson, 1995; Fred J. Stanback, Jr., 1996; Paul E. Fisher, 1997; Daniel E. Kirk, 1998; Mary O. Dearborn, 1999; Wilson L. Smith, 2000; Marion M. Richard, 2001; J. Fred and Bonnie Corriher, 2002; William C. Stanback, 2003; Jacqueline C. Leonard, 2004; Charles Taylor, Jr., 2005; Newton O. Fowler and C.A. “Junie” Michael III, 2006; Claude B. Hampton, Jr. and James L. Williamson, 2007; Charles G. Potts, Wade Hampton Shuford, Jr., Dr. Robert E. and Brenda S. Knott, 2008; Robert and Sara Cook, 2009; Raymond and Shirley Ritchie and David E. “Gene” Fuller, 2010; Gordon P. Hurley and Martha Kirkland West, 2011; Joseph B. Oxendine, 2012; Larry Cloninger and Barry Leonard, 2013; William “Bill” and Shari Graham, 2014; Richard “Dick” Seiwell in 2015; Greg Alcorn, 2016; and Darlene Landis Ball, 2017.