UCI News

In memoriam: Dickson ‘Dave’ Bruce, professor emeritus of history

Dickson D. "Dave" Bruce, UC Irvine professor emeritus of history, died Nov 24. He was 68 years old.

December 2, 2014

Dickson D. “Dave” Bruce, UC Irvine professor emeritus of history, died Nov. 24. He was 68 years old. A well-known scholar of 19th century U.S. cultural history, he published works on the South, popular religion, codes of honor, and African American history and literature. Bruce came to UCI in 1971 and served as associate dean of undergraduate studies, acting associate dean of the division of graduate studies and research, and director of the program in comparative culture. Birte Pfleger, now in the history department at California State University, Los Angeles, remembers him as “the kindest, gentlest and most generous adviser a student could hope for. … In both his scholarship and his teaching, he cut through jargon. It obscured, he said, the meaning of important things like religion, race, life and death. Dave was an adviser, mentor and friend and will always be missed.” Bruce is survived by his wife, Mary Watson-Bruce; his daughter, Emily Bruce; his son-in-law, Justin McCrary; and grandchildren Zeke McCrary and Lila McCrary. His family and UCI’s Department of History have established a fund in his name to support graduate student research. For more information, contact Marijana Lekousis, interim director of development for the School of Humanities, at marijana@uci.edu or 949-824-1342. Donations can also be made here by selecting the School of Humanities as the area of support and writing “Dickson Bruce Dissertation Award” in the comments field. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 3:30 pm at the University Hills Community Center.