Bruce Coull '64
Carolina Distinguished Professor and dean emeritus, University of South Carolina

Environmental Steward

Bruce Coull ’64 spearheaded much of the effort to “green” buildings on the University of South Carolina campus, where he retired in 2006 as Carolina Distinguished Professor of Marine and Biological Sciences and Dean of the School of Environment. He defended the necessity of sustainable buildings before the idea was en vogue and helped convince university leaders to commit to greening all future building projects. Incremental change that leads to meaningful impact is the name of the game, and it all began at Moravian.

When Albert E.H. Gaumer, then head of biology, invited his advanced ecology class to his lakeside cottage in the Poconos to study the local ecosystem, an ecologist’s career was born. Studying plankton and larger creatures to decipher local food chains was the perfect research trip for Coull, who collected plants, insects, and – despite his mother’s protests – snakes as a boy.

“Fieldwork – working with the creatures, trying to understand how it all fit together – and the influence of my Moravian mentors clearly steered me toward my life’s work as an ecologist,” he recalls. Moravian’s legendary head football coach Rocco Calvo also “understood that a biology major had labs and might be late for or miss practice,” says Coull. “He was concerned that I got my education first and played football after that.”

Coull credits those faculty mentors with transforming him from a “mediocre” student into a distinguished alumnus who received the Comenius Award in 2006. He was president of the US Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (of which Moravian is a member) 2004-2006. After retirement he was a director for the Center for Humans and Nature, which sponsors environmental educational programs, and now consults/volunteers for a variety of South Carolina environmental non-profits concentrating on the faith based community and their care for the Earth.

7/7/11

Bruce Coull

"Fieldwork – working with the creatures, trying to understand how it all fit together – and the influence of my Moravian mentors clearly steered me toward my life's work as an ecologist."