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Spelman Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Dr. Bruce Wade

September 2018

Bruce Wade, Ph.D.

Spelman Faculty Bruce WadeBruce H. Wade, Ph.D., served Spelman College for 31 years. A professor in the sociology and anthropology department since 1987, he specialized in analyses of college student health attitudes and behaviors, the sociology of health, health care and wellness, research methodology and computer applications. Deeply involved in community research, education and evaluation research / consulting, he conducted seminars and training sessions in these areas across the state of Georgia.

Dr. Wade was the director of the College Census Information Center and a veteran summer study-abroad faculty leader, who accompanied many students to South Africa in years past. The summer of 2015, Dr. Wade served as co-director of the CIEE study travel program to Portugal with support from the Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education. Also, Dr. Wade published two works related to his interests in student health attitudes and behaviors and racial identity, cited as follows:

  • 2015 Pass, Kenneth, Younge, Sinead N., Al-Bayan, M. and Bruce H. Wade (In press) A Qualitative Analysis of Emerging Adult Black Men’s Sexual Decision-Making Behavior and Substance Use” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.
  • 2015 “The Racial Framing of The Barack Obama Presidency: A Mixed Methods Analysis of HBCU Student Perceptions” in Race in the Age of Obama Part 2. Donald Cunnigen and Marino Bruce (Eds.). Emerald Group Publishing: Bingley, United Kingdom.
Over his more than three decades of service, Dr. Wade worked with many students, faculty and staff. Below are a few reflections from alumnae.

Sociology and Anthropology  Team

Special Tributes

Dr. Bruce Wade: A Tribute
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph,.D., President, Spelman College
Gloria Gayle’s email was the first trickle, like the first tear that rolls down your face, before you even know that you are crying. Then came the other faculty tributes, one email after another, emotions crescendoing as the day went by, sending waves of shock and grief throughout the Spelman community.  Shocking though the news may have been, Dr. Bruce Wade’s death awakened us to each other and [MORE]

Farewell to My Colleague
Cynthia Neal Spence, Ph.D., Social Justice Fellows Program Director
Greetings to Elaine, Sahira, Tamir and Nadire and the beautiful grandchildren whom Bruce adored. This celebration of Bruce’s life is a tribute to him, but also a tribute to you. Learning more about Bruce’s activities with you as a husband of 40 years, father and grandfather, convince me that your family was indeed the wind beneath his wing. [MORE]


"Beyond sad to hear of the passing of my favorite Spelman College professor Dr. Bruce Wade. Dr. Wade was one of my favorite people, confidants and mentors during my tenure at Spelman and afterwords. I loved him. I'm super sad. He was the best." – Alumna

"I’m devastated. Dr. Bruce Wade was like a dad to me and everyone else that knew him. A huge reason why I love Sociology. I’m sick. I’ll never forget the meeting we had after he finished reading my thesis, he told me I should continue my research and turn it into a book. What a wonderful day to start it. Rest In Peace, Dr. Wade, you were absolutely the backbone of the Spelman College Sociology Department. There will never be another. You will be missed, dearly." – Alumna

"The passing of Dr. Bruce Wade breaks my heart. He truly was a great professor and to know he served Spelman for 31 years speaks volumes towards his contribution to the Spelman community, especially in the department of Sociology and Anthropology. He wrote so many letters of recommendation on my behalf, gave great feedback on my thesis (is the reason I continued my thesis), & reminded me to never let grades determine my worth (even though I passed all of his classes). Fly High Dr. Wade." – Alumna, C’2018

"Bruce was a pillar, a stalwart, a sage, a friend to his fellow faculty and a devoted teacher and mentor to Spelman students. Our hearts go out to his wife, Elaine, his family and the many friends, students and colleagues that filled his 30 years with us at Spelman." – President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

Slideshow Tribute Formats:  PDF | PowerPoint | Keynote  |  Quicktime
Bruce Wade Memoriam Presentation

Details for Services & Condolences

Funeral Services
Thursday, September 27 at 11 a.m.
First Christian Church of Decatur, 601 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, Georgia 30030

Memorial Service
Monday, October 1, 2018, at 11 a.m.
Organized by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology department
Spelman College, Sisters Chapel, 350 Spelman Lane, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314

Memorial Gifts
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the B.H.Wade Baseball Foundation. A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo. Make donations to the B.H. Wade Baseball Foundation or make donations via PayPal to

Bruce Wade Obituary

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