Dr. Bob and Gloria Bell
Before becoming TTU’s eighth president in 2000, Dr. Bell served for 24 years as a professor and dean of the College of Business. As TTU’s First Lady, Gloria Bell has been a tireless ambassador for the University, for Cookeville and for the region. Together they make a dynamic and dedicated team.
Born in a small town in Illinois, Bob Bell and his family moved to Cocoa, Florida while he was in high school. He earned his PH.D in Management/Organizational Behavior at the U of Florida and met Gloria at the U of North Florida where they both worked.
In 1976, he accepted the position of Chairman of the Management and Marketing Department at TTU. Dr. Bell and Gloria moved to Cookeville where they raised their two boys, Dave and John, and their daughter Heather.
“I think Cookeville and the Upper Cumberland has the friendliest, nicest, most caring people in the world,” said Gloria. “The natural beauty of our area of Tennessee cannot be surpassed. We have tremendous music and art opportunities as well as great sporting events. To top it all off, we have a top-notch university sitting in our midst.”
Recently President Bell announced his retirement. When asked what he enjoyed the most about being TTU’s President, he replied, “Without a doubt, the students. It is so great to interact with students and alumni every day. “
TTU’s First Lady had a hard time saying what she enjoyed the most.
“I have truly enjoyed hearing wonderful stories from alumni all over the country who talk about their time at Tech and the special people here that made a difference in their lives… When I look at our students today, I see faces full of promise. I know that twenty years from now, they will be telling these same wonderful stories. They will be reaping the benefits of receiving an education from Tennessee Tech.”
“We face many challenges today,” said Dr. Bell. “The world has changed and the United States no longer enjoys the role as the unchallenged leader in education. Our nation and our state seem to have lost the will to make education a high priority.”
Over the years, Dr. Bell and Gloria have been active partners with WCTE. They have helped with the Great TV Auction and participated in the Tech Homecoming Parade broadcast. Dr. Bell has even served as a judge for WCTE’s Academic Bowl.
“This community and region are enriched by the presence of Public Television,” said Dr. Bell. “WCTE brings the world to the region in a very special way, and also provides really high quality local programming.”
Dr. Bell enjoys a variety of programs, including the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree, Tennessee Sportsman, Rick Steves’ This Is Europe, Tennessee Crossroads and Victory Garden. Gloria loves the local shows as well as music programs like Live from Lincoln Center and Great Performances. She also enjoys Antiques Roadshow, Tennessee Crossroads and the travel shows.
“WCTE is our public television station and a great asset to the Upper Cumberland," said Gloria. “When we help (the station), we are helping ourselves.”
At WCTE, we truly appreciate the contributions that the Bells have made and continue to make to the station, and we wish them a happy retirement full of relaxation, travel, the garden, the great outdoors and of course, grandchildren.
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