Deceased February 3, 2012
When I visited William “Bronc” Elliott months before our class’s 45th Reunion, he had been through advanced treatments at Mass. General that showed promise to hold back a melanoma that had set at him. Bronc told me he just wanted to attend our reunion and then we could, he said, “recalculate the odds.” Bronc did come to the reunion, accompanied by his vigor and cheer and by Stephanie, who proved to be a heroic partner until the cancer finally had its fatal way this February.
Shortly after Bronc applied to Amherst, he met with Dean Wilson at a basketball game. The dean said, “I think you’d be a good fit at Amherst.” Emma Gorenberg ’07, daughter of our classmate David, confirms that truth, “Bronc had innately what the school tries to teach each of its students: the belief that compassion, humility and openness to others are necessary for a growing mind. He was, above all else, kind. For me he will always embody the best of Amherst."
Bronc came to Amherst from Braintree, Mass. He lived in Stearns as a freshman, played varsity basketball, joined Theta Delt and wrote for the Amherst College News Bureau.
Bronc was the sixth headmaster at Thayer Academy; he is remembered for raising morale, healing racial divisions, increasing enrollment and raising the endowment enough to cover the cost of a new observatory. Bronc also taught at Thayer, Frances Parker School and the Friends Seminary in New York, where he coached tennis and softball and loved New York City. On leaving Amherst, Bronc’s first assignment was at the Loomis School in Connecticut, where he taught subjects around his Amherst major of biology while receiving a law degree from Fordham University.
Bronc leaves his daughter, Julia; his companion, Stephanie; and so many classmates, students and friends who will, throughout their lives, carry the memory of this warm and loving man.
“Tis death is dead, not he.”
Paul Ehrmann ’65