Dr. Robert Brueck '68
I truly believe my MacMurray experience was the foundation for future success. Prior to coming to Mac, my mom had just passed away from a long struggle with breast cancer and my dad was disabled and not working. My younger brother, Bill, went to a special home for mentally retarded citizens in Watertown, Wisconsin. The adjustment to college life was daunting, but at Mac I found everyone ready to assist me in my transition. I was encouraged to join the soccer team, a sport I had never played. All the encouragement my teammates and coaches gave me made me relentless to do my best, and by the end of my freshman year, I was starting on the varsity team. At the beginning of my sophomore year I was short $1645.00 on my tuition, which my dad promised to pay but never did. A few weeks after school began, Mr. Ricks, the business manager, called me into his office to discuss my account. I apologized and told him I would have to leave school. After a few days, he contacted me to let me know that my loan and scholarship had been increased to allow me to stay. Most schools would have said goodbye, but Mac took a caring and compassionate stand in view of my circumstances. I will forever be grateful and filled with such gratitude for their 'going the extra mile.' MacMurray also offered a close-knit classroom structure which allowed me to blossom academically. Since I was somewhat introverted, MacMurray's family environment allowed me to develop my social skills and become a well-rounded individual. I owe my success to all the wonderful people at MacMurray who took a chance on me, had faith, and allowed me to develop.
Dr. Robert J. Brueck graduated from MacMurray College in 1968 with a bachelor of arts in chemistry. At MacMurray, he participated on the MacMurray Soccer team, and in the MSA Senate, Letterman's Club, Order of the Tartan, Norris House Council, and the Big Brother program.
After graduating from MacMurray, he entered the University of Florida to complete graduate work in chemistry. In 1973 he graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He then did a general surgical internship and plastic surgery training at Rush Presbyterian St Luke's Medical Center in Chicago from 1974 to 1979. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in cosmetic surgery in Miami, Florida and in 1980 moved to Fort Myers, Florida, where he has built a successful practice for nearly 30 years. He has been chosen by Castle-Connelly and Gulf Shore Life magazine as being one of the "Best Doctors in Southwest Florida" for the last five years, being named as #3 in 2007 and #2 in 2006.
Brueck has been treasurer and president of the Lee County Medical Society, a delegate to the Florida Medical Association, president of the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center, and member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of the Ft. Myers Rotary Club and Speakers' Bureau, serves on the board of Elders at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, and is an active member of the Salvation Army Board. He and his wife, Winnie, chair the Leadership Gift Committee for Bishop Verot Catholic High School, the high school his three children (Jason, Kevin, and Katie) attended. He has numerable publications and affiliations with professional organizations.
His community service includes such projects as starting "Paint your Heart Out Lee County," a 10 year program that encouraged businesses and private volunteers to clean up, repair, landscape, and paint the homes of members of Lee County who were at poverty level or physically handicapped. He set up a clinic for the homeless in conjunction with the Salvation Army for patients who could not afford plastic surgery, which has received an award as the best new Salvation Army project and received a letter from then-President Clinton. He has actively been involved in mission work to Sri Lanka, Siberia, and the Dominican Republic, where he does burn reconstruction on children at the Children's Hospital in Santiago. He also assists the Genesis school, where children are provided food and schooling in a society that would not allow them to attend public school because they have no valid birth certificate for various reasons, including the death of their parents. He was instrumental in fundraising for the dedication of an orphanage for these children two years ago. His third project "Home of New Hope" is a live-in facility for profoundly mentally retarded or handicapped children, for which a sponsorship program as been developed. His efforts in Santiago have resulted in several new churches springing up from the faith-based assistance he is providing through the St. Michael's Lutheran Church.