Bob Pura, president of Greenfield Community College (GCC) for more than 17 years and now retired, has joined the all-volunteer board of directors of the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) in Northampton.
“We are excited to welcome Bob Pura to ILI,” stated board president Eric Wirth. “Bob’s extensive background, enthusiasm, and great sense of humor will go far to benefit the work ILI accomplishes day in and day out to ensure our students a great education and cultural experience.”
When asked about his reasons for joining the board, Pura said, “I have had the great privilege to work where my values and passion match mission. Since my retirement, I have more time to follow those ideals. Serving on the ILI board is such a match. I cannot overstate how much I respect ILI’s executive director Caroline Gear and the good work of ILI. What this school does matters in the every day lives of students—especially immigrants and refugees—and our communities in ways that speeches can only talk about.”
During his tenure at GCC, Pura oversaw creation of the college’s testing, wellness, advising, and veteran’s centers as well as the GCC Food Pantry and Senior Symposia. He worked with former Congressman John Olver and community leaders to develop the Sustainable Energy, Creative Economy, Health Care, and Manufacturing initiatives at GCC and oversaw extensive building renovations to the campus. He also worked with the leadership of the Opioid Task Force and the Franklin County Jail and Courthouse to elevate the role that education plays in the lives of those in recovery.
Under Pura’s leadership, the GCC Foundation raised $14 million and has awarded hundreds of scholarships over several years. The college’s endowment also rose to more than $5 million.
Pura has chaired the MA President’s Council and served on its executive committee. He sits on the Baystate Health board of trustees and was a commissioner on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Higher Education Commission.
As the son of an immigrant and the first in his family to attend college, Pura earned his A.A. at Miami Dade Community College, B.A. at the University of South Florida, M.S. from St. Thomas University (Miami), and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas in Austin.