Home » News » TFAS Supporter Spotlight: Bob Pruger’s Global Impact

TFAS Supporter Spotlight: Bob Pruger’s Global Impact

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Six people gather for a group photo in front of lush island scenery.
Thomas Poussard, Debbie and Tom Lawrence, Joanna and Andrew Loucopoulos and Bob Pruger gather for a photo on Easter Island during their trip to South America in January 2018.

TFAS takes great strides to ensure the programs we offer aren’t just theoretical academic exercises, but practical lessons with real-world applications.

That’s why TFAS was honored when Bob Pruger agreed to join our Board of Regents in 2014.

Pruger, who has been a supporter of our organization since 2003, became a Regent because as he approached retirement, he was looking for ways to make a positive impact on the lives of young people. As a Regent, he gets to express his opinions, influence the direction of TFAS, and spend more time with the young students TFAS works to inspire.

As he puts it:

Teri and Bob meet Venezuelan TFAS students Ana Llamazos and Marielisa Mazloum at the Chilean lunch as part of the TFAS South American Journey in 2018.

“I’m a restless soul. Education and public policy are two strong motivating factors in my life. So, the Board of Regents is a terrific fit for me – I’m busy doing stuff that is meaningful.”

Pruger spent his career in accounting and finance as the CPA and CFO of several successful companies, including The Rudolph/Libbe Companies Inc., so he knows firsthand how important the economic lessons TFAS teaches its students are in real life.

He first came to support TFAS because he felt that many students in the U.S. today – especially those studying the humanities – are no longer challenged to think, but instead told what to think and to accept indoctrination as fact.

“TFAS has some amazing faculty members who offer students an opportunity to understand the U.S.’s amazing history, both the good and the ugly,” he said. “TFAS doesn’t shield students from foolish ideas, rather it strengthens students’ ability to think critically. That’s a life lesson.”

Teri and Bob pause at Casablanca Hassan II Mosque during the 2019 TFAS journey “In the Footsteps of Churchill.”

In 2005, Bob and his wife Teri Sharp traveled with TFAS to Greece to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the TFAS program that was formerly held on the island of Crete each summer.

“We were thoroughly impressed by the quality of the students and faculty and came back to the U.S. singing the praises of TFAS,” he recalled.

The couple has traveled on many TFAS journeys since, from France to China to Chile, experiencing unique cultures and meeting alumni from around the world. Then in 2019, they took part in TFAS’s trip from England to Morocco, “In the Footsteps of Churchill.”

Bob and Teri meet with TFAS alumni in London at the National Liberal Club during the 2019 journey “In the Footsteps of Churchill.”

On this unique trip, they and other TFAS supporters delved into Churchill’s role as a war leader and peacetime politician in London. They also developed a more nuanced view of this larger-than-life character in his role as both statesman and artist in Morocco as they experienced the desert landscape that Churchill first saw in 1935 on a painting holiday.

TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 and his wife Mary Kay have traveled alongside Bob and Teri and now call them friends.

“Bob and Teri were critical in helping us fund our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign,” he said. “It’s generous supporters like the Prugers who help us teach thousands of students each year. I’m so grateful for their support.”

Bob and Teri in Valparaiso, Chile.

When they’re not busy traveling the world with TFAS, Bob and Teri reside in Bowling Green, Ohio. They have been married for nearly 50 years and have one adult son. Both are enjoying retirement. Bob skis, bikes and reads about politics and history in his spare time, while Teri volunteers on several local community boards, including the Wood County District Public Library Foundation and the Bowling Green Chapter of the Exchange Club.

Mr. Pruger is on the Pension Board for the United Way of Greater Toledo and serves as a director for the Toledo Chapter of Financial Executives International. He is also a former member and vice chairman for the Ohio Arts and Sports Facilities Commission and is a Trustee of Northwest Ohio Classical Academy, a tuition-free charter school affiliated with Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative.

Bob and Teri celebrate TFAS’s history and success at the 40th Anniversary Gala.

Pruger has remained connected to TFAS over the years and more recently became a supporter of TFAS’s high school programs division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), because he believes in the value of bringing these critical lessons to high school students as well as college students.

His support allows TFAS to achieve three goals, which he believes are vital to the future of America:

  1. Educating students well
  2. Opening students minds to new ideas in public policy
  3. Providing young leaders the opportunity to make valuable connections
Bob (far right) with fellow TFAS travelers at the Great Wall of China.

He sums up his support for TFAS and FTE by stating:

“If someone wants to influence the direction of American government, one should support programs that are effective and encourage genuine debate among the next generation of potential leaders. TFAS’s very effective programs take resources – real resources. That’s why I support TFAS.”

 

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