Walter G. Bruska ’50

We are saddened to share news of the passing of Walt Bruska, Class of 1950. Walt was a Cornell Hall of Fame Football player and played on the `49 and `50 Ivy Championship teams. Those teams were a combined 16 -2, were among the finest in the country, and notched wins over the likes of Syracuse and Navy. When you look at their rosters, you see names like Bradley, Chollet, Dean, Fleischman, Girolamo, Haley, Loynd, Rogers, and Sampson. All great players, but what has made these guys really special to the Cornell Football program is the way they all stayed connected to the team in very meaningful ways. And the glue that kept them together… Walt Bruska. The `48, `49, and `50 teams had a reunion on campus, around a football game just about every year for the past 25 years and then some. Each reunion they’d tailgate, go to a game, have a dinner together, invite a member of the community to make a presentation to them, and they celebrated each other, and they celebrated Cornell Football! Walt was the architect, the pied piper, and their leader.

We will miss him greatly. The Cornell Football community expresses not only our condolences to his family, teammates and friends, but also our sincere gratitude for all Walt did for Big Red Football.

Rest in peace dear friend.

All hail Cornell…



South Burlington - Walter G. Bruska, 93, passed away on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, leaving a glorious legacy for family and friends.

Walt was born May 31, 1925 in Herkimer, N.Y. to George Bruska and Julia Fistick Bruska.

After graduating from Mohawk High School in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps serving in World War II in the Pacific Theater.

Walt married his high school sweetheart, Anne King, during the war on April 14, 1945. Upon returning from war in 1946, he enrolled at Cornell University where he excelled in football, graduating in 1950.

He then became an assistant to the President of Cornell University as well as an assistant football coach.

Walt had an illustrious career as an administrator and advocate for higher education, serving as Director of Development at Cornell University, Vice-President at Springfield College, University of Vermont, Kent State University, and Alaska Pacific University.

He also was Executive Director of Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, Executive Secretary at Champlain Valley Exposition and Vice-President of the John E. Fetzer Institute. Walt volunteered in many organizations, was a Rotarian, a past President of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, and a board member for the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame.

Walt is survived by his beloved family, daughter Charlotte and husband Brad Gardner of Colchester, and their family, Ryan Gardner, Rich and Allison Gardner, and Brooke and Matt Martin; his daughter, Nancy and husband Mike Brisbin of Naples, Fla. and their family, Tim and Jessica Brisbin, Jamie and Mike Kelly, and Jeff and Grete Brisbin, as well as 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Anne, his son, Biff, and his second wife, Joanne.

A celebration of his life will be held at the College Street Congregational Church, 265 College St. in Burlington at 2 p.m. Saturday December 15, 2018.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the Cornell University Athletics, 512 Campus Road, Teagle Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853; UVM Athletics, Attn: Jeff Schulman, 97 Spear Street, Burlington, VT 05405; the McClure Miller Respite House, 3113 Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, VT 05446; Prevent Child Abuse VT, 203 Country Club Road, Montpelier, VT 05602; or the charity of your choice.