You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.
Meet Bruce
Lily Beaubien '17 Contributing Writer
April 6, 2017
No Comments

Most students who arrive in the Dining Hall early in the morning to get a hot cup of coffee or finish that last-minute assignment have likely stopped to say “good morning” to Bruce MacConnell.

Bruce, who has been working at Deerfield for 27 years now, has developed a reputation for warmly greeting students every day and wishing them well on their way.

In my experience, Bruce always tells me a joke, which brightens my mood no matter how busy I know the school day will be.

Recently, as I was making a cup of tea, Bruce approached me and asked, “How do you catch a unique rabbit?”

“How?” I responded.

“Unique up on it! How do you catch a tame rabbit?”

“How?”

“Tame way, unique up on it!” Sometimes, he’ll even attribute his source: “I got that from a five year old,” he chuckled.

Cred: Harbour Woodward

When I sought Bruce out in the crowded Parker Room to talk to him, he was on his lunch break, about to sit down with a plate of macaroni and cheese in one hand and a crossword puzzle in the other.

Between bites of his meal, Bruce described his life growing up in Westborough, a small town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed playing football in high school.

Bruce joined the Deerfield community in 1989 – the same year that the school went co-ed. During his first year, he worked in the custodial department doing the overnight shift in the Memorial Building, which was rumored to be haunted.

“One night, I was cleaning the [Hess] lobby, when all of a sudden I heard crashing piano chords coming out of the auditorium,” he recounted. “I figured that when I opened those doors, there’d better be a…security guard with a beard by the piano or I’m outta here!”

Bruce later went on to work at Shipping and Receiving for about seven years before joining the dish crew, which is a position he still holds.

Bruce stressed that working on dish crew isn’t easy. “[I]t’s dirty. It’s hot. It’s smelly,” he said. “I mean, the kids are the best part of the job.” Anyone who knows Bruce knows that he makes a point of getting to know students.

“I’m sixty-seven now, which is only nineteen degrees Celsius! I think that’s why I get along with the kids so good,” he joked, “[because] I’m a nineteen year-old, trapped in a sixty-seven year-old body! Now, if it were me in a nineteen year-old body, I’d be way awesome!”

Last spring, Bruce even gave me a fist bump for good luck my senior year.

“[A] bunch of years ago,” Bruce explained, “there was this one kid, and I [said], ‘so you got bumped up to a senior,’ and he says ‘yeah,’ so I gave him a senior fist bump… I started calling it the fist bump of good fortune.”

Bruce would also joke, “If you didn’t get one, you would have to spend a PG year at Choate!”

As Uwa Ede-Osifo ’18 commented, “When I go up to clear my plate, I can always count on Bruce being there to make my day.” She also mentioned that, if you don’t know Bruce yet, it’s never too late to introduce yourself.