Bruce Adams Samson
Bruce Adams Samson
  • January 7, 1938 - October 14, 2017
  • Tampa, Florida

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Bruce Adams Samson died peacefully at home on Saturday, October 14, 2017 after an extended illness. He was 79 years old. A native of Tampa, he attended Ballast Point Elementary School and H.B. Plant High School, and received his B.A. from The University of the South (Sewanee) in political science in 1959, where he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key National Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Who’s Who in American colleges and universities. He was president of the student body, president of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, and captain of the undefeated varsity swim team. He received his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1961, specializing in finance and taxation. He received an honorary doctorate of civil law from The University of the South in 1990.

After a short time in the trucking business, he became an investment banker specializing in corporate and public finance. He was a registered financial principal and an allied member of the New York Stock Exchange. From 1979 to 1986 he was a member of the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, serving as its chairman for six years, and was also a member of the Governor’s Florida Rivers Study Committee.

He was president of The University of Tampa from 1986 to 1991. While there, he was chairman of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, a member of the President’s Commission of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, President of Sunshine State Athletic Conference and a trustee of the Florida Independent College Fund. He was a trustee of the Berkeley Preparatory School, a board member of and chairman of the foundation of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, a board member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Greater Tampa Council and the Florida Council of 100, a director of 1,000 Friends of Florida, president of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation, a director of the Tampa Urban League, and a director of and chairman of the trust committee of SunTrust Bank Tampa Bay. He was a board member and chairman of the Tampa Sports Authority, a board member and vice-chairman of the Tampa Bay International Terminals, a trustee of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, a trustee of the Florida Orchestra Tampa Board, a trustee of the Tampa Museum of Art, a founding member of the Tampa Bay Committee on Foreign Relations, a member of the Society of International Business Fellows, and a founding member and board member of the Tampa Bay World Trade Center.

He was a member and president of the Merrymakers Club, member and president of the University Club, member and director of the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, member and director of the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, member of the Centre Club and a member of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, of which he was king in 1992.

He received the Sales and Marketing Executives of Tampa Top Management Award and a certificate of special recognition by the state of Florida as chairman of the Tampa Electric Company Power Plant Siting Task Force.

Bruce loved to play golf and have lunch with his buddies, travel all over the world with his family and friends, and visit his favorite places on Earth – Sewanee, Tennessee and Grand Cayman, BWI.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Louise Adams Samson, and his father, James Samson. He is survived by his wife, Adajean, daughters Ansley, Amanda, and Catherine, son-in-law Dennis Gephardt, grandchildren Warner Samson Gephardt, Audrey Beecher Gephardt, Charles Samson Gindling, Augusta Ansley Gindling, sister, Jean Suringa, brother-in-law Dirk Suringa, sister-in-law, Sandra Robinson, and cousins Sally Olsson (Ray), Arthur Burrows Jr., Betty Sue Fern, and relatives in Canada.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 906 S. Orleans St., Tampa at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21st. The family requests that anyone desiring to make a memorial donation consider the University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Box H, Tampa, 33606-1490; Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa, 33602; St. John’s Episcopal Church, 906 S. Orleans St., Tampa, 33606; or LifePath Hospice, 3010 W. Azeele St., Tampa, FL 33609.