Harold Brock lifetime of community involvement - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Harold Brock lifetime of community involvement

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A true icon of the Cedar Valley has died at age 96.  Harold Brock, retired John Deere engineer and a founder of Hawkeye Community College, died Sunday at his retirement home in Waterloo.

Harold Brock will always be a part of Hawkeye Community College, as one of its founding father.  In August of 2008, Harold cut the ribbon to open the Brock Student Center on the main Hawkeye campus

In the 1920's, Harold was an engineering apprentice of Henry Ford and would meet inventors like Thomas Edison during Harold's 20-years at Ford.  Harold Brock played a role in the development of the Sherman tanks during World War Two.

Harold moved to John Deere in 1959 and led a design team for a new generation of Deere tractors. Harold was John Deere's first worldwide director of tractor engineering and worked for Deere until retiring in 1985 at age 70.

Harold was one of four community members who petitioned the Iowa legislature in 1965 to fund a two-year technical school in northeast Iowa to be known, at that time, as the Hawkeye Institute of Technology.

As a founding member of the Hawkeye board of trustees, Harold served on the Hawkeye board for 24 years, and watched the school grow from serving 227 students in 1965 to now more than 6,000 students in 2011.

"Harold's passing is a profound loss for his family, the students and staff of Hawkeye Community College, and the communities we serve. He was an exceptional ambassador and advocate for the College, and he will be greatly missed. His vision and ongoing leadership over the past 45 years has truly been a driving force in the success of Hawkeye and Iowa's community colleges. Harold's life-long passion included mentoring young people. That is why it was particularly fitting the student center, built on the main campus in 2008, be named in Harold's honor. This historic event marked the first time a building had been named for an individual on the college's campus. The Brock Student Center is a distinctive addition to the Hawkeye Community College campus and has provided a welcoming hub for all students," Hawkeye interim president Dr. Linda Allen said.

Today, Hawkeye is the fourth largest community college in Iowa.  Harold also helped establish Junior Achievement in the Cedar Valley and supported numerous local organizations including the Grout Museum.

Right up until the end of his life, Harold Brock remained active in the community.

He left a mark on Iowa's community college system and many organizations dedicated to career education for students of all ages.

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