The Beginnings of Brucemas


Elisabeth Libermann

Senior Reyna Rodriguez and friends file into Dr. Elder's room 403 to celebrate with cupcakes and conversation.

Elisabeth Libermann, Journalist

To celebrate Bruce Springsteen’s three Grammy Award winning performance on Broadway, Dr. Elder held Brucemas on December 7th. There was an entrance fee of $5 and the students who attended were able to get cupcakes and sing Bruce Springsteen songs together. Students usually attend to obtain extra credit but, Dr. Elder’s admiration for Bruce Springsteen started much earlier in his life.

Dr. Elder, a teacher at University Preparatory, has been hosting Brucemas for multiple years, an event that has been the subject of curiosity for those wondering when it all began. “The whole reason I started Brucemas was because, as the Class Advisor for 2014, it was hard to get chaperones to do stuff at night. So I realized that if I do stuff right after school, most people are here until 3 o’clock. I figured, why don’t I just try fundraising right after school and that way I don’t have to worry about chaperones- because everyone on campus is technically a chaperone. So, that’s why I started Brucemas.” The actual idea of Brucemas was created by one of Dr. Elder’s former students who suggested the idea to Elder back in 2014.

Although Dr. Elder’s love for Bruce Springsteen started when he heard the song ‘Born to Run’ play on the radio back in 1975, he wasn’t an avid fan until he met Lisa Benson, a coworker of Dr. Elder’s in 1979, who worked at the grocery store with him. She was a big fan of Bruce Springsteen and soon, Elder was too. “Lisa was a Bruce fan and I had a crush on Lisa. She was older than me and so what I did was I knew she liked Bruce Springsteen and he had just come out with an album called, ‘The River.’ I went and bought the album because Lisa liked one of the songs on there.” Dr. Elder laughed and continued, “Then Lisa ended up leaving the store and I stayed with Bruce!”

Dr. Elder has tried to get in contact with Bruce Springsteen over the years to have him come to Brucemas, but with no luck. Several of his students have also tried to get in contact with Bruce Springsteen and even one of Elder’s former students, who was handicapped, wanted his wish for the Make-A- Wish Foundation to be for Bruce Springsteen to visit University Preparatory. “To me, it meant a lot. Out of all the things you could wish for, it was really special to me that he would do that. But, no, I don’t think he’ll come.”

Dr. Elder wants to continue Brucemas and share his love for Bruce Springsteen for many years to come.