A Believer in Providing Opportunities // The Harold Brock Family Endowment
Harold Brock was a man with many notable accomplishments. He was an apprentice of Henry Ford, an engineer with distinguished honors, a founder of Hawkeye Community College, a community leader, and a strong proponent of providing opportunities for others.
In 1929, at age 15, Harold became an apprentice under Henry Ford at the Ford Trade and Apprentice School. Within a few years, he became Mr. Ford's personal engineer. He rose through the engineering ranks at Ford Motor Company, achieving the title of Chief Engineer of Tractor Engineering. He played a key role in Ford's World War II development of the M3 and M4 Sherman tanks and the Ford Jeep. In 1959, he joined John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works, where he worked until his retirement in 1972. Harold played a leading role in the development of the Ford 9N and Deere 4020 model tractors which historians believe most influenced tractor design in the 20th century.
In addition to his impact on the engineering world, Harold also had a significant impact on providing educational opportunities for youth. In 1965, Harold was one of four community members who petitioned the Iowa Legislature to provide funding for a two-year technical college in Northeast Iowa. He was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo and served on the board for 24 years. Due to his leadership and vision, the college went from an institution serving 227 students to a comprehensive community college currently serving over 6,300 students. Today, Hawkeye Community College is the fourth largest community college in Iowa.
"I put a lot of my spare time into building the college. I am very proud of the school."
It is particularly fitting that the student center, built on campus in 2009, is named in Harold's honor. The Brock Student Center is a distinctive addition to the campus which provides a welcoming hub for students.
Harold established the Harold Brock Family Endowment with the Hawkeye Foundation which provides scholarships to part-time and full-time students. "Helping others to be successful has been my inspiration. So many students cannot afford an education. The more we help, the more students can go to school."
Throughout his career, Harold was committed to the development of the Cedar Valley community. He received numerous local, state, and national awards. Harold authored several books, including "The Fords in my Past" (2000) and "The Big Book of Ford Tractors" (2006) with Robert N. Pripps.
Brock told people that Henry Ford advised him to remain active as he got older and to "stay around young people." Harold followed his advice and was very active in the community serving on many boards including the Hawkeye Community College Foundation.
Harold has left an indelible mark on Hawkeye Community College, Iowa's community college system, and many organizations dedicated to career education for students of all ages.
Harold passed away on January 2, 2011 at the "young" age of 96.