Profiles: Bruce Braden
Founder, Braden Exploration
Bruce Braden cannot explain how he got himself into a position to make a $2 million commitment to support GGU's School of Taxation -- now known as the Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation.
"If I knew that, I'd probably write a book about it," says Braden. "The only thing I could say is that I was lucky. I was going to go work for the phone company after I came out of the Army, but the phone company was on strike, so I ended up going to Golden Gate University."
Braden joined the Army after he graduated from Stanford in the 60's. Ma Bell's strike put him to work on a GGU MBA with a concentration in taxation. He then started his career with Touche Ross, where one of his supervisors was a man by the name of Ted Mitchell.
Braden ascended to partnerships at two other firms before he discovered oil and became a founder and major contributor to four successful companies in the industry, including his current Braden Exploration, in Fort Worth, Texas.
"It was not planned," says Braden. "I made a decent amount in the oil and gas business, but I got into it because I really enjoyed it. It's a combination of science and gambling."
Braden managed all of his businesses, making decisions as if he would own them for 20 years. His greatest success, Stroud Energy, was no different -- except for its results.
"All of my businesses have been successful," Braden says without a touch of boastfulness. "But that one [Stroud Energy] was far beyond any of the others by a 50-fold return."
By the time he sold Stroud Energy in 2006, Braden had lost touch with GGU. He had taught for three years before getting into oil and gas. 25 years later, a former supervisor asked Braden if he'd like to reconnect with the university. That supervisor was Ted Mitchell, who was by then a member of GGU's Board of Trustees. Soon thereafter, Braden wrote a generous check.
"When I thought about it," Braden says, "where would I be without Golden Gate University? Maybe still working at the phone company."