Alumni & Friends Profile: Bob & Elaine Pile


WNCC Alumni Profile

Tiffany Lewis


A little over forty years ago Bob Pile met someone at college who would continue to be in his life. Bob met Elaine during the second semester of their first year of college at Nebraska Western College. It was rather ironic, as they grew-up only 35 miles from each other, knew many of the same people, but had never met. Bob attended school with Elaine’s cousins and only lived a few miles from her cousins. Elaine’s father, who carried mail in the winter months, delivered mail to Bob’s family. They also discovered that they had been in many of the same places, at the same time, but had never met. Elaine had seen Bob a few times in the hallways, and thought he was a pretty handsome guy. She knew a friend of his, so she asked his friend about him and where he was from. Finally, one day as she was leaving a class, and saw him on the other side of the Pit, she decided to introduce herself to him. Obviously, the rest is history! They began dating shortly after meeting in March l970. In the summer of l972, they were engaged and then married in August 1973, after graduating from Chadron State College with their Bachelor’s degrees. In 2013, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

Bob lived on a ranch in Nebraska. Elaine lived not too far from Bob, but she attended school in Scottsbluff instead of in Harrisburg like Bob. After high school, they both wanted degrees in business, accounting, and office practices. Bob and Elaine were both motivated and knew dropping out of college was not an option. Getting their degrees opened many doors for the both of them.

Bob originally wanted to be a CPA. Once out of college not many people were looking for an accountant. Bob also did not want to move to a big city to work. He instead went into corporate accounting, learning very quickly that it was completely different from being a CPA. After leaving college, Bob  worked for Dalton Buick and shortly after started working at Panhandle Cooperative Association. Bob grew with the company as the years passed and in 2007 he was appointed President. He loves working for the CoOp. He would love to have students from WNCC come to be interns for the company, "We are always looking for qualified employees, sometimes it is difficult to find people for technical jobs, such as running the chemical sprayers." Bob is proud of the fact that the CoOp is a strong community supporter of such things as food pantries, FFA, 4-H, and various county fairs.

Elaine's degree in office practices opened up her 36 year career in banking. Now she is retired and is involved in many organizations, such as WNCC Alumni Association, Western Nebraska Agri-Women and Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards. Elaine said, “The college still continues to be involved in our community, for example when the basketball team did a community service project and walked my niece to school." She enjoys the fact that students at WNCC are not just here for schooling but that they also get involved in the community. Elaine also enjoys being involved in agriculture and is encouraged to see WNCC offering more classes in agriculture.

Bob and Elaine both agreed that they would not be where they are today without their college degrees, “A degree opens doors and makes it possible for people to be successful.” Bob and Elaine were both motivated and never gave up. Bob and Elaine are grateful for their education at WNCC and are strong advocates for the college.

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