Bruce L. Fariss was born on July 22, 1934 in Allisonia, Virginia. He attended Draper high School in Draper, Virginia, before entering Roanoke College in September of 1953. Fariss graduated from Roanoke College in June of 1957 with a B.S. degree, and continued his education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he earned his M.D. in June on 1961.
At Roanoke, Fariss was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, Xi Theta Chi, Blue Key, the Biology Club, and the Monogram Club. He was president of Xi Theta Chi for three years, and was president of the Biology Club for one year. He was secretary of the Monogram club for three years, and was treasurer of Blue Key for two years. Fariss was also Vice President of his class at Roanoke College for three years. Also at Roanoke, Fariss was awarded the Gary Wesely Leonard Memorial Award in 1965 and was co-captain of the cross country team in 1955 and 1956.
Fariss worked on the hospital staff at Radford Community Hospital in Radford, Virginia, and was on the consultation staff at Saint Albans Psychiatric Hospital, also in Radford. Fariss was also on the consultation staff of the Veterans Hospital in Salem, Virginia, having a primary specialty in endocrinology and metabolism and a secondary specialty in internal medicine. In the military, Fariss served as Colonel of the Medical Corps in the United States Army, before he retired in October of 1984.
Fariss was a professor in the department of biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, and was a member of the Southern and Southwest Virginia Medical Association/Society. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and was part of the American Federation for Clinical Research. Fariss was also part of the Endocrine Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the Association for the Hospital Medical Education.
Fariss was a member of the Forest Farmers, the American Forestry Association, and served on the Board of Directors for Tacoma Philharmonic from 1980-1984. He is licensed to practice medicine in the state of Virginia and the state of Washington, and was published in various journals.