Bradley University has a rich tradition of service and volunteerism, dating back to our founder. Lydia Moss Bradley was well known for her philanthropy that created our beloved University, along with several important institutions in Peoria.
Our alumni and students continue to carry on Mrs. Bradley’s legacy today. During the last school year, Bradley students raised about $186,000 for 65 different charities. They gave more than 46,500 hours of volunteer service to 101 organizations. They collected and donated over 6,300 articles of clothing, 2,500 cans of food and 1,200 pints of blood.
Our students built houses for the working poor, played volleyball, auctioned off dates, pied professors, washed cars, jumped for St. Jude, read to children, raced for a cure, painted faces, sold roses, played poker, shaved their heads and danced until they dropped, all to benefit others. I get tired thinking of that long list, but it is only a partial record of the students’ volunteer and philanthropic activities.
They come to Bradley with a giving ethic, and we nurture and support them in various ways. Some freshman women choose to live on a leadership lifestyles floor that encourages their interest in volunteerism, service and leadership. The Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service guides and prepares students to embrace civic responsibilities on campus and in their communities. Our more than 200 clubs and organizations offer students multiple opportunities to lead and to give back.
That commitment to service lives on through our alumni, and several are featured in this Bradley Hilltopics. The stories of Dr. LISA NATHAN ’98, PATTYE SNYDER, MA ’82, and MARTHA FRANQUEMONT ’09 are inspirational. They are traveling the world making a significant impact, aiding those facing obstacles to their very survival. I am so proud of the work they are doing and the contributions they are making. Dr. John Jost, music professor, has been a role model and mentor to students for his work in Haiti. His moving account of his time on that troubled island is a reminder that there is more we can do.
Several other faculty members led students on a learning expedition to southern California in January. Dr. Ron Koperski, Dr. Todd Kelly, George Brown, CARL ANDERSON ’86 and Dr. MARTY MORRIS ’77 MSME ’79, taught Interim classes, including our popular Entertainment Industry Seminar. As part of their Los Angeles learning experience, students visited Jay Leno’s garage; talked about high-performance, electric car technology at Tesla Motors; saw tapings of The Price is Right and The Tonight Show; toured the Kodak Theatre, the Paramount Pictures lot, and DreamWorks Animation to get a behind-the-scenes look at different aspects of the entertainment industry; discussed branding of the Grammy Awards with DOUG FRANK, HON ’06; and learned about entertainment law with prominent alumni.
The trip culminated with a gala reception for about 240 faculty, alumni, students, prospective students and their parents, and friends at the Skirball Cultural Center. Dr. Jeff Huberman and I were so glad to be part of the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with California alumni and update them about the academic excellence and construction progress on the Hilltop.
Thanks to all the alumni who contributed to this learning experience and to all alumni who have done so much for Bradley, their communities, and around the world. As always, I remain honored and humbled to serve this wonderful institution.