Jordan Ticaric, '08, MA '10 "Keeping Students Learning, Alumni Connected

January 3, 2011

There comes a time in everyone's life when one asks the question, "How did I get here?"  For me, the answer is simple"_my education and my experiences at Bradley University.

Throughout my undergraduate years at Bradley I served on committees, was student body president for two years and worked in the community. During my graduate program, I worked in the Student Activities Office at Bradley and did an internship at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

Now, I am the assistant director of the Knox Fund at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.  I work in an office with 19 colleagues, but I am on a team of three working to raise more than $3 million for student financial aid and merit scholarships.  It is my daily responsibility to figure out a way to keep students enrolled at Knox College and this is mainly done through our fundraising efforts.

Twice a year, I am responsible for a month-long Phonathon program.  The Phonathon generates an enormous amount of revenue from Knox alumni and parents and has continued its growth under my watch.

Along with our semi-annual fundraisers, I also work hands-on with the Knox faculty/staff campaigns, class agent letters/correspondence and am in the process of creating a parent association for Knox. The College is full of tradition and history, making venturing onto the quad, eating in the cafĚŠe with students, walking the halls of Old Main to the President's Office, or posing in the library nothing short of extraordinary.

The transition from being a student to becoming a responsible, contributing adult in today's society was hard.  Heck, it's still hard!  Each morning I wake up early, put on my game face and battle gear, and make the 45-minute commute from Peoria to Galesburg.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm Jordan the employee and professional, rather than Jordan the bouncing student leader. In today's economy, I face a very real challenge every day.  So much of our future depends upon our students of today and yet these students need to rely on the generosity of others to fulfill their individual destiny.  Knox alumni have been an inspiration to me.  Each day I hear stories of involved alumni or actually interact with former Knox students who have made an impact on the world, but who still feel a commitment to their alma mater.   Each experience motivates and excites me to be that very special alumnus to Bradley, my alma mater.

I was raised with the quote, "To whom much is given, much is expected."  I've been blessed with a great job, a fantastic support system and the opportunity to be surrounded by fantastic mentors.  I want to give back. It's the least I can do.

I bought a house last year and am now a permanent resident of Peoria. When I left my family to attend Bradley, my famous last words were, "I go to school in Peoria, but Lombard is my home."  Six years later, I have had to eat those words, as Peoria is now my home.  That's okay, my experiences at Bradley University have all been great, so the words taste sweet.