Lewis J. Burger

The naming of the Center for Student Leadership and Public Service for Lewis J. Burger recognizes his extraordinary service to Bradley University and the greater Peoria community.

Lewis J. Burger was elected to the Bradley Board of Trustees in 1976 and served as its Chairman from 1979 to 1983.  In 1987 he was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws. A tireless advocate of higher education, Lewis Burger served as General Chairman of The Campaign for Bradley, 1984-1989, which raised more than $32 million in support of facilities, equipment, and endowment.

He was Honorary Chair of The Centennial Campaign, 1993-1998, which secured gifts in excess of $127 million. The generous personal philanthropy of Lew Burger and his beloved wife, Hazel, had much to do with the success of both campaigns. He and Hazel received the President’s Award in 1991.

During Lewis Burger’s 33 years in Peoria, his record of public service became legendary. Organizations he served included The Salvation Army, Peoria Civic Center Authority, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Junior Achievement, Illinois Hospital Association, Peoria Orchestra, Proctor Community Hospital, WTVP Public Television, Peoria Area Community Foundation, First Baptist Church of Peoria, Peoria Civic Opera, Lakeview Museum, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, United Way, and the American Cancer Society. Lew Burger was the 1998 recipient of the Tom Connor Award for his service to the Peoria community. He was also a prior recipient of the William Booth Award for service to the community and The Salvation Army.

The Bradley and Peoria communities experienced a great loss when Lewis J. Burger passed away on March 14, 2000. The Bradley Center which bears his name stands as a tribute to his legacy. May his example inspire countless generations of Bradley University students to embrace the goals and objectives of the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service.

In Memorium
Lewis J. Burger
1912-2000