Alumni Association Recognizes Alumni Contributions

October 2, 2020

The Bradley University Alumni Association recognized three alumni with awards for their ongoing commitment and contributions to the university. To watch the video announcements, released on Oct. 2 at 10 a.m., click here. Continue below if you wish to read about each of the award winners.

Each year, Bradley recognizes an Outstanding Young Graduate who is 40 years old or younger and who exemplifies exceptional professional, civic and charitable achievement. This year’s recipient is Mandy Ellis (pictured left).

Mandy was named 2020 Elementary School Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association. It’s an award given to school principals who make a positive impact on students and the overall learning community. She’s received numerous other awards for her work in education, been widely published in education journals and wrote her book “Lead with Literacy.”

As a Bradley undergrad, Mandy was named to the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and the education fraternity Pi Lambda Theta. After finishing her degree in 2004, she completed two master’s at Bradley: in curriculum and instruction in 2007 and in educational leadership in 2012. She’s served on the advisory board for Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences.

But it doesn’t end there. Mandy’s love for her alma mater and its founder goes one step further. She named her own daughters after Lydia Moss Bradley and her daughter, Laura.

One of the most elite awards Bradley offers to its graduates is that of Distinguished Alumna. It marks outstanding achievement in professional or civic activities that brings the highest distinction to the award winner, their field of endeavor and Bradley University. This year’s recipient is Cheryl Corley (pictured center).

Cheryl has worked for National Public Radio (NPR) for more than twenty years. She is a correspondent for the national desk at NPR in Chicago and a frequent panelist on news and affairs programs in the area. Her criminal justice reporting often focuses on issues and reform efforts affecting women, girls and juveniles. Cheryl’s outstanding journalism has been acknowledged by awards from the Associated Press, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, to name a few.

She co-created the Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program and has served as a board member and president of Community Television Network, an organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multimedia production.

Cheryl was a member of Bradley’s speech team and graduated cum laude in 1976. She served on Bradley’s Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2017 and received the award for Outstanding Young Graduate in 1994. As part of being this year’s Distinguished Alumna, Cheryl will also be inducted into Bradley’s Centurion Society. 

The Lydia Moss Bradley Award is given each year to recognize outstanding commitment and service to the university by someone from the Bradley family or the greater community. The award this year went to Chuck Ebeling (pictured right).

Chuck was in Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at Bradley and served in Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant. After the army, in the late 1960s, he created one of the first national public service programs on the hazards of drunk driving. In the 1980s, his work for a firm lead directly to the creation of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Chuck graduated from Bradley in 1966, and as an undergrad, he was a member of Theta Chi. In 2011, he was named a Bradley Centurion in acknowledgment of his career achievements and philanthropic work.

Chuck has continued to mentor young people who want to work in public relations. In 2004, he created the Ebeling Prize, given through the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts. Each semester, senior students are paired with Peoria-area not-for-profits. The teams create a strategy that promotes the organization and its goals within the community. The Ebeling Prize is a significant experience that puts students together with groups that need them, and it gives graduates a distinct advantage as they begin their careers.

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.