News & Updates

Longtime friends of Bradley lift campaign to record high

A $1 million gift from Peoria businessman Dale Burklund has lifted the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance to a total of $130.8 million, the most ever raised in a Bradley fundraising campaign. The University continues to make progress toward its $150 million campaign goal.

As a result of Burklund's generosity, the Athletics Hall of Fame in the Athletic Performance Center will be named in honor of the Burklund family.  In addition to the names and photos of the Hall of Fame members, interactive kiosks will provide biographical information, photos and videos of the men and women who have contributed to the tradition of Bradley Athletics.  

The Burklund Family Hall of Fame will be housed in the athletics museum that will trace the program's rich history, including trophy displays and images depicting the school’s All-Americans, professionals, Olympians, national statistical leaders and other all-stars, past and present.

"We are so grateful for the wonderful investment that Dale and Shirley Burklund have made in Bradley and our Hall of Fame," Bradley President Joanne K. Glasser said. "The Burklund family has been friends of Bradley students and our Department of Athletics for many, many years. In fact, Dale and Shirley are two of our longest season ticket holders, supporting the Braves in the ’40s at the Armory, then the Field House, and now at the Civic Center. Their many contributions show their commitment to the University. I want to thank the Burklund family for moving the Renaissance Campaign forward and for encouraging others to support the University."

Dale Burklund is chairman and CEO of Burklund Distributors, Inc., and he was one of the founders and chairman of Par-A-Dice Gaming Corp. Last February, he and his late wife, Shirley, were designated "Honorary Alumni" by Bradley.

"I'm proud to support Bradley and its legendary athletic tradition,” Burklund said. “It is an honor to be associated with an institution that does such an outstanding job educating students and student-athletes.”

The Burklund family Bradley alums include his daughter Joyce ’71 and son-in-law Frank Perino ’66 and their children, Jennifer ’97 and Frank.’98. “I’m very proud that my grandson Corey in now a freshman studying business at Bradley. I thank Bradley for playing a significant role in my family and in the life of our community,” Burklund said.

The previous Bradley fundraising record was $127 million, achieved in 1998 as a result of the University's Centennial Campaign.

“The success that we have enjoyed in the campaign is a testament to the Bradley alumni and friends, and their confidence in the direction we are headed on the Hilltop,” President Glasser said. “I encourage every graduate and friend of the university to participate in this historic effort. I am truly excited about the impact of the Renaissance Campaign on the University and in the Peoria community."

The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance was launched in April 2008 with a goal of $150 million. The Campaign continues to raise funds for ongoing capital improvements on Bradley’s campus, along with scholarship and faculty assistance.

Besides the 4,500-seat Athletic Performance Center, that will be home to women’s basketball and volleyball programs, the seven other projects included in the Renaissance Campaign are:

*The Hayden-Clark Alumni Center is being constructed immediately west and adjacent to Bradley Hall. It will overlook a landscaped alumni quad. A large ballroom, an alumni hall of pride, an alumni library and conference rooms for alumni meetings and gatherings will be included in the facility. The new quad will include benches, walkways and stretches of open green-space.

*The historic Westlake Hall, the second oldest building on campus, will be renovated and expanded to 85,000 square feet of academic space, six times its current size. The beautiful limestone exterior will be preserved as home to the College of Education and Health Sciences. The alterations will provide students with hands-on learning experience that will benefit future teachers and health science and human service professionals. Westlake Hall also will house the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service. Construction will begin this summer.

*The Men’s Basketball Practice Facility adjoins the Athletic Performance Center.  It will include basketball courts, study areas, weight rooms, lounges and offices. Both the Athletic Performance Center and the practice facility are expected to be completed early this summer.

*A new Center for Engineering and Business Convergence is being planned while fundraising continues to make the facility a reality. The center will provide high-tech classrooms and laboratories for multidisciplinary teams to design and produce real products, and real-world business plans, transforming the engineering and business educational experience for Bradley students. New faculty and endowed professorships will be created to attract and retain top educators and innovative researchers. The convergence will create a signature program in business and engineering.

*Strengthening the endowment and increasing annual support will provide additional scholarships to attract a diverse, talented student body, recruit and retain outstanding faculty, develop programs that capitalize on existing strengths, and invest in technology that will enhance teaching and learning.

*The Markin Family Student Recreation Center and the 600-space Main Street parking deck were the first capital projects completed in the Renaissance Campaign; they both opened in 2008.