News & Updates
In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, Bradley University brought its future to alums and supporters in Washington, D.C. The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance gala was held at the newly opened Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The program began with piano entertainment by Dr. Josh Russell ’01, and was followed by numbers by the award-winning Bradley University Jazz Combo. President Joanne Glasser then gave an official welcome, including heartfelt recognition of guests who had served in the military. Interestingly, the event was held on June 6—the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. Special recognition was given to former House Minority Leader and U.S. Congressman Robert Michel ’48 HON ’81 for his part in the invasion, resulting in a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. She then recognized freshman Congressman Aaron Schock ’02 and spoke of the impact he is making in Washington. Shock’s election last November has kept alive the tradition of Bradley alumni representing the 18th Congressional District in Illinois for 52 consecutive years. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ’71 was unable to attend the event, as he was asked by President Barack Obama to travel to Lebanon to be his representative at the national election the following day.
Following dinner, guests were treated to a comedy monologue by Bradley national speech champion Jared Boyer ’10 of Freeport. The Jazz Combo then performed, setting the stage for the program.
President Glasser returned to speak of the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance and how it will take the University from a great Midwestern institution to one of national prominence. She cited the new sports communication curriculum as just one of the points of pride that will lead Bradley to be one of the elite universities in the nation. Taped messages were shown from former BU presidents Dr. Martin Abegg ’47 HON ’93 and Dr. John Brazil, speaking of campaigns that took place during their tenures, and how they boosted Bradley’s standing, both academically and aesthetically. Another video showed the October dedication of the Markin Family Student Recreation Center, highlighting both the beauty and impact the facility has made on campus. The president then introduced Gerry Shaheen ’66 MBA ’68, president of the Board of Trustees. He asked the audience to imagine what Bradley will become as he took them on a building-by-building, animated tour of the campus with the new facilities in place. Another video was shown with Bradley alums, faculty, and administrators speaking of the University’s tradition and vision for the future. The video was greeted with cheers, tears, and applause. Shaheen reported on the progress of the campaign, and appealed to everyone to help Bradley reach the $150 million goal.
President Glasser thanked everyone for sharing their Bradley experience, and asked them to remember their own days on the Hilltop and to help the next generation of Braves by helping with the Renaissance Campaign. She reminded everyone, “Once a Brave, Always a Brave!”
The evening concluded with the Jazz Combo performing and asking those in attendance to join in singing “Hail, Red and White.”