Homecoming image sparks memory

When BILL SEELYE ’54 opened his 2011 Homecoming & Parents’ Weekend invitation last summer, he was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar design on the cover of the mailing: an image featuring the Homecoming “B” atop the Bradley Hall tower, a throwback to his time on the Hilltop. He had won a medal from the University for a similar design for an alumni crest 60 years ago. 

In 1952, Bill entered a competition to design a seal for the Alumni Association that would reflect the nationwide presence of Bradley’s alumni base. Bill was always interested in design and color, so with the encouragement of an art professor in his design class, he submitted his project for a grade and won the competition. His design (below) was chosen to grace correspondence sent from the Alumni Association office. “The $15 prize paid for a tank of gas and a date with my girlfriend, LAVONNE HEPFER SEELYE ’54, my wife of 60 years,” said the father of three and grandfather of nine.

Bill attended Bradley for two years before leaving for the service. He returned to Peoria to work in the family business, A.H. Seelye & Son, and was a painting contractor on Bradley’s campus, retiring 11 years ago. “I worked on campus for 40 years, and our son RON SEELYE ’82 MS ’86 finished two degrees here,” Bill said with pride.

The former president of the Illinois chapter of Painting and Decorating Contractors of America recently gave his medal and the original 1952 Scout article about his award to the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center’s memorabilia collection. 

— Karen Crowley Metzinger, MA ’97