If a picture is worth a thousand words, the aerial photograph of our transformed campus is worth an entire encyclopedia. In the photo you can see the significant improvements that have redefined our campus over the last few years.
From the Markin Family Student Recreation Center to the Renaissance Coliseum to the lush, green Alumni Quad, our campus has expanded and changed dramatically. The new buildings have a consistent and collegiate look, with extensive use of the same Indiana limestone that built our two original buildings — Bradley Hall and Westlake Hall. We are in the final stages of the substantial expansion and renovation of Westlake, and faculty from the College of Education and Health Sciences will welcome students to their new home this fall. It is absolutely beautiful, and I am so pleased that we were able to retain the classic architectural appearance of the original 1897 structure.
The campus looks markedly different from the aerial views published in 2003. After that series of seasonal photos appeared, alumni around the country were so impressed that scores asked for reprints. I am delighted that Bradley Hilltopics again will bring you four seasonal views of campus, this being the first. I encourage you to save them as keepsakes or download your own.
Better yet, I invite you to see for yourself all that the Hilltop has become. The magnolias in the spring are lovely and fragrant. The roses in the summer are spectacular. The trees in autumn carry many striking colors. Even the snow in winter makes our campus look brisk and bright. The Hilltop truly has never looked better. Bradley is making significant progress with new facilities, academic excellence, experiential learning, leadership development, and social opportunities for students. Indeed, in every area the University is moving forward.
To build on our momentum, your help is needed. We’ve set a goal to have 20 percent of our alumni contribute this year. We are calling this initiative “20% in 2012.” We’ve set that target because additional resources are needed to continue the progress we’ve made.
Your gift will help students secure scholarships and internships. Your assistance will help retain Bradley’s outstanding faculty and recruit others like them. And your contributions will help strengthen our academic experience and raise our standing in national publications like U.S.News & World Report.
Alumni participation is one criterion U.S.News uses to evaluate the excellence of universities. Our current alumni giving rate is just 13 percent, below our peer institutions in the magazine’s ranking. If you have not made a gift in 2012, I ask that you help us meet our goal. A donation of any amount — $10, $100 or $1,000 — will move Bradley toward our objective and increase our national recognition. Your gift will maintain the vibrancy on campus and help keep the Hilltop beautiful, just as it appears in the photograph in this issue.
There are more reasons than ever to visit campus, to stay connected to the University, and to give the next generation of students an opportunity for a Bradley Experience. Please mark October 10–14 on your calendar and join us for Homecoming 2012, to reconnect with your friends and make new memories. I thank you for your continued loyalty and support. I remain humbled to serve our beloved University, and I look forward to seeing you on the Hilltop.