Our Remarkable People
The academic year is over, Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and the first of two summer sessions is underway. Whether reading this issue of Bradley Hilltopics from a vacation destination or a hammock in your own backyard, you may be unaware of the far-ranging activities that take place on the Hilltop during the summer — from academic, to research, to new student orientation sessions, to summer camps.
Though time quickly marches forward, I would like to take a moment to reflect on this year’s truly inspirational undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies. Those of us observing these significant events were steeped in pride and hope knowing that tremendous opportunities lie ahead for these outstanding young people.
Undergraduate commencement keynote speaker Howard Lance ’77, executive advisor for the Blackstone Group and retired chairman of the board, president, and CEO of Harris Corporation, offered our graduates eight wise recommendations. One he called “constructive dissatisfaction” in which he advised to never be totally satisfied with results or performance. After success is achieved, he said, “Raise the bar, and then go back and try again.”
This is great advice for our youngest alumni and a way of life practiced by many in our community. Inside this issue, you will read about several of our alumni excelling in a variety of interesting careers. From those scaling the highest mountains, to creative leaders telling masterful stories, to those keeping the streets safe, Bradley graduates are being noticed for their talent, bravery, and ability to add beauty to the world.
Recently, we learned with great sadness of the passing of author, poet, and Renaissance woman Maya Angelou, who spoke on Bradley’s campus in 1984 and again in 1991. Her words, with unbending resolve, rang forth with truth and always offered a poignant lesson in humanity. Among my favorites is: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” And, I believe many of our generous alumni and friends epitomize and live by this sentiment.
Bradley alumni also are independent thinking, entrepreneurial, and courageous, and this includes graduate commencement keynote speaker David Bozeman ’91, a senior vice president for Caterpillar Inc. He spoke to our graduates of their future legacy in terms of influencing the facilitation of complex problem-solving in addition to strong leadership and a commitment to grow and develop others.
“To go far, you must actively participate in your world and its work; to go far, you must challenge yourself every day and combat passive behaviors that will limit your influence; to go far, you must take people with you and develop tomorrow’s leaders today; to go far, you must stand strong against arrogance and complacency,” he said.
Bradley graduates continue to achieve excellent placement rates within six months of graduation. Our high-quality faculty know their students on a first-name basis and prepare recommendations that make our graduates stand out whether pursuing employment or entry into competitive graduate programs. A plenitude of experiential learning opportunities — internships, co-ops, practicums, study abroad, and more — also give our graduates an important edge in the marketplace.
Through the years, Bradley graduates have distinguished themselves in their respective fields and demonstrated their pride in being Bradley alumni. I look forward to personally welcoming you back to your alma mater during this year’s Homecoming, October 15–18, a real “Roll Out the Red” carpet celebration.