Reviving a Bradley tradition
August 25, 2010
To kick off a new school year and officially welcome the class of 2014, the university reinstated a campus tradition not exercised in more than a decade. New students flowed into the university’s new arena Tuesday evening for the first Freshman Convocation held in more than a decade. President Joanne Glasser opened the ceremony with a warm welcome to the incoming students.
“I want to let you in on a little secret. This is a very, very special place. It’s special because of all of us in this arena and everyone else throughout our campus. It’s special because of what we call the ‘Bradley Experience,’ an experience that nurtures and teaches you while you’re here and prepares you to take the next step in life’s journey,” Glasser said.
Bradley alums may recall squeezing into the stifling historic Robertson Memorial Field House for Freshman Convocation in years past, an annual experience university officials later decided was too uncomfortable to be truly welcoming. Thanks to Bradley’s new 4,200-seat arena, this year’s incoming freshmen, faculty, and staff enjoyed cool, spacious surroundings and an uplifting program delivered through state of the art audio and video equipment. The newcomers were introduced to Bradley’s rich history and campus traditions old and new through two video productions, one looking back, and the other ahead.
“Alumni may mourn the loss of the old Field House, but new traditions began tonight, and they began in the lives and minds of each of the individuals who were here tonight,” said Caterpillar Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Robert Fuller, who delivered the keynote address.
Fuller’s remarks demonstrated with heartfelt emotion the deep pride and optimism that permeates Bradley’s campus, an almost palpable spirit that seems to peak with every new academic year. For freshmen on the cusp of their Bradley experience, Convocation highlights immense opportunity, but also a rousing challenge.
“I asked them to look into the future and think about who they will be the next time we convene in an academic procession. What will they have done? What will be said about them in letters of recommendation written by Bradley professors?” Fuller said of his keynote address.
When freshman Sahir Mohammad considered that question, he didn’t hesitate for a moment before sharing his answer.
“In my dorm room right now, I have a pen that reads ‘Dr. Sahir Mohammad,’ and I’m here at Bradley to begin my journey toward fulfilling that goal, my life’s purpose,” Mohammad said.
Armed with eager anticipation and remarkable potential, Mohammad and the entire class of 2014 embark on their Bradley Experience in earnest Wednesday as they head to class for the official start of the 2010-2011 academic year.