May 14, 2011
The class of 2011 has been experiencing many lasts lately: last final exam, last meal with friends in a university dining hall, last workout in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center. But the spring commencement ceremonies at Bradley University this year were filled with firsts.
The first class of social media marketing graduates turned their tassels and headed into a workforce hungry for their skills.
“Bradley is so far ahead of the curve with putting the social media marketing concentration together because companies are beginning to create positions specifically for the function of performing the social media tasks,” said graduate Kevin Humphrey.
Graduating senior William Lopez became the University’s first military commission since ROTC returned to campus in 2008. Second Lieutenant Lopez was commissioned during the May 14 undergraduate commencement ceremony by Major Antwine William-Smith.
The May 12 Graduate School Commencement was the first held in the new Renaissance Coliseum, a magnificent performance center completed last fall.
And the first Bradley graduate to ever serve in the president’s Cabinet, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood ’71, delivered the keynote address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.
“A Bradley degree is much more than a college diploma,” LaHood told graduates. “My degree unlocked countless doors. I guarantee you that in December of 1971, not one person, including myself, believed I would ever become a Cabinet secretary. Your potential is limitless.”
More than 1,000 students transitioned from seniors or graduate students to proud Bradley alumni this week. Some of them, like Humphrey, already have full-time jobs. Others, like Raisa Taylor, a social work graduate, and Jamie Marsh, who majored in environmental science, will pursue advanced degrees. Many will begin job searches.
All graduates will have the continuing support of Bradley University as they continue to pursue big dreams.
“As you depart Peoria today, remember your Bradley degree is both an opportunity and an obligation,” LaHood told graduating seniors. “America’s future depends on you and, looking in your faces, I have unwavering faith in what that future holds, precisely because it’s in your hands.”