Imagine what we’ll do next

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By Abby Rhodes
October 29, 2011

Bradley University celebrates this week the conclusion of its boldest, most successful fundraising effort in University history. In less than four years, the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance has transformed the Hilltop, invigorated the campus and brought endless opportunities for growth in the classroom and beyond.

Since the campaign kickoff in spring 2008, Bradley supporters across the world have been challenged to “Imagine what we’ll do next.” And with each month that passed, imagination, innovation and relentless dedication to enhancing the Bradley Experience brought new facilities, more scholarships and a greater endowment.

Some 29,000 donors worldwide contributed to the effort, which amassed a record $161,206,751 – far exceeding the initial goal of $150 million. The lead gift of $30 million from Caterpillar Inc. – the greatest one-time gift in University history – inspired alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and Bradley supporters to open their minds and hearts and give generously to the ambitious, bold initiative that has forever changed and enhanced the Bradley Experience.

“We took our vision for Bradley’s future from coast to coast,” said President Joanne Glasser. “We don’t have to imagine any longer because of the many academic and physical developments from the campaign. The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance has been everything we hoped for and more.”

Indeed, just a few months after the campaign was officially announced, its fruits began to sprout on the Hilltop. Four new structures – the Markin Family Student Recreation Center, Renaissance Coliseum and nearby Main Street Parking Deck, and the opulent Hayden-Clark Alumni Center – are hubs of activity where students, alumni, faculty and staff enjoy first-rate facilities rivaling any across the nation. Elsewhere, the expansion and renovation of Westlake Hall promises state of the art learning amenities in a structure that will meet LEED Gold standards for energy efficiency.

While these structures are the most visible achievements of the campaign, the less tangible investments – those in students and faculty – will reap dividends for decades to come. $52 million was directed toward academic and operational enhancements and 79 new scholarships were created.

“We are not here to celebrate bricks and mortar. We are not here to celebrate the end of construction, not yet anyway,” said President Joanne Glasser. “The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance has been about much more than that; it’s been about scholarship, academic programming and people.”

With every ending comes the question, “What’s next?” Plans are well underway for a one-of-a-kind engineering and business convergence center, where a distinctive academic model will engage future leaders in a cross-curricular paradigm second to none.

Just imagine the possibilities …

 

Renaissance Campaign Celebration Highlights

 



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