By Abby Rhodes
December 17, 2011
Before embarking on their journey beyond the Hilltop, graduates this week considered all the milestones marked on their paths to graduation day. Campus itself has undergone tremendous change since the class of 2011 moved in, and among the some 250 graduates who received degrees this week there have been countless personal triumphs, daunting challenges and memories made.
For some, the journey unfolded like a well-mapped route. Sarah Kleckler, a mechanical engineering graduate, nailed internships at an aerospace firm every summer and will start a full-time position with the company in January.
“I was attracted to Bradley because of its small size, but I stayed here because everything fell into place perfectly,” Kleckler said. “I loved all my classes, joined a sorority and made a lot of friends.”
For others, the trip was less predictable. Detours, slippery spots or a change in course revealed unfamiliar horizons, multiple pathways and new adventures. Joey Philipp, who received a degree in biology-secondary education, will remember his Bradley Experience as a challenging, but gratifying trail to the tassel.
“I know I’ll thrive as a teacher because I will understand the challenges students face,” Philipp said. “I didn’t come to Bradley expecting to work so hard for A’s, but I also never expected to receive such great support from the faculty. Everyone here really wants to see you succeed.”
Chief among those supporters is Bradley President Joanne Glasser, who issued one last challenge to graduates before congratulating each with a handshake.
“Every generation faces problems and every generation has problem solvers, those who embrace difficult tasks and find original solutions,” said Bradley President Joanne Glasser. “I challenge you to be the thinkers, the risk takers, the inventors, the innovators and the leaders for your generation. I am confident you can be the game changers of tomorrow.”
Andrew Kerr, who earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree through Bradley’s distinctive 3:2 accounting program, called on his peers to harness their generation’s unyielding optimism. “We know that there will be more hardships in our lifetimes, but we are willing, through hard work, sacrifice and effort, to make our vision reality,” Kerr said in his address at the Dec. 17 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony.
At the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony held earlier in the week, keynote speaker Gary R. Roberts ’70 asked graduates to appreciate the value of their educational opportunity, as their Bradley experience has prepared them well for any challenge.
“This University is as good as they come and the education students receive here prepares them for a successful and happy life as well as any institution in the country,” said Roberts, dean of the Indiana University School of Law. “Throughout my life I have found that the things I learned and the skills I developed right here at Bradley were as good or better than anyone’s. Go forth with confidence and resolve.”