May 14, 2014
Senior mechanical engineering major Chris Douglas capped a busy Hilltop experience with national recognition as he became the first Bradley student in 47 years to receive a graduate fellowship from Tau Beta Pi honor society.
The Anderson Fellowship, one of 26 the society awarded, will allow him to continue his studies this fall at Georgia Tech, where he also received a research fellowship from the university.
“I never could’ve seen this happening when I came to Bradley,” he said. “I’ve taken the opportunities given to me and I’m thankful for them. I’m blessed to have them.”
Douglas immersed himself in a host of activities as an undergraduate, including the triathlon club, track, cross-country, the rock climbing club and Tau Beta Pi. He also participated in a May interim trip to Germany with Dr. Martin Morris.
Douglas took advantage of small class sizes to build relationships with faculty who shaped his life. Those relationships were formed in the labs and out in the community.
“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities at Bradley that I couldn’t get at other schools,” Douglas said. “I’ve gotten to work closely with several professors, so I’m not just a student or worker to them. I’m a friend and mentee.”
Additionally, as president of the university’s Tau Beta Pi chapter two years, Douglas worked to make the honor society more visible in Peoria. The chapter assisted with Peoria Riverfront Museum’s Engineering Day and a Bridge Bust competition with youth.
“This gave those in Tau Beta Pi an experience in community service they might not have as mechanical engineering students,” Douglas said. “These made impacts in the community because we weren’t doing them to check off a box.”
Tau Beta Pi was founded at Lehigh University in 1885. It has collegiate chapters at 242 engineering colleges in the United States and active alumni chapters in 38 cities.
It has initiated more than 551,000 members in its 129-year history and is the world’s largest engineering society.
Gregory L. Theus was Bradley’s first Tau Beta Pi fellowship recipient in 1967.