Graduates look ahead

Jobs were a major topic of Thomas J. Donohue’s address at the midyear commencement on December 17, 2011. Some of the statistics offered by the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were more positive than others. “Our nation needs to create about 20 million jobs over the next 10 years,” he said. Donohue added that 10,000 people retire every day, and he encouraged new Bradley graduates by saying, “You’ve got a statistic on your side. Over 95 percent of Americans who have college degrees are currently employed.”

Donohue, who was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony, suggested that graduates take a risk every once in a while. “Don’t buy into the cynicism about America. Don’t waste a minute of your time questioning the opportunities that lie ahead and the ability of America to reclaim its greatness. I wouldn’t trade our strengths for any other country in the world,” he remarked to the crowd at the Renaissance Coliseum. “We are counting on your generation to renew the promise of the American Dream — to claim it for yourselves and to build on it for future generations.”

Officially, 246 degrees were awarded in December, as well as 86 master’s degrees.

The graduate commencement ceremony, held on December 14 at the Markin Center on campus, featured GARY ROBERTS ’70 (above, right) as keynote speaker. Roberts is dean of Indiana University’s law school in Indianapolis and is the on-air legal analyst for the NFL Network. A member of Bradley’s championship GE College Bowl team in 1969, the Stanford Law School graduate praised BU for being “as good as they come.” He stressed the need for good leaders, and asked graduates to always be empathetic. “Put yourselves in other people’s shoes,” advised Roberts, who previously taught at Tulane University’s law school.

— Gayle Erwin McDowell ’77 Photography by Daryl Wilson

Weinberg left mark on Bradley and Peoria

PHIL WEINBERG, HON ’73 moved his family to Peoria in 1956 to found Bradley’s electrical engineering department; 33 years later, the Brooklyn native retired as dean of the Engineering and Technology College. Along the way were some twists. 

For almost a decade, Weinberg veered away from engineering to take on the role of founding dean of the College of Communications and Fine Arts.* “Fine arts at Bradley have a great future,” Weinberg remarked when CFA was launched in 1978. “This is only the beginning — the best days are yet to come.” The new College included the divisions of art, music, journalism, speech, and theater.

Weinberg’s interest in the arts and his role as “the father of public broadcasting in Peoria” made him a logical candidate to shepherd Bradley’s new College. He had been the driving force behind the creation of WTVP-TV in 1971 and he served as its board president for many years. Weinberg also was responsible for WCBU becoming a full-power public radio station.

Weinberg died on February 2 at age 86. His obituary appears in In Memory.

* CFA became the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts in 1996.