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Exploration Program Launches Legacy

As Jeff Hartigan ’87 embarked on his college search, he was leaning toward majoring in engineering but wasn’t certain. In researching engineering schools, he discovered Bradley’s Academic Exploration Program (AEP), which helps students identify academic interests, skills and career options that align with their values and aspirations.

A member of the Engineering Executive Advisory Committee, Jeff Hartigan ’87 also served on the Parents’ Association Board while his daughter, Mallory Hartigan ’14, was a Bradley student. “I thought it was a great way to continue to be involved and have an excuse to see her a bit more,” he said.

Photo courtesy Mallory Hartigan ’14.

“AEP appealed to me. I think that, and a combination of a very strong engineering program, a much smaller class size and a more practical curriculum were really what did it for me,” he explained. And, when it was time for his daughter, Mallory Hartigan ’14, to choose a college, he had a feeling Bradley would be the one for her, too.

“I don’t think there was ever a conscious, ‘I want her to follow in my footsteps,’” Jeff noted. “As I told both my children when we were visiting colleges, ‘There’s just going to be some place that feels right.’”

After taking Mallory to see several different schools, their final stop was the Hilltop. “You could see about midway through the visit she was starting to move a little closer to the tour guide and becoming more engaged and interested,” he recalled, adding the decision to attend his alma mater to major in journalism was ultimately hers.

While Mallory grew up hearing University tales from her father and extended family members — aunts Laura Langlotz Anderson ’81 and Susan Langlotz Peterson ’82, uncle Paul H. Anderson ’81, and cousins Robin Valenzo Dillon ’05 and the late Edward Dillon II ’02 — the idea of continuing that legacy wasn’t the determining factor. “I really wanted a smaller, good school that wasn’t too far from home,” she said.

Both Hartigans were involved in Greek life on campus — Jeff was Sigma Nu, and Mallory was Gamma Phi Beta — which led to a bit of teasing. “Delta Upsilon was our major rival, so my classmates made it very clear how much shame Mallory would bring on the family if she ever brought home a DU,” Jeff joked. He also pointed out that both their academic experiences were quite similar, acknowledging the beneficial relationships with their professors.

“Dr. Olatunji Dare [professor of journalism] had a huge impact on the way I think. I took Global Media Systems with him my final semester and learned a great deal on how international media differs from ours,” Mallory remarked. She also mentioned the “great influence” of Dr. Sara Netzley, associate professor of journalism and associate chair of the communication department, on her writing style and the encouragement of Dr. Melvy Portocarrero, associate professor of Spanish, who helped “make Spanish fun again.”

Jeff credits Dr. Joseph Emanuel, professor emeritus of industrial and manufacturing engineering and technology, for guiding him toward industrial engineering and his eventual career with Accenture LLP, formerly Arthur Andersen Management Information Consulting. “He was very keen on introducing IEs to what would be considered a non-traditional IE career path in consulting. I think I initially found out about Andersen through his recommendation.”

The two Hartigans also have very different college-era memories of the house on University Street where Mallory lived for three years, a situation she described simply and succinctly: “Dad apparently dated a Gamma Phi who lived in my off-campus house.”

— Clara Miles, MA ’05