President’s Welcome

Creating a Lasting Legacy

Greetings from the Hilltop as another highly intelligent and motivated group of young people has begun its collegiate journey in Bradley red. Welcoming our new freshmen and their families to campus is always a wonderfully rewarding experience. Though their backgrounds and aspirations vary, five members of the Class of 2018 profiled in this issue share a contagious enthusiasm for the University and all it has to offer.

As former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” It is my pleasure to watch those dreams take hold here, among the rich history and storied traditions that prepared our 75,000-plus alumni for personal and professional success. Each fall, I thank founder Lydia Moss Bradley for this tremendous gift — the lasting legacy that is Bradley University.

Speaking of legacy, in this issue of Bradley Hilltopics, you’ll meet several families who truly bleed Bradley red. Their Bradley bonds are strong, whether between parents and children, brothers and sisters, or multiple generations of proud alumni. 

One of the reasons I so enjoy my job is the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe with a Bradley connection. Like many of us, they may not have known precisely what they wanted to do with their careers when they graduated, but they were certain they wanted to make an impact. 

Inside, you will read about five alumni who proved to be creative problem solvers in unexpected careers. Following a career as director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), David Brant ’74 entered the business world and built a public sector-focused practice to deliver accounting, auditing and consulting services to state, local and federal markets. Dr. Ron Jost ’70 took the opposite path. After retiring as a corporate vice president at Motorola, he joined the federal government and serves as a deputy assistant secretary of defense. Kathy Corso, MA ’98 finely tuned her counseling skills in The Graduate School, later transitioning from counseling to developing a variety of programs addressing community needs. Along with his brothers and a friend, George Eid ’94 established the popular restaurant, One World Cafe, across the street from campus. Now, his company, AREA 17, works in interactive space from offices in New York and Paris. With a flair for international development and philanthropy, Khalid Al-Naif ’81 directs a university-based think tank that allows him to solve problems worldwide.

In addition to reading about our illustrious alumni, I invite you to return to campus for Homecoming festivities October 15–18. You’ll find the schedule on page 50. Our celebration begins on Wednesday evening with a rekindled tradition that is one of my favorites: the ceremonial lighting of the “B” on top of Bradley Hall. The 8-foot-tall “B” is made up of hundreds of tiny lights; as legend has it, the first one represents the first student who enrolled at the University in 1897. The second shines in memory of all alumni lost. The other bulbs glow for all alumni and current students. Together, they create a powerful beacon for us to find our way back to our Hilltop home.

As I am fond of saying, when you come to Bradley, you not only become a member of the University community, you become a lifetime member of the Bradley family. I thank you for helping strengthen the legacy of our wonderful institution in all that you do.