Interim President’s Welcome

Some of you may recall that I was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bradley from 1998–2005 before joining Kettering University as president. I decided in 2011 to retire and move back to the Peoria area to be close to family. My academic career had spanned 40 years and five universities, and I thought it was over. Well, I was wrong!

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering asked me if I would teach part time in the spring semester of 2014 — something that I am continuing to do and thoroughly enjoy. Then, this spring, Bradley began its search for its 11th president, and I was asked if I would serve as interim president until a new president steps on board. 

Yes, I’m having a little difficulty executing this “retirement” plan; however, because of my deep affection for Bradley, I agreed to serve in this capacity through what I expect to be a short interim period. I can assure you that, despite this transitional phase, Bradley University is on the move and focused on the future. 

Speaking of the future, there is a lot of excitement about the future of our men’s basketball program. In June, we had nearly 1,200 people turn out for a luncheon to welcome our new director of athletics, Dr. Chris Reynolds, and our new head basketball coach, Brian Wardle. The atmosphere was electric, and the crowd was energized beyond all expectations.

We also held two special alumni events in June. The first Sudanese alumni reunion took place June 5–7 and was attended by nearly 100 people from Sudan, Saudi Arabia and all over the United States. It was heartwarming to see so much passion for Bradley from this group. We also were fortunate to have some of our most prominent alumni on campus in June for the biennial Leadership Summit. These leaders brought with them decades of experience in a variety of industries from around the world and shared their incredible talents with our attendees.

Bradley recently received national and international attention for some of the great things happening on campus. The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, directed by Jim Foley and housed in the Turner Center at Bradley, signed a trade agreement with the World Trade Centre Winnipeg. This new partnership provides the Foster College of Business and the University with another international partner to support our academic goals and community economic development efforts.

Bradley’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program now offers the first orthopedic residency program in downstate Illinois. Also, our game design students designed a new mobile game to illustrate the effects of blood sugar imbalances in people with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Monica McGill, associate professor of interactive media and game design lead, and her students launched the game this summer.

We now are accepting applications for five new online graduate nursing programs. This new avenue allows us to offer programs of the highest quality in a cutting-edge online environment that is both flexible and convenient for working nurses who are balancing other responsibilities. The programs are currently available in over 30 states with more to come. 

As you can see, the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff and students continue to enhance Bradley’s reputation and add value to your Bradley degree.

A new semester is almost upon us. Welcome Week kicks off on August 22. Family Weekend will be September 18–20, and the fall semester wouldn’t be complete without a Founder’s Day celebration and a festive Homecoming. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for “Homecoming 2015: A Brave New World” from September 20–26.

This year’s Homecoming will feature perennial favorites such as the Lighting of the B, along with a variety of new events and activities. The Braves soccer team will take on Loyola on Friday evening at Shea Stadium, and Saturday will feature the Bids for the Braves dinner/auction and numerous other affinity group reunions. 

I invite you to return to the Hilltop to celebrate our great Bradley Homecoming tradition.

Best wishes,

Stan Liberty