Campus Celebrates Convergence Center Dedication
A six confetti gun salute capped a cheerful afternoon celebrating the dedication of Bradley University’s state-of-the-art Business and Engineering Convergence Center Nov. 1. The event brought together more than 300 faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters for speeches and a first look at the university’s largest-ever construction project.
The building encourages collaborative education as the home of the Foster College of Business, Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, as well as the Institute for Innovation through Collaboration. Modern technology and flexible learning spaces are signature features.
“I could not be more excited, more delighted and more proud as our business and engineering programs enter a new era of unsurpassed excellence,” said university president Gary R. Roberts ‘70. “What this enables these two great colleges to do by innovation and collaboration is truly transformational.”
Faculty and staff began moving in to the building in mind-October and the intent is for students’ classes to begin populating the building in a staggered manner, as their classrooms are finished. Work will continue through 2020 on the demolition of Jobst Hall and construction of the Convergence Center’s remaining wing. Once complete, the Convergence Center will provide 270,000 square feet of academic space, with 200 offices, 28 classrooms, eight computer labs and 46 specialized labs.
“Our mission was not to build a monument to the past, but a beacon to the future,” said Lex Akers, dean of the college of engineering. “I’d say ‘mission accomplished.’”
In addition, the facility enhances Peoria's Main Street corridor by enriching livability in surrounding neighborhoods, paving the way for more growth and drawing attention to the region as an innovator in education and economic development.
“Day to day, we see the Business and Engineering Convergence Center as a hub for student interaction, but our intent and vision are that the collaboration between our students and faculty will also be seen by our community,” said interim Foster College dean Matthew O’Brien.
Though a forward-looking facility, the Convergence Center features tributes to two noted Bradley leaders: Former engineering college dean and university president Martin Abegg ’47 HON ’93, and longtime economics professor and provost Kal Goldberg. Sculpture professor Fisher Stolz unveiled a statue he made of Goldberg and Roberts announced a portrait of Abegg would hang in the building.
“Lydia would be very proud of all of us,” said student speaker Naydeen Musaitif ’19, an industrial engineering major and marketing minor. “We are living Mrs. Bradley’s vision.”