Featured Alumni

David Defreitas

David DefreitasDegree/Year: B.S., Accounting, 1987
Current Employer: Caterpillar
Title: Sr. Business Manager, Customer Services Support

For me, the "Bradley Experience" means a unique balance of education and life experiences while in college that really prepare you for life after graduation.  A mid-sized University with a "right size" campus life style, small class sizes, professors with the highest of credentials including real world business experience, many opportunities to get involved in activities outside the classroom, and Bradley's solid reputation with employers across the nation define that experience.  It is no wonder Bradley is consistently recognized as one of the "best value" educations in the country.  It is also a University that never sits still.  It is always investing in its students and its future as evidenced by the Renaissance Campaign.  These aspects of Bradley are what generates a sense of pride and loyalty among its students and alumni.  The sports teams often use the phrase:  "Once a Brave, Always a Brave".  Well, I feel this phrase is really the essence of the "Bradley Experience" for all students and alumni.

Also, during my 22 year career at Caterpillar, I have been exposed to many other universities and their alumni while living in the Chicago area; Leicester, England; the Peoria area, and during my travels to many other countries around the world. I can honestly say Bradley and its graduates compare very well to the "best of the best" to which I have been exposed. I believe this comes from the well-rounded nature that students get from the "Bradley Experience.”

Current and future students, you will get an outstanding education at Bradley, but you will get the most out of the "Bradley Experience" by applying what you are learning in the classroom to the many activities and organizations Bradley offers for your involvement. This type of experience is what employers are looking for on your resume, and why so many companies and firms recruit Bradley graduates.

Shelley Rapp

Shelley RappDegree/Graduation year: B.S., Accounting, 2006
Current Employer: Clifton Gunderson LLP
Title: Business Manager, Assurance Services

For me, the Bradley Experience provided an environment in which the faculty really took an interest in my success, and everything outside the classroom helped shape me into person that I have become. It’s something that I don’t think you could get anywhere else and it has made all the difference in my career.

My classes prepared me in a technical way and the social organizations that I was involved in taught me how to be a part of a group. As an auditor, I work in teams, so appreciating each team members’ abilities and strengths helps me make sure we can get our job done on time.

There are so many things on Bradley’s campus that students have the time and opportunity to be a part of. If you’re passionate about something – sports, volunteering, student government, etc – get involved. For me, college was the first time I really felt able to do what I was really interested in, and I met a lot of really great people along the way.

A favorite Hilltop memory?  Soccer games, hands down! It doesn’t get much better than a good group of friends piling on the bus, bundled up on a cool fall night and cheering so much that you can barely talk the next day.

Glen Birnbaum

Glen BirnbaumDegree/Year: B.S., Accounting, 1999
Current Employer: Heinold-Banwart, Ltd
Title: Shareholder

At Bradley, students have the opportunity to form strong relationships with faculty, forming bonds that enhance the classroom experience and continue to benefit graduates as they enter the workforce. Close interaction with professors in a supportive learning environment allows students to prepare for the kinds of working relationships they’ll encounter as young professionals.

The Bradley Experience is what you make of it, but vast opportunities to for growth, success, and enduring relationships are certainly there for the taking.

Richard A. Gevis

Richard A. GevisDegree/Graduation year: B.S., Accounting, 1986
Current Employer: Deloitte & Touche LLP
Title: Director, Audit & Enterprise Risk Services; Certified Public Accountant

My Bradley University professors profoundly impact me – not just in the classroom, but also in personal interactions outside the classroom. These relationships broadened my interest in the accounting profession, directed my career interests to the appropriate place, and contributed to the development of many attributes supporting a successful career. In other words, my years at Bradley were much more than a classroom experience – they really shaped me as a professional.

Bradley’s size provides unparalleled access to faculty with both academic and real world experience. Bradley will make a difference in your life, and you can make a difference in the Bradley community.