Welcome, students!

August 21, 2010


Activity & Volunteer Fair: Video | Photo Gallery

Taste of Bradley: Video | Photo Gallery

All School Block Party: Video | Photo Gallery

Move-in Day: Photo Gallery

Parents helping arrange clean clothes in dorm closets this move-in weekend may wonder how those duds, once worn, will ever get clean again. Doing laundry is just one new experience many incoming freshman will undertake this fall. But don’t fret, parents, because a “How to Do Laundry” tutorial is one of many Welcome Week events designed to help students settle in, make friends, and yes—keep clean.

Bradley’s Student Activities staff will ensure the next week also brings plenty of food, entertainment and, most importantly, opportunities for social interaction.

“What we really try to do is design our events so they’re a great transition from the fun that they’ve been having this summer—or not having because they’ve been working. This is their last blast of summer before they move into the class work,” said director of student activities Michelle Whited.

Welcome Week features include the ever-popular Taste of Bradley, an opportunity for local restaurants to tickle taste buds on Olin Quad. Whited said the event also provides an opportunity for relaxed interaction between students, faculty, and staff.

Other highlights of Welcome Week (full schedule) include an outdoor screening of “Iron Man 2,” Casino Night, various religious gatherings, and the university’s first Freshman Convocation in over a decade.

Some of the improvements the fall 2010 semester brings are easy to spot, like the new 4,200-seat arena on the northwest edge of campus. Other points of pride are less obvious, but just as striking. This year’s freshman class boasts an even higher ACT composite average than its recent predecessors, despite its larger size. These statistics reveal Bradley isn’t compromising its traditionally high standards of academic excellence amid a tough economy. Bradley students always come to campus with remarkable academic profiles, but to see the ACT average increase alongside higher enrollment is a wonderful combination.

Dr. Alan Galsky, vice president for student affairs, says impressive ACT scores are just one characteristic making the Class of 2014 unique. This year’s enrollment of incoming freshmen could be the largest in four decades, will almost certainly be the greatest over two consecutive years in decades, and comprises the largest number of incoming students from California in many decades.

Sam Aubrey, an incoming freshman from Laguna Beach, California, noticed immediately upon arriving on campus the positive, warm nature of her classmates, the Bradley faculty and staff, and folks around the Peoria community. She was accepted to about 20 schools around the country, but Aubrey said it was the enthusiasm she found in online forums that sold her on Bradley.

“I researched all the schools, and Bradley was the best out of all of them. Bradley was just all “A’s.” Everyone loved it.  The more I researched it, the more I fell in love with it,” Aubrey said.

Meanwhile, the more than 2,000 miles between Illinois and Bogotá, Colombia, didn’t keep Bradley off of incoming freshman Sammy Naman’s radar.

“I Googled ‘best engineering schools,’ and Bradley kept coming up, so I started to look at it and I liked it. I like the integration here. I have a class with a girl who is studying art, while I’m studying engineering. I think that’s pretty cool,” Naman said.

Even the prospect of a Midwest winter isn’t enough to chill this newcomer’s excitement.

“I’ve never seen snow before, so I’m actually really looking forward to winter,” Naman said.

He may find few who share that particular sentiment, but Welcome Week activities are sure to give Naman the opportunity to connect with hundreds, even thousands, of students with whom he has common interests.

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