Gary R. Roberts named 11th president

October 16, 2015


Photo Gallery

The Bradley University Board of Trustees announced today that alumnus and legal expert Gary R. Roberts will become the 11th president of the University.

Roberts graduated from Bradley in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with minors in history and speech.  He received his J.D. in 1975 from Stanford University.  He is considered one of the foremost sports law experts and scholars in the country.  He is currently Dean Emeritus and Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law of the McKinney School of Law at Indiana University in Indianapolis, where he served as Dean from 2007-2013. Before being appointed Dean in 2007, he spent 24 years at Tulane University Law School serving as Vice Dean, Deputy Dean, the Sumter Davis Marks professor of Business Law and Director of the first Sports Law Program established in the United States that he founded.  Immediately after graduating from Stanford Law School in 1975, he clerked for Judge Ben Duniway of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco for a year before going into private practice with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC and then began his academic career in higher education at Tulane in 1983.

Roberts has continued to practice law part-time throughout his academic career with a focus on antitrust and sports law. He has been a frequent commentator on broadcast and in print media on sports-related legal and business issues.  He was the on-air legal analyst for the NFL network and a lead analyst for other national media outlets during the National Football League lockout in 2011.  He has testified before Congressional Committees on nine occasions on sports matters.

Doug Stewart, Chairman of the Bradley Board of Trustees, says Roberts is the right choice to lead Bradley.  “Gary is a forward-thinking, innovative and proven leader, who understands Bradley from the inside out. He has extensive experience that makes him uniquely qualified to take on the challenge of moving Bradley forward.”

In 2011, Roberts was the Graduate School commencement speaker at Bradley.  While a student, he was an active member of the debate team, one of the four members of the five-time undefeated College Bowl Team, and he was actively involved in student government, being president of his sophomore class, student-body treasurer during his junior year, and a member of the student supreme court his senior year. 

“I grew to love Bradley as an undergraduate student,” Roberts said. “It was then and continues to be a wonderful place for young adults to learn, to grow and mature, and to transition into full adulthood.  Bradley is a jewel in so many ways.”

Roberts said he is honored, excited and humbled to be the next President of such a wonderful and prestigious institution. “It is a challenging time for higher education, especially for mid-sized private institutions such as Bradley.  I approach this job with total commitment, determination and enthusiasm.  And I know that my wife, Donna Carr Roberts, is equally excited and anxious to become part of the Bradley family and an active member of the Peoria community. ”

Roberts’ wife, Donna Carr Roberts, is a former corporate marketing executive and an award winning artist specializing in oils and watercolors.  He has one adult son who lives in New York.  He enjoys golf, traveling and doing arbitration work in sports disputes.  He is a passionate animal lover and has worked actively on the board of directors for the Indianapolis Humane Society for the past several years.

Dr. Stan Liberty will continue to serve as interim president until January 1, when Roberts will assume the role of president.  Roberts replaces Joanne Glasser who retired from Bradley earlier this year.