Graduation Celebration

Photo by Duane Zehr

Additional images

Matt Hawkins
December 16, 2017

Bradley’s December commencement celebrated more than 320 graduates at the annual ceremony in Renaissance Coliseum.

University President Gary Roberts ’70 reminded graduates of the value of their degrees in a changing world, as the university has received top honors from publications such as the Wall Street Journal.

“You’re leaving here with a great education and future,” he said. “You have the ability to empathize, compromise, manage stress and exercise good judgment in whatever comes your way. Whatever you do with your degree, be confident it has given you the power to be whatever you want to be.”

Human resource management graduate Evan Sherman-Hayes, of Peoria, will leave his hometown for a management training program position with Jewel-Osco in Chicago.

“I had a plethora of internship and professional experiences to share at my job interviews, and I feel very confident about starting my career,” he said. “I came out of my shell as I built meaningful relationships. As a student who started as an undecided major, I took huge steps over the past four years.”

Samantha Dando, a mechanical engineering graduate from Waterloo, Iowa, transferred to Bradley to complete her engineering degree. She credited STEM outreach programs and strong relationships with faculty for developing her personal and professional skills.

“The engineering program was the most challenging, yet most rewarding educational experience I could have chosen,” she said. “Professors took time to answer my questions and invested in my success, and they have become educational, professional and personal mentors. They are phenomenal people.”

Advertising graduate Brian Haas, of Milwaukee, Wisc., appreciated lessons he learned through the Sigma Nu fraternity. He valued the fraternity’s philanthropic work for Children’s Hospital of Illinois and leadership development opportunities through the organization.

“I met amazing guys and made lifelong friends while I was given countless opportunities to prove myself as a leader and role model,” he said. “I grew so much as a person, and I’ll carry those memories and lessons the rest of my life.”