Congratulations, Graduates

(Photo by Duane Zehr)

Additional images

By Matt Hawkins
May 17, 2014

Joyful cheers filled the Peoria Civic Center and Renaissance Coliseum as the Bradley community honored the Class of 2014 on May 17. With degrees in hand, 920 undergraduates and 151 graduate students descended on the Hilltop with eyes focused on bright futures.

Undergraduate ceremony keynote speaker Howard Lance ’77, executive advisor at The Blackstone Group and retired board chair, president and CEO of Harris Corporation, encouraged graduates to think now about their legacies.

“Imagine you are standing here addressing a future Bradley class 20 or 30 years from now,” he said. “What are going to be your priorities between now and then? What do you hope to accomplish? What will be your legacy?”

With that in mind, he advised graduates to reflect on those goals and hopes throughout their lives.

University President Joanne Glasser urged graduates to become lifelong learners with diverse skills to thrive in a dynamic job market.


Undergraduate Ceremony

Graduate Ceremony

“Always keep learning, and by using your intellect, common sense and creativity, you will remain adaptable to the dynamic demands of the economic marketplace,” she said. “It is difficult to predict the economic landscape of the future, but I can assure you that opportunities will continue to present themselves.”

The morning celebration marked Andrew Jacob’s first step toward a master’s degree through the Foster College of Business’s 3:2 accounting program. His undergrad experience broadened leadership horizons as vice-president of Bradley’s Financial Management Association and member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council.

“I’ve had great leadership opportunities the last four years,” he said. “All the practice in leadership and interacting with other people was great training for the rest of my life.”

Hospitality leadership graduate Jordan Garcia will take her talents to South Beach, where she will start an Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapter at Florida International University.

She credited four years of involvement in sorority life and multiple service organizations for forming her career passions.

“I came in undecided and had no idea what to do,” she said. “Through working with the organizations, I fell in love with nonprofit work and hope to do that after graduation.”

At the afternoon graduate ceremony, Caterpillar Senior Vice-President David Bozeman ’91 commissioned the graduates to use their power to build legacies of service. Recalling the legacy of Romeo B. Garrett and the rest of Bradley’s first graduate degree recipients in 1947, he suggested the Class of 2014 could have world-changing power to address poverty and other social concerns.

“This degree comes with high stakes. To go far, you must actively participate in your world and its work,” he said. “To go far, you must challenge yourself every day. Your legacy will live on through leadership and a commitment to grow and develop others.”

This year’s commencement schedule marked a change from past years past as both were on the same day.