Celebrating Graduates

(Photo by Duane Zehr)

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Matt Hawkins
December 15, 2018

Bradley’s December commencement celebrated 250 graduates at the annual ceremony in Renaissance Coliseum.

Graduates from Bradley’s first online counseling and nursing cohorts were among those to receive diplomas. Julie Fortuna completed a clinical mental health counseling degree from Gilbert, Ariz., after a move took her away from the on-campus program.

“I had such outstanding interactions with Bradley’s faculty that I felt the online program would be worth it,” she said. “Even though this was an online experience, the professors offered a personal touch and professionalism. I can’t say enough about how much their feedback and evaluations encouraged me and helped me be successful.”

For undergraduates who will step into new ventures, Saturday provided a chance to reflect on four years of memories and learning experiences. Physics major Jeff Bannister, of LaGrange Park, Ill., will stay in Peoria after graduation to teach a class at Manual High School. Strong friendships will be lasting reminders of his Hilltop years.

“I can’t imagine who I’d be without all the relationships and connections Bradley has offered me,” he said. “I’m forever grateful for the peers I’ve been fortunate to share the experience with.”

Chillicothe, Ill., native Delany Coates appreciated faculty support as she struggled to find her academic and professional dreams. Classes and conversations with management and leadership professors Jennifer Robin and Becky Wood persuaded her to join the program as a junior, even if it seemed late for a switch.

“I thought changing majors would be a failure on my part, but I couldn’t be more happy with the decision,” she said. “I did what was best for me and, as a result, experienced so much.”