I love Bradley as much as a person can love a place or an idea on Earth. What do I mean by an idea? To do that, let me take you back to when I was a student.
I came to Bradley not knowing who I was. But I came because I suspected there was a community of people who cared about each other. What I found was even more. I found students and professors who saw me as I really was, supported me and cared about me as I grew.
I was an English and communication double major. Professors like Rob Prescott and Kevin Stein developed my writing and challenged me to take risks by putting things out into the world that were unique and authentically me. Paul Guillifor, Olatunji Dare and Jeff Huberman opened my mind to the structure and methods of the media and the world, while allowing me space to figure out where I could fit and contribute.
Each time I had a new interest, a new career path, an idea, or needed help, Bradley saw me, cared about me and connected me with more people who cared and helped me grow. I joined student organizations, then quickly started leading them. I learned that while giving my time was hard, the more I gave, the more I grew. And, in turn, I found even more community.
“Bradley heled me find or create a community of people who cared. I quickly came to understand this community is what made Bradley special.”
Eventually, I decided on law because it combined what I was good at — reading and writing — with what I cared about, helping people. Bradley had no pre-law program at the time, so with the help of and support of countless people, I founded the Pre-Law Club, which eventually led to Bradley’s Pre-Law Center, an idea which two decades later is a reality that has flourished under its director, Judge Jerelyn Maher ’74.
The lesson was clear: with each new turn in life, Bradley helped me find or create a community of people who cared. I quickly came to understand this community is what made Bradley special.
When I graduated, I didn’t have a job, nor had I gotten into law school. But I wasn’t afraid. The reason was Bradley. I knew I’d always have Bradley and there wouldn’t ever be any reason to be afraid. Bradley is not simply a physical place — it’s an idea, an idea that people can work and live together, care about common things, care about each other, become colleagues and friends, and transform each other’s lives. Bradley is this idea about people achieving together, and it’s also the hope that we care about each other while we’re doing this.
As an alumnus, I have volunteered to speak to classes on campus, served as a mentor for students, helped fundraise, advised clubs and walked around campus with prospective students.
Let’s continue to build this community that makes Bradley so special. That way, the next student and the next, the next alumni and the next, will know they are never as alone as they might feel, that there is community, that there is reason to believe, and that reason is right here—it’s Bradley. We’ll always have Bradley.