Bradley Moving Forward with Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

July 1, 2020

Dear Bradley Family,

In a prior communication, I indicated I would give you an update on our diversity and inclusion efforts. I am delighted to share with you what we have done over the last few weeks and what we have planned moving forward.

We have been working with the Peoria Public Schools to develop the six full-tuition scholarships. After identifying potential candidates, we have extended offers to them for fall 2020. We will continue working closely with Peoria Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat and high school counselors this school year to identify excellent candidates for Bradley University and these scholarships for the fall 2021 academic year.

Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Marketing and Communications, Facilities Management and Information Technology have been very active in putting together plans for the Garrett Center. Additionally, a small task force of students benchmarked a number of other universities' cultural centers to inform the design and thinking on this project. I applaud them for their work and thank them for assisting us with this effort.

Immediate upgrades to the exterior of Garrett Center will include landscaping and external branding. The teams are working through immediate internal upgrades to the first floor, such as carpet, paint and technology. Within the foyer, there is exciting work developing around telling the story of Dr. Romeo B. Garrett and the history of cultural diversity at Bradley. We are exploring additional interior, exterior and technological upgrades throughout the building and card access/security updates.

We have created a Racial Equity Advisory Group, led by Bradley alumnus and community leader Glenn Ross. This group will provide input and work closely with me to identify actions and initiatives to create a more inclusive environment on campus. Participants on the advisory group include;

  • Steve Lewis – retired Ford Motor Co. executive, board member for the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance (BUBAA) and the Foster College of Business National Council of Advisors
  • Tracy Walker – program administrator at the University of Chicago and president of the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance (BUBAA)
  • Michelle Mills Clement - president of the Chicago Realtors Association, current member of Bradley University Board of Trustees and past president of BUBAA
  • Matt Noe - executive director of Global MyHR Delivery and Employee Relations at SC Johnson and president of the Bradley University Alumni Association
  • Adrian Alvarez - president of the Bradley Association of International and Latino Alumni (BAILA)
  • Michele Sullivan – former president of the Caterpillar Foundation and author of the book “Looking Up”
  • Norris Chase – executive director of Bradley’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Angie Cooksy – director of undergraduate admissions at Bradley
  • Alison Morrissey –associate vice president for advancement at Bradley
  • Karen Carty - assistant athletics director - marketing and fan engagement at Bradley
  • Kayla White - current Bradley student and student admission representative
  • Emma Hoyhta - current Bradley student and student body president
  • Nailah Brown - current Bradley student and president of the Black Student Alliance
  • Charles Myers – current Bradley student and past president of the Black Student Alliance
  • Jessica Fragoso – current Bradley student and past president – Latinx Caucus
  • Pierre Paul – current Bradley student and residence hall director
  • To be Determined - Bradley faculty representatives

This group will play a pivotal role in helping me determine future actions needed to create a more inclusive campus climate. Thank you to the individuals mentioned above for your willingness to take on this pivotal role for the university.

To be clear, these are initial steps designed to move us in a positive direction. I am absolutely committed to creating an inclusive environment where all of our students, faculty and staff feel welcome. This is not the end of a process, but the beginning of sustained change in how we treat one another as members of the Bradley family. Please stay tuned for more actions in the months and years to come.


Stephen Standifird
Bradley University