Spring 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 2
This is an especially exciting time to be on the Hilltop, particularly for me. I am living a year of firsts: first day of classes with Bradley students, first Founder’s Day, first exciting soccer and basketball seasons, first winter commencement, and now first letter to you in Bradley Hilltopics.
There is so much I want to update you about that it’s difficult to know where to begin. My welcome to Bradley has been truly overwhelming. Students, faculty, staff and alumni have been exceedingly warm and welcoming. I am grateful for the confidence they have entrusted in me, and I pledge to do my very best to exceed your high expectations.
I am extremely impressed with the quality of both faculty and students. Faculty members are dedicated to their students; they understand that at the core of the “Bradley Experience” is a close, mentoring relationship with our students. Yet many instructors have found time to do cutting-edge research. Their strides into the unknown are truly remarkable. Students are thoughtful, bright, engaged and inquisitive. They’ve come to Bradley eager to learn and succeed, and their unbridled enthusiasm is a tonic for all of us.
As many of you know, I have been traveling quite a bit. More journeys are planned to reconnect with our alumni and re-engage them in the life of their alma mater. Meeting with you has been a wonderful experience for me. I enjoy hearing stories about your days at Bradley, learning about our shared history, and understanding what the Hilltop means to you.
At those sessions, I have updated alumni about our four near-term priorities. Let me share them.
Along with that ambitious agenda, there is much happening on campus. The Markin Family Student Recreation Center and nearby parking deck are under construction and expected to be completed this fall. Along with the Athletic Performance Center that will be home to the men’s basketball team practice facility and the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, the west side of the campus will be totally transformed.That brings me to Robertson Memorial Field House, which will come down this spring to make room for the new athletic arena. It will be a bittersweet day for all who hold many wonderful memories of events and games held there.
I want to salute the extraordinary man that historic building was named after — A.J. Robertson. Robbie, as he was fondly called, was the guiding light of Bradley’s athletic department for nearly 30 years, a time in which the Braves attained national recognition. But more than his success on the field or the court, Coach Robertson is beloved for the way he touched so many students, how he mentored them both in school and after graduation, and how he selflessly gave to the University. The Coach earned our gratitude because of what he did for the University and how he did it — with integrity and character.
I look forward to meeting as many of our Bradley alums as possible in the months and years ahead. Thank you for the privilege and honor of serving this great institution.
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