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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 3  

Web Exclusives
Robertson Memorial Field House Rendering | BU/Cat timeline | Midnight Munchies | 
Wilderness Race | Presidents' Museums Tour  | Bradley alum hosts NPR show | 
BU student-athlete wins on The Price is Right

A timeline of the Bradley and Caterpillar relationship

Lydia Moss Bradley founds Bradley Polytechnic Institute.

Bradley Hall
Bradley Hall


Holt Manufacturing Co., Caterpillar Tractor’s predecessor, opens a factory in East Peoria.

Holt Manufacturing Co.
Holt Manufacturing Co.


Four-year engineering degree is added to Bradley curriculum.


Bradley Polytechnic Institute becomes Bradley University.

Polytechnic to University
Industrial Arts Division housed in Duryea Hall


Caterpillar makes initial gift of $70,000 to Bradley.


Technical College is renamed Bennett College, offering industrial education, automobile, drafting, metalwork, and electricity classes.

Bennett College
At right, Charles A. Bennett was a professor of industrial arts from 1897 to 1920.


College of Engineering forms. Caterpillar provides co-op opportunities for students.

Polytechnic to University


Caterpillar Tractor donates $100,000 toward construction of engineering building–Jobst Hall.

Jobst Hall


Caterpillar initiates the Educational Assistance Program, offering continuing education opportunities to employees.

Educational Assistance Program


Caterpillar Tractor begins visiting professor lecture series at BU with “Concepts of Thermodynamics.”


Cat chairman Louis Neumiller leads fund-raising after Bradley Hall is destroyed by fire.

Bradley Hall fire


BU president Martin Abegg organizes Bradley-Caterpillar Conference. Cat executives spend a day on campus while BU deans and department chairs tour Caterpillar.

Martin Abegg
Dr. Martin G. Abegg ’47 in 1971


Haussler Hall is dedicated, funded in part by a $250,000 gift from Caterpillar.

Haussler Hall


Hartmann Center for Performing Arts is dedicated, funded in part by $300,000 gift from Caterpillar.

Hartmann Center for Performing Arts


Caterpillar begins matching gift program, matching gifts made by employees or retirees to Bradley and other charitable organizations.


Caterpillar donates $100,000 for the Caterpillar Excellence Fund. Bradley is selected to participate in the Caterpillar Scholars program.


Caterpillar Fellows program begins; provides financial support for research by junior faculty in business and engineering.

Caterpillar Fellows program


Caterpillar announces a gift of $5.6 million to the Campaign for Bradley.

Caterpillar $5.6 million gift
Caterpillar president George Schaefer


“Management for the 1990s” executive certificate program is initiated and later renamed “Management for the 21st Century.” To date, more than 1,000 Caterpillar managers have participated, and the program continues to grow.

Management for the 1990s


Caterpillar pledges $20 million to the Bradley Centennial Campaign. Cat employees set $4 million goal for the campaign and surpass it with pledges of $5.3 million.

Caterpillar pledges $20 million
BU president John Brazil, Board of Trustees president Bob Viets, and Caterpillar president Don Fites


Bradley establishes the Caterpillar Lecture Series.


Bradley initiates the Caterpillar Dependents Scholarship Program.

Dependents Scholarship Program


Bradley initiates and gives the Caterpillar name to the Endowed Professorships Program, New Initiatives Program, Graduate Fellowship Program, and Global Communications Center.

Global Communications Center


Caterpillar Professorships are established and the first are awarded. Today, there are eight Caterpillar Professors on Bradley’s campus.

Kevin Stein
Dr. Kevin Stein, Illinois poet laureate, is a Caterpillar professor at Bradley.


Bradley and Cat become founding members of Peoria NEXT, a collaboration focused on local science- and technology-based economic development.


Bradley establishes The Fites Chair in the College of Engineering and Technology to honor Donald V. Fites, retired Caterpillar chair and CEO and chair of Bradley’s Centennial Campaign.

Donald V. Fites
Donald V. Fites


The 50,000 square-foot Innovation Center opens on Main Street in the heart of Renaissance Park. Built under a collaborative partnership between Peoria NEXT and the Heartland Commerce & Economic Development Foundation, the Center houses a technology incubator designed to stimulate regional development and new economic growth.

Innovation Center
Ribbon-cutting ceremony


Caterpillar announces a $30 million gift to Bradley — the largest in the University’s history — that includes two matching grants aimed at attracting an additional $18 million. Plans call for naming the College of Engineering and Technology in Caterpillar’s honor.

Largest gift in BU history
From left, Gerald Shaheen ’66 MBA ’68, president of the Bradley Board of Trustees and chair
of the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance; President Joanne Glasser; Jim Owens, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO.