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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

1897
Lydia Moss Bradley founds Bradley Polytechnic Institute.

Bradley Hall
Bradley Hall

 

1909
Holt Manufacturing Co., Caterpillar Tractor’s predecessor, opens a factory in East Peoria.

Holt Manufacturing Co.
Holt Manufacturing Co.

 

1939
Four-year engineering degree is added to Bradley curriculum.

 

1946
Bradley Polytechnic Institute becomes Bradley University.

Polytechnic to University
Industrial Arts Division housed in Duryea Hall

 

1949
Caterpillar makes initial gift of $70,000 to Bradley.

 

1949
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.

 

1951
College of Engineering forms. Caterpillar provides co-op opportunities for students.

Polytechnic to University

 

1954
Caterpillar Tractor donates $100,000 toward construction of engineering building–Jobst Hall.

Jobst Hall

 

1955
Caterpillar initiates the Educational Assistance Program, offering continuing education opportunities to employees.

Educational Assistance Program

 

1963
Caterpillar Tractor begins visiting professor lecture series at BU with “Concepts of Thermodynamics.”

 

1963
Cat chairman Louis Neumiller leads fund-raising after Bradley Hall is destroyed by fire.

Bradley Hall fire

 

1971
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

 

1976
Haussler Hall is dedicated, funded in part by a $250,000 gift from Caterpillar.

Haussler Hall

 

1979
Hartmann Center for Performing Arts is dedicated, funded in part by $300,000 gift from Caterpillar.

Hartmann Center for Performing Arts

 

1979
Caterpillar begins matching gift program, matching gifts made by employees or retirees to Bradley and other charitable organizations.

 

1981
Caterpillar donates $100,000 for the Caterpillar Excellence Fund. Bradley is selected to participate in the Caterpillar Scholars program.

 

1983
Caterpillar Fellows program begins; provides financial support for research by junior faculty in business and engineering.

Caterpillar Fellows program

 

1986
Caterpillar announces a gift of $5.6 million to the Campaign for Bradley.

Caterpillar $5.6 million gift
Caterpillar president George Schaefer

 

1991
“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

 

1994
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

 

1994
Bradley establishes the Caterpillar Lecture Series.

 

1995
Bradley initiates the Caterpillar Dependents Scholarship Program.

Dependents Scholarship Program

 

1999
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

 

2000
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.

 

2001
Bradley and Cat become founding members of Peoria NEXT, a collaboration focused on local science- and technology-based economic development.

 

2004
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

 

2007
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

 

2008
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.