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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 3  

In Appreciation

Physician makes historic gift

Photography by SCOTT CAVANAH, MFA ’04

Above: THERESA FALCON-CULLINAN, MBA ’05, a retired Peoria-area physician and former CEO, speaks at the announcement of her $2 million naming gift to Bradley.


By living a simple maxim: Give without remembering and receive without forgetting, DR. THERESA FALCON-CULLINAN, MBA ’05 endowed Bradley’s Executive MBA program with a $2 million gift. Announced at a reception in the Michel Student Center Ballroom on May 11, the Theresa S. Falcon Executive MBA is the first executive business program in the world named for a woman and by a woman.

Her gift will:

    Provide scholarships for students with an emphasis on health care professionals.

    Establish the Theresa S. Falcon Executive Speaker Series to attract nationally and internationally known professionals to Bradley’s campus.

    Allow the University to host guest faculty from premier universities worldwide.

    Increase Bradley’s collaboration with universities and businesses worldwide through Internet global conferencing.

“Dr. Falcon-Cullinan’s gift elevates Bradley’s program to national stature,” said Joanne Glasser, Bradley president. “You have accomplished so much in your distinguished career as a physician, professor, and businesswoman. We are proud to claim you as our own.”

Standing with BU president Joanne Glasser, Dr. Falcon-Cullinan poses with her five daughters: Mary Jo Falcon-Hackney, BELINDA FALCON ’91, Zenaida Falcon Bartelme, Sarah Falcon, and ELIZABETH FALCON-BISHOP ’94 MBA ’05.

With her husband, Dr. Stephen A. Cullinan, and her five daughters in the audience, the retired physician expressed her appreciation of Bradley and all the institution has given her. “Both of my parents were high school teachers who constantly reminded me of the value of higher education,” she said of her youth in the Philippines. “My first passion is delivering babies and taking care of women. I find incredible joy in the miracle of new life. But I felt something was missing in my education. My lack of business knowledge was filled by Bradley. The EMBA enhanced my business acumen. I am energized by the experienced and talented faculty and grateful to make a small difference in the future of students in the program.”

Jack Russell, executive director of the EMBA program, said that Dr. Falcon-Cullinan has sent more people to the Executive MBA program than any other person or company except for Caterpillar Inc. “Theresa embodies what Bradley and Foster College are dedicated to and what they are accredited for — higher learning and continual improvement. Theresa believes in that for herself and for her family — 12 college degrees and one more coming for her five beautiful daughters.”

Her youngest daughter, Sarah, a third-year student at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, readily admits how difficult it is to describe her mother in just a few words. “My mom is so multifaceted…and an incredibly strong woman. She gives us a lot to live up to as a community leader and, most importantly, as a mom.”

More than 100 business leaders have been awarded Executive MBA degrees from Bradley since its inception in 2001. Dr. Rob Baer, dean of the Foster College of Business, said the program has been recognized for its one-of-a-kind innovative curriculum with the nation’s Innovation in the Leadership of Business Education Award. He considers the Falcon gift “one of many significant milestones since the College was named in honor of TOM FOSTER ’51 MBA ’52 and ELLIE DERGES FOSTER ’52.”

Dr. Falcon-Cullinan was one of the first female obstetrician and gynecologists in the Peoria area and during her 30-year career delivered thousands of babies and provided health care for thousands of women. In 2008, she was inducted into the Bradley Centurion Society. Visit Web Extras for more information on Dr. Falcon-Cullinan.