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Bradley Hilltopics

Winter 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 1  



Gift boosts Smith Career Center’s internship opportunities


Building on the momentum that has placed the Smith Career Center at the top of its class, Bradley recently announced the establishment of The Marjorie and Bill Springer Center for Excellence in Internships, a gift from a former employee and her husband. MARJORIE SPRINGER ’81 was a career adviser in the Center for Career Development from 1982 to 1992, working with business and engineering students. Bill, a Caterpillar vice president and member of the Bradley Council, has been instrumental in supporting Bradley interns in a variety of departments.

dr. james adrian at a venezuela oil refinery

A gift from Bill and MARJORIE SPRINGER ’81 allows for the expansion of Bradley’s internship program.

As an employee at Bradley, Marjorie saw firsthand the invaluable experiences internships provide students. For example, Bradley students working as interns in 2007 earned nearly $2 million to supplement college costs.

“Eighty percent of our students who gained valuable intern experience found full-time employment after graduation, compared to 65 percent for those without career-related experience,” says JANE LINNENBURGER, MA ’79, executive director of the Smith Career Center, who has been with Bradley 31 years. “Bradley has had co-op opportunities for more than 75 years, beginning in the 1930s with the College of Engineering and Technology.”

With the creation of the Springer Center, Bradley has rededicated its commitment to providing students with enhanced opportunities for career-related work experience. Sharon St. Germain, director of experiential education, who has worked at the Career Center for 25 years said, “The ultimate goal of the Springers’ gift is to bring greater recognition to the internship program, to bring it back to the forefront, and to renew the importance of the program.” The couple’s gift is the third endowed gift to the Smith Career Center.

The Springer Center for Excellence in Internships will focus on five areas: expanding opportunities for students to gain career-related experience; generating more student participation in the cooperative education and internship program; increasing awareness of international internship opportunities; enhancing activities that assist students in conducting their job searches and preparing them for on-the-job success; and providing continuous evaluation and improvement of the cooperative education and internship program policies, procedures, and data collected.

Along with the Springer Center, the Smith Career Center offers a myriad of resources to assist students in their job searches, including individual career advisement and job fairs. Online resources include: eRecruiting, a program where students can post their resumes for potential employers to see; Going Global, an international job search tool; Optimal Resume, a resume-building program; and Interview Stream, a video stream of practice interviews with a critique of the student’s performance at the end.

These tools have contributed to the success of students finding jobs and internships before and after graduation. “Intern programs are becoming more and more important as employers view them as the pipeline to future full-time hires,” adds St. Germain. “Ninety-six percent of Bradley’s 2007 graduates found jobs or furthered their education within six months of graduation.”

Visit for more information. If you know of available internships or full-time positions for Bradley interns and graduates, please contact the SCC at 309-677-2510 or

Baghdad revisited

Dr. Beryl CunninghamIn the 1950s, Bradley was selected by the United States Technical Cooperation Administration to plan and direct a technical institute in Baghdad, Iraq. As outlined in the five-year contract, Bradley developed and equipped the American Technical Institute in Baghdad. Programs included refrigeration, automotive mechanics, building trades, machine shop, electricity, air conditioning, radio, and graphic arts. Bradley also shipped $100,000 worth of equipment to Iraq for use in the school.

Dr. Beryl Cunningham (pictured at left), head of Bradley’s woodworking department at the time, coordinated the program. The partnership ended in 1958 with the conclusion of the contract.