President Joanne Glasser celebrated the start of the school year with students at the annual block party on August 21. Held in the evening after students move into residence halls, the party is the first in a series of Welcome Week events.
This has been quite a summer on the Hilltop. As you will read in this edition of Bradley Hilltopics, we have been putting the finishing touches on our fabulous new 4,200-seat arena. It is spectacular, a fitting successor to our beloved Robertson Memorial Field House that stood on the same site for six decades.
The arena will host commencements and convocations, concerts and job fairs, and serve as home to our women’s basketball and volleyball teams. The adjoining practice facility for our basketball teams, and accompanying academic rooms, physical therapy areas and workout space, will rival any in the nation. We will dedicate the arena at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 15, during our Homecoming celebration and follow that ceremony with tours. One highlight of Homecoming will be a performance by comedian and television superstar Jay Leno on Saturday in the arena. We are delighted that Jay will add his special brand of comedy to Homecoming. I invite you to return to the Hilltop to take part in all of the other wonderful festivities we have planned. I look forward to seeing you at Homecoming.
The arena project isn’t the only construction activity on campus. The superstructure of the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center has been erected adjoining Bradley Hall. The Alumni Center will be a fabulous addition to campus, and I can’t wait until it is completed next year so we can begin work on creating a beautiful Alumni Quad alongside it. In July, the faculty and staff of our College of Education and Health Sciences relocated from Westlake Hall to Campustown Shopping Center to make way for the renovation and expansion of Westlake. This long-awaited and much-needed project will provide state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom facilities for students preparing to be teachers and health care professionals.
Our construction efforts have helped attract a large and highly qualified freshman class. More than 1,130 incoming freshmen and their parents attended our valuable three-day orientation sessions this summer. At each session, I personally welcomed our incoming students and their families to the Bradley Experience, and I am impressed with the quality of these students and their passion for joining the Bradley community. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious.
Orientation was just one activity on the Hilltop this summer. More than 1,000 of our own students enrolled in summer classes. Hundreds more high school and grade school students attended camps involving sports, music, engineering, gifted education … the list goes on and on. These are the Bradley Braves of the future, and I am so happy we can host them. With all of the activity, the Hilltop has become a 12-months-a-year, 24/7 campus.
I continue to reach out to our loyal alumni and friends. In particular, I want to thank PHIL WILMINGTON ’79 and CALVIN BUTLER ’91 for hosting alumni events at suburban Chicago golf clubs in June. (Photos in Alumni News.) I also joined 170 other Bradley alums and supporters at the annual Braves Club golf outing at WeaverRidge Golf Club in Peoria. It is wonderful to see so many who have stayed connected with their alma mater and are dedicated to helping Bradley become a university of national distinction. We have realized our tremendous success with the aid of our network of great alumni. Thank you for all you have done and all you will do in the future. As always, I am honored and humbled to serve this wonderful institution.
Summer programs at Bradley
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