This issue of Bradley Hilltopics is especially poignant to me because it showcases Bradley alumni who have devoted much of their lives to fighting the war against cancer. From DR. LYNNE JALOVEC ’78, a cancer surgeon in Peoria, to DR. SUSAN KREBS-SMITH ’76, a noted researcher and branch chief at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, to ERIC BRINKER ’98, a leader in raising funds for breast cancer and the son of the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Bradley graduates are at the forefront of this national crusade. They are making a difference — they are changing the world.
I know this firsthand. Just a year ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and subsequently underwent surgery. Fortunately, my cancer was found early. I underwent radiation and have recovered. I am healthy again.
Now I feel a responsibility to tell my story to help raise awareness and to encourage others to be proactive about getting annual checkups. Early screening saves lives. I believe it saved mine. Indeed, today the five-year breast cancer survival rate is 98 percent, primarily because of early detection.
To help carry that message, I am privileged to serve as the honorary chair of the 25th annual Race for the Cure in Peoria. The Race honors Susan G. Komen, a Peorian who died from breast cancer nearly 30 years ago at age 36. In her sister’s memory, Nancy Brinker started the Komen organization, and it is now the largest private source of breast cancer research funding in the world.
The Peoria Race for the Cure will be May 8, and I am confident that Team Bradley will be out in full force to help support this most worthy cause. But I also want to invite members of the Bradley family — no matter where you live across the country or around the world — to participate in a Race this year in your community. Form a Team Bradley and send us a photograph of your experience. I’m sure it will be a fulfilling one for you and your fellow alums. Participating in a Race will truly make a difference and enrich the lives of others.
This has been an extremely eventful fall on the Hilltop. We had not one, but two groundbreakings that will transform the campus in meaningful ways for our alumni and our students. On October 1, we broke ground for the spectacular Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, adjacent to Bradley Hall. Once completed, it will be a first-class home for alumni visiting our campus, with a library, Alumni Hall of Pride and lovely ballroom for entertaining. One of my favorite parts will be the balcony that will overlook our new alumni quad to the west of Bradley Hall. It will be a beautiful addition.
Later in October we began work on a massive expansion and renovation of Westlake Hall, the second-oldest structure on campus. After 50 years without much remodeling, Westlake needed an extreme makeover. The new Westlake will be six times larger than the original. The home to the College of Education and Health Sciences will have state-of-the-art classrooms, modern labs and a much-needed auditorium, and will be where our STEM Center will teach future educators. Our acclaimed Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service also will be housed there. This investment will make Bradley a leader in educating teachers, health care professionals and public servants for years to come.
There is still more to be done, but I want to thank you for your support of our Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance. With more than $126 million committed toward our $150 million goal, we are well on our way to making Bradley a university of national distinction.
I am humbled to continue to serve our faithful alumni and our wonderful University.