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Dale and Shirley Burklund with President Joanne Glasser at the Braves Club's game-day luncheon on Tuesday.
Dale and Shirley Burklund have followed Bradley basketball for 70 years. They’ve made contributions, large and small, to the University. They entrusted the University with their children and grandchildren.
And on Tuesday, the Burklunds were named Bradley University honorary alumni during the Braves Club’s game-day luncheon at the Michel Student Center. "Surprised," Dale Burklund said. "It humbled us that they would pick us out of all the elite people in and around Peoria. We were stunned and honored."
In the last five years, the honorary alumni distinction has been awarded only three times. It is an honor given to individuals whose contributions to Bradley are outstanding, meritorious, and distinctive. The Burklunds are the 37th and 38th honorary alumni. The list includes Gary and Carlotta Bielfeldt, Bob Gilmore, George Kottemann, Kal Goldberg, and Mrs. Jack Brickhouse.
"We are proud to have Dale and Shirley Burklund as honorary alumni," said Bradley President Joanne K. Glasser who recognized the Burklunds. "They are special people. I cannot think of a more deserving couple."
During the luncheon, men’s basketball coach Jim Les '86 thanked the Burklunds for their gift toward renovating the locker rooms at Robertson Memorial Field House. He said the improvements jump-started the athletic program and helped bridge the gap to the new athletic facilities currently under construction.
"Being local means a lot," Dale Burkland said. "There are a lot of big universities out there, but Bradley has such a good reputation. We have a grandson who will start here this fall. They get a great education here with a little more attention than at the bigger schools."
The Burklund's philanthropy has also extended to Easter Seals, WTVP Channel 47, Eastlight Theater, Proctor Hospital and beyond.