Bradley University President Joanne Glasser discusses the current capital campaign and describes her role as “chief fundraiser.”
The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance is Bradley’s first major fundraising campaign since the Centennial Campaign of 1997, which was largely for endowment. We’ve been in the quiet phase of the Renaissance Campaign for several years, and in April launched the campaign publicly at a gala dinner for nearly 1,000 guests.
The goal is to raise $150 million over five years, and we’ve already received commitments of more than $104 million, so we are very confident of success. A major boost came from Caterpillar Inc., which gave the University a $30 million gift—the largest in Bradley history. In addition, 19 other generous donors have each contributed $1 million or more to the campaign. But every gift helps and every gift counts, so we continue to seek donations.
The partnership between Caterpillar and Bradley is very strong and long-standing. Nearly 2,400 Caterpillar employees are Bradley graduates, as are another 750 retirees. We place scores of interns with the company every year and continue to provide the education and training Caterpillar needs to compete in a global marketplace.
The purpose of the Renaissance Campaign is to provide the educational,
recreational and athletic facilities our students and faculty need and deserve. These investments will help make Bradley a university
of national distinction and allow us to continue to compete for the best students and faculty from across the country. The specifics of our capital plan include:
- The renovation and expansion of Westlake Hall. As we expand and renovate this building, we will preserve its beautiful architecture. The renovated Westlake will contain 60,000 square feet of classrooms,
labs, offices and research space to benefit future teachers and professionals in health science and human services. It will also be home to the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service.
- A new Center for Engineering and Business Convergence. Bradley’s engineering and business programs are well known for producing professionals who are in great demand. We must help prepare students for a future where global business models will require professionals to work collaboratively across disciplines. The 330,000-square-foot Convergence Center will provide space where multidisciplinary teams can design products, develop business and marketing plans, and conduct financial analysis. To help strengthen this innovative partnership, new endowed professorships will help us retain top educators and researchers.
- The Markin Family Student Recreation Center. Currently under construction and expected to open this fall, this marvelous new facility
will provide exercise, recreation and social space for our students. The health center, counseling services and wellness program will be housed here. The Markin Center will also provide much-needed lab space for the Department of Nursing.
- A new Athletic Performance Center and Puterbaugh Men’s Basketball
Practice Facility. These new facilities will greatly enhance our athletic programs and provide a new venue for concerts and speakers. The 4,200-seat performance center will be home court for women’s volleyball and basketball. The practice facility will provide space for the men’s basketball program.
- Alumni Center. With a ballroom, library, conference rooms, Alumni Hall of Pride and a beautifully landscaped quad, the center will provide
alumni with an inviting home on campus. Indeed, the western portion of the campus will be transformed, giving students and faculty
another green space to socialize, study or just hang out. As part of our new quad, we have committed to erecting a statue of Coach A.J. Robertson, recognizing his significant contributions to Bradley. His will be the second statue to recognize a Bradley icon on campus, the other being our founder, Lydia Moss Bradley.
- A 600-space parking deck. Already under construction along Main Street, this deck is intended to relieve some of the parking problems on campus. It will be completed this summer.
- A stronger endowment. We will strengthen our endowment so we can provide more scholarships to attract a diverse, talented student body and help retain outstanding faculty. These funds will allow us to continue to develop programs that capitalize on our strengths and to invest in technology that will enhance teaching and learning.
I want to add that none of these construction projects will be outside
our existing institutional footprint. The University can live within its current boundaries and we are not looking to expand them in the immediate future. iBi