Among those speaking at the opening ceremony were ’02 Bradley alumnus Congressman Aaron Schock, President Joanne Glasser and building benefactors Jerry Hayden and Robert Clark.
Schock recounted the many famous and successful alumni and said it was no coincidence they went to Bradley.
“Bradley taught me that you don’t have to attend an Ivy League school with Ivy League prices to get an Ivy League education,” he said.
Chairman of the campaign for a Bradley renaissance and ’66 (MBA ’68) alumnus Gerald Shaheen said Bradley was a second home for him as well as many others.
“Bradley is a place where we gain the support and encouragement to succeed,” he said. “Our goal is to make Bradley a university of national distinction.”
Construction of the building began two years ago and was completed earlier this month. Costing over $12 million to build, the builders used limestone similar to what was used in Bradley Hall and Westlake Hall more than 100 years ago.
“My favorite parts of the new alumni center are the ballroom, the gargoyles and the historic part in the museum,” said Hayden.
Monday through Friday it will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays it will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays it will be open from noon to 5 p.m. (Box)
After the ceremony, everyone was welcomed into the alumni center to tour the new facilities, which include five conference rooms, a ballroom and alumni library.
The Shaheen Hall of Pride is on the first floor and is designed like a museum with displays about successful alumni and Bradley’s beginning.
The building also has computers connected to a network similar to Facebook, which alumni can use to connect with former classmates and professors.
“We’ve wanted a new alumni center for a while,” Bradley University Alumni Association President Shelly Heiden said. “We’re just happy to have a place for people to come back to.”
Schock said the state-of-the-art conference center was an example that no expense was spared for the new center.
“[The alumni center] can serve as a magnet to attract the next crop of Bradley students that spring up,” Schock said.
Steven Davito, alumnus ’82 was among the alumni who returned for the opening ceremony. He is currently the Chief of Staff for the Naval Forces Center in Tampa, Fla. and credits this success to his time at Bradley.
“Bradley opened a lot of doors for me,” Davito said, “Any success I had in life is due to Bradley.”
The museum will be open to students and the public seven days a week.