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Renaissance campaign $10 million away from goal

Originally published October 22, 2010

Ten million dollars is all that stands between the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance and its final goal.

Since its April 2008 launch, the campaign has raised $140.5 million of the $150 million goal, and the final two construction projects remaining, Westlake Hall and the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, are expected to finish on schedule, said Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna.

“The alumni center and Westlake Hall are the final two components of the project that started with the Markin [Family Student Recreation] Center and the Renaissance Coliseum,” he said. “We don’t have any reason to believe that Westlake and the alumni center will be any less successful when completed.”

Last year, a team of Bradley administration toured the country with nationwide galas in an effort to raise money from alumni donations. This year, Anna said, is more focused on updates.

“There are still alumni gatherings taking place, but they are more follow-up,” he said. “We don’t want to let up on the progress we’re making. When we’re in a campaign, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we’re not shy to ask for support.”

Vice President for Advancement Pat Vickerman said homecoming events created a lot of energy and enthusiasm on campus and with alumni.

“We’ve been talking about the importance of the participation of alums for the alumni center,” he said. “Another component of it is the extra space it will provide for organizations to meet, more technologically advanced and a terrace similar to the [Michel] Student Center Ballroom.”

Vickerman also said the nationwide events being hosted this year are part of an effort to follow up on the galas.

“We are talking about our need to wrap up the campaign in the next year because it is right on the heels of the next campaign.”

That next campaign, Vickerman said, will be for an engineering and business convergence center.

“It’s going to be a large campaign,” he said. “It’ll take private support to make that a reality, and right now we’re developing the details and things.”

Many students said they agreed the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance has made great strides for the campus, especially with the success of the Markin Center.

“I think the Markin Center is the best thing to happen to campus since I’ve been here,” said senior advertising major Lucas McChristian. “It’s not even about what they have, it’s how they use it.

Classrooms, Dance Marathon, Zumba … now we have the opportunity to bring stuff like that in. It increases the morale on campus, and it’s free.”

Senior mechanical engineering major John Leib said he thinks the new arena has a promising future on campus.

“I only went to Weezer, but it seems like it will be an attractive place for future performers and events to be held,” he said.

Vickerman said the backbone for the Renaissance Campaign is the Bradley experience.

“This campaign is going to directly impact the current and future student experience,” he said. “That’s what we’re all about.”