Editorial 3.8.13: Bradley grads making strides in political sphere

Everyone, no matter the experiences they encounter, has a sense of pride for their university and alma mater. Those who obtain a degree from Bradley University make memories and have unforgettable experiences during their education. When graduates reconnect with their memories, a bond is created with others who have followed the same path.

This is why when those connected to Bradley University hear about and meet successful Bradley alumni, they feel a sense of pride.

Recently, several Bradley graduates have been making headlines. From Aaron Schock ’02 announcing he was considering to run for governor to Tami Lane ’96 who was nominated for an Oscar for her makeup work on “The Hobbit,” Bradley graduates are making a name for themselves.

Another example of an alumnus making news is Robin Kelly ’77 ’82. As stated in this week’s article “Another Bradley grad up for House of Representatives election,” Kelly is running for the second Congressional district of Illinois.

There have been numerous Bradley graduates who have become politically involved in local, state and national politics, three of whom have served in Congress.

“We have a long rich legacy of Bradley graduates who have done great things in public service,” said Executive Director of Principled Leadership Brad McMillan. “That is something that we are very proud of.”

For being a small, private university in central Illinois, this is exceptional. There are a large number of graduates who walk through the halls of Bradley to continue on to make a difference in the world, and those who have continued on to politics is just one example. Alumni such as these serve as a great motivator and model for current students. They show that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.

One thing students often hear from university communications is that Bradley is striving to be a “university of national distinction.” However, a large renaissance campaign doesn’t create national distinction. Rather, the success of alumni and students makes Bradley stand out.

When people hear that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood received his undergraduate degree from a private school in Peoria, that puts Bradley on the map.

While this is obviously great for the university, it is even better for current students. McMillan said having alumni who are involved in public service opens doors for students and brings more prominent speakers to campus.

So here’s to Bradley alumni who are paving a path for current students, and bringing great opportunities to campus. With motivation provided by successful alumni, Bradley graduates will continue to make headlines.