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Thank you, Lydia

Lydia Moss Bradley led an impressive life, and our hats go off to her. She was a pioneer in many ways – her business endeavors, her philanthropies and her own westward move to Peoria.

This year, the Bradley community was educated about her life and legacy through special events, Hilltop Happenings’ weekly facts and even a customized ice cream flavor from local shop The Spotted Cow. And now The Scout is able to be part of something truly extraordinary in Lydia’s bicentennial birthday celebrations.

When we had the opportunity to create a special edition spotlighting Bradley’s foundress, our staff jumped at the chance. Imagine if, after reading these stories about Lydia and her life, students began to walk by her statue in Founder’s Circle with more than just a passing glance.

According to her will, Lydia’s greatest wish was to found a school that taught its students “the means of living an independent, industrious and useful life by the aid of practical knowledge and the useful arts and sciences.”

University President Gary Roberts said he believes she did just that.

“I think that Bradley today is something she’d be very proud of, because what we do is essentially exactly what she wanted, which is give people the skills they need to live a productive, successful and happy life,” Roberts said.

The Scout has dedicated time to learn about, report on and share Lydia’s memory and achievements for the rest of the Bradley and Peoria communities.

Our university is a part of her legacy – and now, we are too.


*A thank you to the Student Affairs Office and the Special Collections Center

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