The Bradley community was deeply impacted by the sudden loss of marketing professor Dr. Edward Bond on Sept. 26.
Since 1997, Bond has had a prominent presence on Bradley’s campus. He founded and became the director of the Supply Chain Institute at Bradley, in addition to serving as the chair of Bradley’s marketing department from 2007 until 2020.
“Ed believed students should have a sense of both discovery and contribution as they learn and be able to do something they couldn’t have otherwise done,” Bradley President Stephen Standifird said in an email sent to students on Monday. “He was passionate and had a zest for teaching.”
A vigil was held on Wednesday afternoon in front of the Business and Engineering Convergence Center to celebrate the man who advocated for the unification of these two colleges.
“We all lost a friend in Ed,” Rajesh Iyer, marketing department chairman, said. “As a department chair, he made sure that everyone had the opportunity to pursue their passion.”
Throughout his 25 years at Bradley, hundreds – and likely thousands – of students experienced Bond’s presence. He taught key marketing classes at both the undergraduate and MBA levels and acted at the forefront of Bradley, introducing concentrations in global supply chain management and social media management.
One of these students was Nicole Farrow, a junior supply chain major and one of Bond’s advisees.
“Saying I’m honored to give a speech here today would be an understatement,” Farrow said.
In her remarks, Farrow noted that the supply chain concentration Bond started was the main factor that made her want to attend Bradley. She remembers each of her advising sessions with Bond, all of which went over the scheduled time slot due to the late professor’s willingness to talk about his students’ lives.
Bond’s affinity for constantly striving to make an impact shined as he taught management of technology and interactive media in Bradley’s Executive Master of Business Administration courses. He also guided undergraduate students through classes on pricing and product strategy, according to the email.
“Ed was an early champion of convergence in business and engineering, and his contributions in this area and other initiatives in the Foster College of Business, Bradley University and the community were deeply impactful,” Dean of the Foster College of Business and Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, Molly Gribb, said.
Although the speakers at the vigil included deans, professors and a student, each of them mentioned that Bond’s most prominent quality was a profound dedication and personability to his students and colleagues. Dr. Robert Prescott, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Iyer, who replaced Bond in the role of marketing chair, firmly believed those traits were apparent in the various walks of Bond’s life.
“Ed Bond was one of my very closest friends,” Prescott said. “And as such shared the most important aspects of his life.”
“What would Uncle Ed do?” Iyer remarked when reminiscing on what Bond used as a foundation for giving advice.
Aside from his work on campus, Bond was also a father. Prescott cited Bond’s two children — both of whom attended the vigil — as what brought him the most joy and pride.
Bond earned his master’s degree at Arizona State and earned an Alumni Professional Excellence Award from Manhattan Christian College, where he received his bachelor’s degree.
Flags across Bradley flew at half-staff in Bond’s honor from Tuesday until Thursday. Bond’s visitation will be held on Oct. 3 from 5-7 p.m. at Richwoods Christian Church. His funeral service will take place on Oct. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Though all of the speakers at the vigil highlighted Bond’s passion for education, Prescott said Bond is now teaching him a different type of lesson.
“Ed is teaching me now how to lose a best friend.”