Alumni Quad is now the new home for symbols of dedication to numerous Greek life organizations of Bradley, ensuring that their presence on campus will be set in stone.
On April 23, Bradley’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Organizations (MGO) held a ceremony on the quad, dedicating 11 plots representing organizations chartered at Bradley. The dedication was one of several events included in the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance (BUBAA)’s annual reunion, which ran from April 22 to 24.
The organizations that received a dedicated plot were Sigma Lambda Beta, Alpha Psi Lambda, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho.
The event featured speeches from Bradley President Stephen Standifird, 2021 Bradley graduate and past NPHC president Charles Myers, current NPHC president Lynnae Williams and Sigma Lambda Gamma member Ariana Galvez.
According to Myers, the idea for a plot initiative was introduced in late 2019 and supported by a partnership between the council and the MGOs in spring of 2021. However, the idea of introducing plots has been requested by NPHC alumni repeatedly for “many generations.”
“This [partnership] pushed us to create a space amongst our organizations to challenge, disagree and support each other in a way that we hadn’t,” Myers said. “It was this space … that helped us rediscover why we do what we do, pushed us to fight harder and ultimately birthed the plots that we see here today.”
Myers introduced Standifird as a pivotal figure in organizing the ceremony, with the president crediting his role in the process to the strength of its initial idea, which he said he loved straight away. Standifird also thanked students like Myers and faculty members, including Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas, for their help.
“I really enjoyed learning that your organizations … had been and continue to be pillars in supporting students socially, emotionally, academically and really in laying the groundwork for community and providing unwavering bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood,” Standifird said in his speech.
Each plot contains a limestone monument bearing a placard with a description of its organization, as well as its unique crest or coat of arms. In his speech, Standifird stated that the limestone used was drawn from the same quarry that was used for the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center and Bradley Hall, to reflect the plots being “a natural extension of who we are as a campus.”
Williams spoke about NPHC alumni’s plot requests as part of a wider history of Bradley failing to properly recognize the council and implement equity for Black and brown students. She stated her wishes for the plots to act as a payoff for the alumni’s continued pushes.
“We saw what our alumni [were] asking for, the things that you guys fought for way before we were even thought of, and because of you all, we’re able to sit here today and finally have these plots,” Williams, a senior psychology and sociology double major, said.
Galvez briefly touched on her experience with the safety and camaraderie she found in her organization, using herself as an example of the value that MGOs bring to the Bradley community.
“It is not an exaggeration when I say that I would not still be at Bradley, be a campus leader and be graduating soon if it was not for Sigma Lambda Gamma, the group community and the spaces it has allowed me to be in,” Galvez, senior political science and international studies major, said.
The event ended with alumni and students from each organization being called up to cut ribbons, specially colored after their coats of arms, in front of their respective plots.
For the significance of the ceremony, leaders in administration have assured the community that its raising of awareness and celebration of diversity will not be the last of its kind, and more work to this end will be done in the future.
“This is not the end of an effort … this is just the beginning,” Standifird said.