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Top stories of the year

The 2019-2020 school year will always be remembered by its abrupt ending due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there were many other notable events that took place, from the men’s basketball winning its second consecutive Missouri Valley Conference to the string of campus crimes in the winter. Here are The Scout’s top stories in chronological order:

Students wrote their farewells to Jobst at the goodbye party held for students, alumni and faculty on Oct. 4. Photo by William Craine.

OCTOBER 18, 2019

Bradley says goodbye to Jobst Hall

Students and faculty were given a chance to write their names, final thoughts, memories and farewells before classes and offices were moved to the Business and Engineering Convergence Center. Some inscriptions included “Best Jobst ever!” and “Jobst will be the best parking lot.” The demolition of Jobst Hall started  March 2. Read the article here.

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community filled the atrium of the Business and Engineering Convergence Center on Friday for the dedication ceremony. Photo by Tony Xu.

NOVEMBER 1, 2019

Bradley dedicates phase one of the BECC to the community

Crowds filled the atrium of the Business and Engineering Convergence Center in a dedication ceremony after completing phase one of the project. At the ceremony, a bust of Bradley former provost and longtime economics professor, Kalman Goldberg, and a painted portrait of Martin “Jerry” Abegg, the university’s seventh president and former dean of the engineering college, were presented. Read the article and watch the video here.


Jose Ramirez talks to his attorney, Hugh Toner, moments after Judge Katherine Gorman pronounced Ramirez guilty of two counts of first degree murder Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in the deaths of his adoptive parents, Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron in October, 2018. [DAVID ZALAZNIK/JOURNAL STAR]

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

Jose Ramirez found guilty on both counts of murder

Jose Ramirez, 22, was accused of killing his parents, Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron, who were employees of Bradley University, in late October of 2018. He was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder last November and was sentenced to life in prison in March. Matthew Roberts, 21, was sentenced to 60 years after pleading “guilty but mentally ill” to helping Ramirez murder his parents. Read the Nov. 20, 2019 article here.


Photo by Haley Johnson.


Campus experiences string of crimes

Throughout winter break and in the weeks leading up to it, the Hilltop experienced five incidents involving robbery or aggravated assault. After the third incident, the university responded with a plan of action entailing BUPD to modify patrolling strategies. The Hilltop Safety Cruiser also adjusted hours of service to start earlier in the day. There was reason to believe the same group of individuals was committing these crimes. On Jan. 18, a suspect in connection to the fifth incident was taken into custody on an unrelated incident. Read the Jan. 31, 2020 article here.


Photo by Tony Xu.


Program Prioritization

On Jan. 29., Walter Zakahi, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, recommended proposals to eliminate all degree programs in the Department of Physics and the Department of Theatre Arts. The proposal also included three undergraduate programs in the Department of Family and Consumer Science. Additionally, a fourth proposal recommending the cut of the secondary education major was brought forward. Read the article here.


JANUARY 31, 2020

Minimum wage at Bradley

After Illinois increased its minimum wage a dollar more to $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, Bradley did not enforce the change, as it is not required to by federal law. Most campus employees working on minimum wage continued to be paid the hourly wage of $8.25; however, some university employers, like Markin Recreation Center, gave its employees the raise. Read the article here.


Bradley baseball alumnus Mitch Janssen, 22 of Princeville, was allegedly one of three killed in a plane crash in Lincoln, Illinois. Photo via Scout archive.

MARCH 4, 2020

Bradley baseball alumnus killed in plane crash near Lincoln

Mitch Janssen, 22 of Princeville, was among the three killed in a plane crash in Lincoln, Illinois on March 3. Janssen graduated from Bradley in May of 2019 and played on the Bradley baseball team from 2016 to 2019 as a right-handed pitcher. Janssen was piloting the single-engine Cessna 172 airplane that crashed into the southbound lanes of Interstate 55 near I-155 and Illinois Routes 10 and 121. Matthew Hanson, 33, of Pulaski, Wisconsin, and Kevin Chapman, 30, of Urbana, both died in the crash as well. Read the article here.


Senior Koch Bar celebrates with teammates during the presentation of the championship trophy.

MARCH 8, 2020

Men’s Basketball wins back-to-back MVC Championships

The Bradley men’s basketball team took the Missouri Valley Conference crown for the second consecutive year, the first time in the program’s history. The Braves defeated Valparaiso in the championship 80-66. Senior Darrell Brown was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, posting 21 points and nine assists in the title game. Read the game recap here.


Stephen Standifird, dean of Butler University’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business, was named to be the 12th president of Bradley University. Photo via Bradley University.

MARCH 12, 2020

Stephen Standifird named the next president of Bradley

The former dean of the business school at Butler University was announced as the 12th president of Bradley University on March 12. He was originally set to take his post on June 15 but will begin June 1 because of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He will assume dual-presidential duties with outgoing president Gary Roberts from May 1 to May 31. Read the article here.


A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

MARCH 18, 2020

COVID-19 sends classes online

In a video announcement, President Gary Roberts said that the university would host all classes online for the remainder of the semester over concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, the university also canceled its graduation ceremony in May and later implemented a pass/fail grading option. Read the article here.

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