Being hit by a car at 201 years of age might be the end for some peo- ple, but not Lydia Moss Bradley. The statue of the foundress of Bradley University was struck by a car on June 9.
After extensive damage, Lydia’s was taken away from the center of campus to be worked on and restored to her former glory by sculpture pro- fessor Fisher Stolz. She was unveiled at a ceremony on Aug. 16, where members of the Bradley community welcomed her back with flowers and signs.
“When I was a student here, a half-century ago, Lydia wasn’t talked about very much,” President Gary Roberts said at the unveiling cere- mony. “Over the years, people have started to pay more attention to Mrs. Bradley, and rightfully so. She’s one of the most remarkable people that anyone will ever hear or read about.”
Mrs. Bradley donated land for Laura Bradley Park, OSF Medical Center, Universalist Church and Children’s Home. She was the first woman to be a board member of a national bank. At the age of 81, she committed herself to education by founding Bradley Polytechnic Institute, which is now Bradley University.
“She was just a truly amazing person,” President Roberts said. “This community would not be anything like it is today if it hadn’t been for Lydia Moss Bradley.”
The Scout welcomes Lydia back to the Hilltop and hopes she remains in good health in her 203rd year, as she turned 202 while she was being repaired.
As the only four-year university in the U.S. that’s fully founded by a woman, all Bradley students should be proud of our strong and independent founder.
A true feminist icon and hero, Lydia’s legacy will live on at the Hilltop forever, no matter how hard that car hit her.