||This article may contain academic boosterism which primarily serves to praise or promote the subject and may be a sign of a conflict of interest. (April 2013)|
|Type||private, mid-sized, independent|
|President||Joanne K. Glasser|
|Location||Peoria, Illinois, USA|
|Campus||urban, 84 acres (340,000 m2)|
|Colors||red & white|
Bradley University, founded in 1897, is a private, mid-sized, independent university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 5,700 students the choice of 130 majors and programs of study. Bradley links academic excellence, experiential learning, and leadership development with an entrepreneurial spirit for a world-class education. Bradley’s size offers students extensive resources not available at most private colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at larger universities.
The Bradley Polytechnic Institute was founded by philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley in 1897 in memory of her husband Tobias and their six children, all of whom died early and suddenly, making Bradley a childless widow. The Bradleys had discussed establishing an orphanage in memory of their deceased children. After some study and travel to various institutions, Mrs. Bradley decided instead to found a school where young people could learn how to do practical things to prepare them for living in the modern world. As a first step toward her goal, in 1892 she purchased a controlling interest in Parsons Horological School in LaPorte, Indiana, the first school for watchmakers in America, and moved it to Peoria. She specified in her will that the school should be expanded after her death to include a classical education as well as industrial arts and home economics: "...it being the first object of this Institution to furnish its students with the means of living an independent, industrious and useful life by the aid of a practical knowledge of the useful arts and sciences."
In October 1896 Mrs. Bradley was introduced to Dr. William Rainey Harper, president of the University of Chicago. He soon convinced her to move ahead with her plans and establish the school during her lifetime. Bradley Polytechnic Institute was chartered on November 13, 1896. Mrs. Bradley provided 17.5 acres (71,000 m2) of land, $170,000 for buildings, equipment, and a library, and $30,000 per year for operating expenses.
Contracts for Bradley Hall and Horology Hall (now Westlake) were awarded in April and work moved ahead quickly. Fourteen faculty and 150 students began classes in Bradley Hall on October 4—with 500 workers still hammering away. (The Horological Department added another eight faculty and 70 students.) Bradley Polytechnic Institute was formally dedicated on October 8, 1897. Its first graduate, in June 1898, was Cora Unland.
Originally, the institute was organized as a four-year academy as well as a two-year college. There was only one other high school in the city of Peoria at the time. By 1899 the institute had expanded to accommodate nearly 500 pupils, and study fields included biology, chemistry, food work, sewing, English, German, French, Latin, Greek, history, manual arts, drawing, mathematics, and physics. By 1920 the institute dropped the academy orientation and adopted a four-year collegial program. Enrollment continued to grow over the coming decades and the name Bradley University was adopted in 1946.
Bradley University was ranked 6th among Midwest universities providing a full range of undergraduate and master's programs in the 2013 edition of America's Best Colleges published by U.S. News & World Report. The annual survey also recognized Bradley as the fifth "best value" Midwestern school in the ranking of Great Schools at Great Prices.
The Bradley University Department of Teacher Education and College of Education and Health Sciences is NCATE-approved. Additionally, of the nation’s 3,623 colleges and universities, Bradley University's Foster College of Business Administration is one of only 160 schools whose business and accounting programs are both accredited by AACSB International.
As of 2013, U.S. News & World Report lists Bradley University as one of only two regionally ranked colleges in Illinois with the distinction of being "more selective," the other being North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. 
Bradley University is organized into the following colleges and schools:
Undergraduate colleges 
- College of Education and Health Sciences
- Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Foster College of Business Administration
- Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts
Students without a declared major may also be admitted to the Academic Exploration Program (AEP).
Graduate school 
Through its Graduate School, Bradley University offers Masters level graduate degrees in five of its colleges: business, communication and fine arts, education and health sciences, engineering, and liberal arts and sciences. Each has its own hourly requirements and varies in completion time. The program of physical therapy offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation 
Bradley University is among the first universities in the nation to have a school of entrepreneurship and the first established as a freestanding academic unit. The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is named in honor of Bob and Carolyn Turner, long-time supporters of Bradley. The Turners established the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2002. Dr. Gerald Hills, the School's founding academic executive director, received the Karl Vesper Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award in 2012 and the Babson Lifetime Award in 2011. Hills is also the Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration.
Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked Bradley's undergraduate entrepreneurship program among the top 25 programs in the nation.
Bradley is headquarters for the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO), with CEO student chapters at 240 universities.
Bradley's 84-acre (340,000 m2) campus is located on Peoria's west bluff and is minutes from the city's downtown. The campus of Bradley University is relatively compact. There are few places on campus which cannot be reached from any other part of campus in under ten minutes on foot. Bradley's student housing is concentrated on the campus's east side, and the residence halls include: College (all women's), Geisert, Harper, Heitz, University, Williams, and Wyckoff Halls. There is also a complex of singles dormitories and two university-owned apartment complexes: St. James Apartments and the Student Apartment Complex.
Also located on the south side of Bradley's campus is Dingeldine Music Center, which was acquired from the Second Church of Christ, Scientist in 1983. The Center serves as the main performance and practice facility for Bradley's instrumental and choral programs.
Bradley University is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Conference-approved sports at Bradley for men are baseball, basketball, cross country running, golf, outdoor track, soccer, and tennis. Women's' sports consist of basketball, cross country running, golf, indoor and outdoor track, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The men's basketball team has appeared eight times in the NCAA Tournament: 1950, 1954, 1955, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1996, and 2006. In 1950 and 1954 they were national runners up in the Final Four, and in 2006 the Braves made their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1955, defeating 4th seed Kansas and 5th seed Pittsburgh. However, Bradley's run came to an end in the Sweet Sixteen with a loss to the University of Memphis. Bradley also won the National Invitation Tournament in 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1982. In 2008, the men's basketball team was selected to participate in the inaugural College Basketball Invitational. They reached the Championship game but lost to Tulsa 2-1 in a 3 game series.
In 2006, the Bradley soccer team lost in the MVC Championship. In 2007, the Bradley soccer team returned to the MVC Championship and defeated Creighton 1-0 to claim their first MVC Tournament Championship and fourth appearance in the NCAA postseason soccer tournament. They had never won a game in the NCAA tournament. Following their first ever NCAA tournament game victory over DePaul 2-0, the Braves continued on a magical run to the Elite Eight by defeating seven-time national champion Indiana University on penalty kicks (5–4) and the University of Maryland in overtime, both on the road. During the Maryland game they were down 2–0 with less than three minutes left and won. The match has been referred to as "The Miracle in Maryland." Bradley’s coach, Jim DeRose, was named the national Coach of the Year by Soccer America after their great season.
The university does not have a football team. The football program was disbanded in 1970.
Bradley University was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910–1937.
Groups and activities 
Bradley University boasts the most successful speech team in the nation, with their American Forensics Association Championship winning streak from 1980 through 2000 only broken in 1994 and 1995. Bradley has garnered 141 individual national titles and 39 team sweepstakes over the last 30 years. Bradley's forensics team hosts the nation's oldest intercollegiate competition, known as the L.E. Norton Invitational named after former forensics director L.E. Norton. The team also hosts an annual tournament for high school speech teams, known as the George Armstrong Invitational.
More than thirty percent of undergraduate students are involved in fraternities and sororities at Bradley University. The community currently consists of twenty-seven chapters, representing the North-American Interfraternity Conference, National Panhellenic Conference, and National Pan-Hellenic Council. Twenty of the chapters have houses on campus, which are primarily located on the south side of campus. Currently drinking is banned for all Greek life members, a controversial decision by the president of the university.
Active Chapters of the North American Interfraternity Conference
- Alpha Epsilon Pi
- Delta Tau Delta
- Delta Upsilon
- Lambda Chi Alpha
- Theta Xi
- Theta Chi
- Pi Kappa Alpha
- Pi Kappa Phi
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon
- Sigma Phi Epsilon
- Sigma Nu
- Sigma Chi
- Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)
- Phi Kappa Tau
Active Chapters of the National Panhellenic Conference
Active Fraternity Chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
Active Sorority Chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
Other social and professional organizations
- Alpha Phi Omega (Co-ed Community Service)
- Gamma Iota Sigma
- Sigma Alpha Iota
- Sigma Theta Epsilon
- Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
- Kappa Phi Club
- Chi Alpha Campus Ministries
- Alpha Psi Omega (National Honorary Theatre Fraternity)
- Phi Chi Theta
- Pi Lambda Theta
The annual student literary journal, Broadside, publishes student art and writing in a 100-page journal that is released each spring. The publication is staffed and run entirely by students. The organization also holds two readings: an informal "open mic" night in the fall, and a formal reading in the Wyckoff Room of the Cullom-Davis Library in late April which usually features writers published in the journal.
The Scout 
The student-run weekly newspaper, The Scout, covers student life and issues on campus, Bradley sports, and local Peoria news that concerns students. Dates for local concerts, movie and music reviews can all be found written by students in The Scout’s "Voice" section. Student staff rotates and changes yearly.
Project Springboard 
Project Springboard is an annual business plan competition started in 2007 to complement Bradley's Entrepreneurship major. The grand prize is $15,000 in cash and one year of knowledge capital valued at more than $100,000. Project Springboard's inaugural winner, iRepair Squad, announced in February 2008 that their sales had topped $1 million. The competition was brought to Bradley by Peoria businessman Alexis Khazzam, owner of Junction Ventures, who donated $200,000 to the university to fund the competition.
Notable people 
Government, public service, and public policy 
- David T. Caldwell — former state district court judge in Jonesboro, Louisiana.
- Joseph R. Holzapple — United States Air Force four-star general
- Ray LaHood — U.S. Congressman from Illinois' 18th District and Secretary of Transportation in the Obama Administration
- Robin Kelly- Democratic U.S. Congresswoman from Illinois' 2nd District
- Judge Joe Billy McDade — Federal district court judge for the Central District of Illinois (BS '59, MS '60)
- Robert H. Michel — retired Congressman from Illinois' 18th District and longest serving Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Aaron Schock — Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, represents 18th Congressional District.
- Nicholas Scoppetta — New York City Fire Commissioner
- General John M. Shalikashvili — retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO
- David Brant — former director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service
- Ben Porritt — spokesman in the McCain-Palin campaign during the 2008 United States presidential election
- Brad Cohen — Motivational speaker and teacher with Tourette's Syndrome
- Jerald D. Slack — U.S. Air National Guard Major General, Adjutant General of Wisconsin
- James E. Shadid—District Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Literature, arts, and media 
- Jack Brickhouse — former radio and TV announcer for the Chicago Cubs
- Devon Michaels — fitness and adult model
- Jill Bennett — actress
- Hal Corley—Published playwright, 5-time Emmy winning TV writer
- Jack McCarthy (Kayo Mullen) — Anchorman/Reporter WXYZ-TV Detroit, WJBK-TV Detroit, BayNews9 Tampa
- Philip José Farmer — an American author, principally known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories
- Neil Flynn — actor on Scrubs
- Jerry Hadley — former leading lyric tenor for the New York Metropolitan Opera
- Chick Hearn — former play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers
- David Horowitz — consumer advocate
- Tami Lane — Academy Award winner (makeup, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
- Ralph Lawler — TV play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Clippers
- Charlie Steiner — former host of ESPN's SportsCenter, former radio announcer for the New York Yankees, current announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Business and science 
- Dr. Lillian Glass — expert in body language, columnist, TV commentator
- Howard Lance — chairman, president, and chief executive officer at Harris Corporation
- Major Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr. PhD — became the first African American astronaut in 1967
- J.J. Liu — software engineer; now one of the top women poker players in the world
- Timothy L. Mounts — agricultural chemist specializing in edible oilseed
- George T. Shaheen — former CEO of Siebel Systems, Andersen Consulting, and Webvan
- Louis Skidmore — architect
- David Barnett — Chair of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University
- Stephen E Gorman — COO of Delta Air Lines, Inc.
- Pat Brady — NCAA Football record holder, professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Gavin Glinton — professional soccer player for the Nam Dinh FC and Turks and Caicos Islands national football team
- Hersey Hawkins — professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics, Charlotte Hornets, and Philadelphia 76ers; bronze medalist, 1988 Summer Olympics; all time leading scorer for men's basketball at Bradley
- Jim Les — professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks; assistant coach for the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs; former men's basketball coach at Bradley
- Marcus Pollard — professional football player for the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks
- Bobby Joe Mason — professional basketball player for the Harlem Globetrotters
- Gene Melchiorre — basketball player: first overall pick in the 1951 NBA Draft
- Dennis Morgan — professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles
- Bryan Namoff — soccer player: defensive starter for Major League Soccer team D.C. United
- Patrick O'Bryant — professional basketball player drafted ninth overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors He was the first NBA lottery pick to be sent down to the D league.
- Anthony Parker — professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kirby Puckett — was a professional baseball player for the Minnesota Twins and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Bryan Rekar — was a professional baseball player the Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Kansas City Royals
- Matt Savoie — figure skater: U.S. bronze medalist, member of 2006 Winter Olympics U.S. team
- Leo Schrall – Baseball headcoach from 1949 through 1972, who led the Bradley Braves squad to seven titles in the College World Series (two) and the Missouri Valley Conference (five)
- Brian Shouse — professional baseball player for the Tampa Bay Rays
- Bill Stone — American football player: former halfback Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears ('51–'54), former Bradley Football head coach
- Levern Tart — professional basketball player for several American Basketball Association teams
- David Thirdkill — professional basketball player and a member of the 1985–86 Boston Celtics championship team who also played for the Detroit Pistons and the Phoenix Suns
- Bill Tuttle — professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Athletics, and Minnesota Twins
- Chet Walker — professional basketball player for the Syracuse Nationals, Philadelphia 76ers, and Chicago Bulls
People who did not attend Bradley as a student but were on the Bradley staff or faculty.
- John R. Brazil — president of Bradley, 1992–2000
- Gerald Hills — received the Karl Vesper Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award in 2012 and the Babson Lifetime Award in 2011
- Ernst Ising — German physicist: developed the Ising model in statistical mechanics
- David P. Schmitt — Personality psychologist, founder of the International Sexuality Description Project, (1995–present)
- Kevin Stein — Poet Laureate of Illinois (2003–present)
- Charles E. Tucker, Jr. — Retired U.S. Air Major General
See also 
- The Founding of Bradley. Bradley.edu.
- NCATE Accredited Schools – Bradley University[dead link]
- Center for Residential Living and Leadership[dead link]
- Champions of the National Individual Events Tournament. Americanforensics.org.
- The Bradley University Speech Team. Bradleyspeechteam.com.
- Project Springboard. Springboard.bradley.edu (February 9, 2012).
- ""Judge David T. Caldwell" in J. Cleveland Fruge, Biographies of Louisiana Judges". files.usgwarchives.org, Louisiana District Judges Association, 1971. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bradley University|
- Bradley University — official website
- Bradley Braves — official athletics website
- University — U.S. News & World Report