Linda Moss Bradley founded the Bradley Polytechnic Institute in 1897 as a memorial to her late husband and six children. Bradley, originally a four-year academy and two-year college, became a fully accredited four-year college in 1920.
In 1946, Bradley Polytechnic Institute became a university with graduate programs and adopted the name Bradley University.
Bradley encompasses 85 acres and houses over 30 buildings. Most of the university’s dormitories are on the eastern side of campus. The library and academic buildings are on the western side. The campus is compact, so the walk from building to building rarely exceeds 10 minutes, maximizing efficiency and minimizing excuses for tardiness to class.
Though Bradley’s buildings range in architectural style, the majority are modern.
Bradley University is located in western Peoria, Illinois. The city borders the Illinois River and neighbors the cities of East Peoria, West Peoria, and Bartonville.
Students aren’t keen on Peoria. While there are a few restaurants and two malls nearby, most bars are over a mile from campus. More importantly, many feel it’s unsafe and are afraid to walk alone at night. During the past year, a Bradley student was allegedly raped in town and another was shot in the leg while jogging. The location is one of students’ most frequent complaints about Bradley.
During Alumni Weekend, Bradley alumni return to campus for a basketball game—as well as pre- and post-game parties.
Parents’ weekend is held every spring. The 2008 parents’ weekend featured fraternity and sorority events, a basketball game, a Habitat for Humanity race, and a pancake breakfast.
During siblings weekend, students’ siblings visit them on campus.
Neil Flynn (1982) played the Janitor on Scrubs.
Lillian Glass (1974) is a speech pathologist, author, and speaker.
Tami Lane (1996), a prosthetic makeup artist, won an Academy Award for her work on The Chronicles of Narnia.
Robert H. Michel (1948) was the longest serving Republican Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kirby Puckett played for the Minnesota Twins and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wendy Ross (1964) was the assistant managing editor for the Washington Post.
Matthew Savoie (2002) is an Olympic figure skater.
John Shalikashvili (1958) was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander.
Charlie Steiner hosted ESPN’s SportsCenter, was a radio announcer for the New York Yankees, and is currently a Los Angeles Dodgers radio announcer.
Richard Teerlink (1961) was the chairman of Harley-Davidson.
The Bradley Braves participate in the NCAA’s Division I. Bradley’s basketball team has won seven Missouri Valley Conference championships and four NIT championships. The baseball team has won six Missouri Valley Conference championships and has competed in the collegiate world series twice.
The Braves have won Missouri Valley Conference titles in soccer, women’s cross country and golf.
Bradley acquired its Dingeldine Music Center from the Second Church of Christ, Scientist.
Bradley’s forensics team is the most prolific in the country.
Bradley doesn’t have a football team.
Bradley’s dorms are largely located on the eastern side of campus. Heitz, University and Wyckoff Halls house mostly freshmen. Harper and Williams Halls house primarily upperclassmen. Geisert Hall houses both freshmen and upperclassmen. College Hall, Bradley’s all-women’s dormitory, is behind the library and houses mostly upperclassmen.
Bradley also offers student apartments in the Student Apartment Complex (S.A.C.). The Singles Complex, reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors, has all single rooms.
Finally, the St. James Apartment Complex, Bradley’s newest housing development, has 15 buildings open to only juniors and seniors. The St. James Complex is managed by Cambridge Property Management.