Senior mechanical engineering students in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) at Bradley built a formula race car to compete in the Formula SAE competition at the Michigan International Speedway in May. Pictured clockwise from the top right: Jordan Tatgenhorst, Jradon Smith, James Perozzi and Liam Hughes.


Centennial Reflections

Toni Tejeda ’46 turned an early interest in language and education into a lasting legacy she and her parents can be proud of.

Pivoting with purpose

Vannesia Darby ’12 made a trailblazing career shift that landed her in the heart of the production company Shondaland.

From Down on His Luck to Goodwill

Dennis Ritchie ’94 took his rock-bottom whirlwind and spun it into something spectacular–a second chance for more than just himself.

Nasa and Bradley Honor Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.

A remembrance for the first Black American astronaut.

Around the World and Back Again

Former faculty members Mike and Peggy Lane took their love of learning and travel and created a legacy gift for future Bradley students.

I know it isn’t what you were expecting, but I sure hope you love the new format as much as we do. After reviewing all the responses to the reader survey included in the last issue, it’s apparent most of you—90%—prefer a print edition of Bradley magazine, and the majority of respondents would like to receive it at least twice a year.

In an effort to maintain a biannual print edition, we have found a fiscally sustainable way to continue delivering quality content to our readers in this slimmed-down, fun-sized format. In fact, we were able to add pages to cover more news on campus (something most of you asked for).

In this issue we’ve compiled the results of the survey, along with some of the commentary provided—both good and bad. Thank you to those who took the time to let us know how we’re doing and ways we can improve Bradley magazine.

In this issue we have a lot to celebrate. On Founder’s Day we recognized extraordinary alumni and friends of Bradley, as well as faculty and staff who go the extra mile serving students and their peers. Vannesia Darby ’12, who received Bradley’s Outstanding Young Graduate Award, is also a featured player this issue, where she shares how a single message changed the trajectory of her career.

Class of ’46 grad, Toni Tejeda, just celebrated her 100th birthday! One of seven children from Mexican immigrants—five of whom attended Bradley University—her story is one of resilience and perseverance, aided by unwavering support from her parents. She’s now honoring her parents’ memory through the establishment of a Bradley student scholarship program in their names. Dennis Ritchie ’94 leads a new policy and strategy division for Goodwill in Kentucky to help those down on their luck get a second chance—something he’s intimately familiar with.

And finally, Dawn Garcia ’82, fondly recalls her memories as a geology student working in the lab in the basement of Bradley Hall.

What do you think of the new format of Bradley magazine?


Centennial Reflections

Legacy means a lot to Antionette “Toni” Tejeda ’46. One of seven children, she was born in Streator, Ill., to immigrants from Mexico. Her father, a rail worker, brought his family to Streator in search of stability—something they found in the unlikely form of a boxcar.

Toni’s mother made the most of their new boxcar home. “She made curtains and she had my dad knock out a hole so she could have a window,” she recalled. “She even crocheted little carpets.”

Pivoting With Purpose

Vannesia Darby has always been a woman of ambition and determination. A former campus leader and past president of the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance (BUBAA), her unparalleled work ethic and innovative ideas have catapulted her career in entertainment marketing. Following graduation, Darby went straight into the music industry before founding her successful digital marketing agency, Moxie Nashville in 2014.

From Down on His Luck to Goodwill

Life sometimes has a way of going sideways. Dennis Ritchie was a successful attorney in western Kentucky. Married to another attorney, with four children in the early 2000s, life was good—for a while—until it wasn’t.

A series of unfortunate events led to a downward spiral that took years to recover from.

Campus News

In Memoriam: Russell-Chapin

Dr. Lori Ann Russell-Chapin dedicated her life to uniting the wonders…

Founder’s Day Awards

Founder’s Day recognizes and celebrates university staff, faculty, alumni and…

Bradley Ranks & Reader Feedback

Bradley University has made its mark on the prestigious U.S. News…

Alumni News

Around the World and Back Again

A love of learning and travel inspires generous endowment from two former Bradley professors

Class Notes


alumni authors

Bells and Rattles

Homecoming Week

The annual celebration of all things Bradley isn’t complete without you! Mark your calendar for Homecoming Week and revisit the Hilltop for traditions old and new, like the lighting of the B and more. Keep an eye out for the official schedule of events that will be shared next fall. We can’t wait to see you with Braves from all eras during the 2024 Homecoming festivities!

50+ Reunion Weekend

Another year has gone by and that means another new class of Bradley alumni to welcome into the 50+ Club! The Class of 1974 is being welcomed back for the annual reunion dinner and weekend festivities in the fall during Homecoming week. All members of the 50+ club are invited back to Bradley to join in celebrating and welcoming the Class of ’74. Full details will be shared in the coming months!

Bradley University Alumni Association (BUAA)

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