Bradley University Names New President

By Chris Kaergard Gary Roberts
Journal Star political reporter
excerpted from the Peoria Journal Star

PEORIA — It will be a hilltop homecoming for Bradley University’s next president.

Gary R. Roberts, announced as the school’s 11th leader on Friday in a ceremony at Dingeldine Music Center, is the first alumnus to hold the position since Martin “Jerry” Abegg retired in 1992.

He’s a 1970 graduate of the school and was on the university’s 1969-70 champion GE College Bowl team.


Bradley University: Arts

Upcoming Theater at Bradley University


Bradley University Theatre will present Side Show from September 26 to October 6 in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1423 W. St. James.

The Steve Snyder-directed musical is based on the lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins whose spectacular journey catapulted them from the freak shows of the Dust Bowl to Vaudeville stardom and Hollywood fame.

The show runs Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $16 for faculty, staff, and seniors, and $9 for students. Group discounts are available for groups of ten or more. For tickets call Bradley’s Cultural Events Box Office at 309-677-2650 or make reservation requests at

Side Show’s book and lyrics are by Bill Russell; music by Henry Krieger; vocal and dance arrangements by David Chase; and orchestrations by Harold Wheeler.

Steve Snyder teaches acting courses for Bradley’s Department of Theatre Arts and typically directs two productions a year. Recent productions includeCompany, Barefoot in the Park, Extremities, and Cabaret. He also teaches voice, movement, and career preparation and directs the annual Senior Showcase in Chicago.


Upcoming Music at Bradley University


An Indian classical music (Carnatic music) concert will take place on October 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Dingeldine Music Center, located at 1417 W. Barker Avenue.

Artists Vandana Kolluru, vocal, Savita Viswanathan, violin, and Ram K. Kolluru, mridangam, will perform.

Admission is free and open to the public. The concert is funded by Bradley University’s Intellectual and Cultural Affairs Committee.

Bradley to Observe Civil Rights Achievements

bradley-standing-togetherBradley University has adopted a university theme for the 2013-14 school year “Celebrating Civil Rights – Past and Present,” a year-long campus-wide theme, with collaborations between and among all colleges and departments on campus.

The theme was initiated by the 50th anniversary of passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and the key role that U. S. Minority Leader Everett Dirksen played in getting 27 of 33 Republicans to support the bill.

This is the first time the university has adopted a year-long campus-wide theme and Bradley President Joanne Glasser says she is proud that the University will focus on civil rights.

“For America, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was transformative. It paved the way for better education, better job opportunities and better quality of life for millions of people and generations to come,” Glasser said.

From its earliest days, Bradley University has maintained an open admission policy providing a means to gain an exemplary education to all men and women regardless of age, race ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic level or sexual orientation. President Glasser sees this celebration as an extension of that policy. “I see this as the beginning of an ongoing discussion on inclusion and understanding for students, faculty, staff and society.”

Celebration co-chair Dr. Stacey Robertson, Interim Dean of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is passionate about the importance of understanding our history. “Having and understanding a working knowledge of where we have been and the issues we as a society have been through, will help us to deal with situations that are happening in the present day.  The lessons learned during this time in our history can indeed play a pivotal role in our future.”

Brad McMillan, Executive Director of the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at Bradley,  co-chairs the committee and says it’s important to take note of the important role Central Illinois leaders played in advancing civil rights in the United States. “Abraham Lincoln gave his first speeches against the expansion of slavery in central Illinois.

Betty Friedan, from Peoria, wrote The Feminine Mystique, which is often credited with sparking the second wave of women’s rights in America.

Everett Dirksen was from Pekin and he had a significant role in getting this legislation passed. Unfortunately, this generation and many others are simply not aware of the important roles that central Illinoisans had.”

The first event of the year-long celebration was the showing of To Kill a Mockingbird in Neumiller Lecture Hall located in Bradley Hall on September 25. There was an introduction by President Glasser and commentary by Cliff Scott-Rudnick and Don Jackson, Peoria NAACP President.

Other events throughout the year will include visiting speakers including Terrence James Roberts (one of the Little Rock 9) and U.S. Representative John Lewis; re-enactments and performances; poetry contests; campus wide book reads; showing of movies 42 and Lincoln; plus much more.

For more information on “Celebrating Civil Rights – Past and Present” at Bradley please visit To arrange interviews, call the Bradley University Office of Public Relations at 309.677.3260 or 309.677.2242.