@bradleyu @womaninhighered October 26


My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.

The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.

In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.

I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.

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My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow my blog that way.

Name of University: Bradley University

Location: Peoria IL

Sometimes a tragedy inspires those impacted to do something to better the world. Tobias and Lydia Moss Bradley were a married couple that lived in the 1800’s in the Midwest. They got married in 1837 and lived with her parents in Vevay, Indiana.

Their first child, Rebecca, was born January 20, 1839. That same year, Lydia’s dad Zelly Moss died leaving the family farm to Lydia. Lydia gave birth to their second daughter, Clarissa, on October, 26, 1843, but Rebecca died on September 2, 1845. The heartache would not stop there for Lydia Moss.

Lydia Moss

In 1847, Lydia and her family, including her mother, moved to Peoria, Illinois to join her brother William Moss. With the proceeds from the sale of their land holdings in Vevay, the Bradleys purchased a large tract of land in Peoria, which was in its early development, and an excellent place for Tobias Bradley and William Moss to prosper in business ventures.

In 1847, Lydia and her family, including her mother, moved to Peoria, Illinois to join her brother William Moss. With the proceeds from the sale of their land holdings in Vevay, the Bradleys purchased a large tract of land in Peoria, which was in its early development, and an excellent place for Tobias Bradley and William Moss to prosper in business ventures.

During these same difficult years, in business dealings the Bradleys were charmed and soon became quite wealthy. In the early days Tobias ran another sawmill, captained the steamboat Avalanche owned by William Moss, and joined Moss in a distilling business, which ran successfully for many years. Tobias also continued to purchase land and bought stock in new companies.

The final tragic blow came in 1867 when Tobias Bradley was killed in a carriage accident at age 56.

Tobias Bradley

Lydia Moss inherited great wealth and she wanted to do something to honor her family. It took her quite a while but eventually later in life she found a way to honor her family. That idea let to the creation of Bradley University in Peoria IL.

bradley university

In 1892 Lydia Bradley purchased a controlling interest in Parsons Horological School in LaPorte, Indiana, the first school for watchmakers in America, and moved it to Peoria.

Parsons

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.

In October 1896 Mrs. Bradley was convinced by Dr. William Rainey Harper, president of the University of Chicago, to move ahead with her plans and establish the school during her lifetime.

Bradley Polytechnic Institute was chartered on November 13, 1896. Mrs. Bradley initially provided seventeen and a half acres of land; funds for two campus buildings, including laboratory equipment and library books; and annual operating expenses. Contracts for Bradley Hall and Horology Hall (later renamed Westlake) were awarded and work moved ahead quickly.

Bradley Hall shown below with statue of Lydia Moss Bradley in foreground.

bradley-hall-and-lydia-moss-bradley-statue

Fourteen faculty and 150 students began classes in Bradley Hall on October 4, 1897–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 Corinne Unland.

Today that university has more than 5,400 students. One women’s personal tragedy has paved the way for many to achieve great success via education.

 

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