April 21, 2009
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- A group of 20 Indiana State University residence hall students had a unique opportunity to meet Indiana State University's new president -- by paying him a visit and having dinner at historic Condit House.
"The purpose of this meeting is to get my residents acquainted with President Dan Bradley and his wife and hopefully build a relationship with them," said Beth Neeley, an honors peer advisor and resident assistant on the 11th floor of Rhoads Hall.
Neeley said many of the residents, who are primarily freshmen or transfer students, didn't even know who President Bradley was prior to the event.
"Bonding with the president and his wife means developing a greater connection to ISU which will hopefully help the university to retain these students until graduation and give my residents a better overall experience while they're here," Neeley, a junior chemistry and pre-med major from Worthington, added.
Neeley's residents met on their floor's lounge area and walked through the scenic Quad area to the front steps of Condit House, where they were greeted by Cheri Bradley and allowed to explore the two-story residence of the president before sitting down to dinner.
"Beth mentioned it earlier and it was only a tour," recalled Carrie Rice, a junior human development major from Wheatfield, "It was surprised to learn that we would be having dinner with them."
The Bradleys engaged in one-on-one conversation with the students, learning about their studies, their interests and their hometowns. The hospitality didn't go unnoticed.
"The president's wife is really nice and made me feel welcome," said Shatoya Simmons, a freshman from Indianapolis.
Kasandra Taylor, a freshman nursing major from Fort Wayne, said, "They are so down to earth and we had some nice conversations. I now know the people in the photo."
For Stephanie Lawton, a junior speech pathology major from Evansville, the experience created a bond to campus.
"I transferred here but I didn't feel at home," she said. "This makes me feel connected to campus."
Neeley came up with the idea for the visit and then contacted first lady Cheri Bradley to see if something could be arranged.
"She was very enthusiastic about it and helped me plan the event," Neeley said, adding she felt very lucky to be able to give her residents this experience.
"There are 100 resident assistants on campus," she said. "The fact they said yes to me, this is special."
The evening was also special to the hosts.
"This was a pleasure to have these women come to the house," Cheri Bradley said, "Dan and I enjoyed meeting our neighbors."
Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of 20 Indiana State University residence hall students had a unique opportunity to meet Indiana State University's new president -- by paying him a visit and having dinner at historic Condit House.