Candy Palmer Rosene '81 was sure of one thing as a high school senior.
She wanted to go to Bradley.
A native of Knoxville, Illinois, about 40 miles northwest of Peoria, Candy needed to convince her father. He had gone to a large state university and wanted Candy to do the same.
"I came to Bradley in October of my senior year in high school for a visit, and I fell in love with the place. Dad didn't think he could afford four years at Bradley, but he agreed to at least two. An admissions counselor told me about the Meyer and Anna Block Scholarship, which at the time paid for half the tuition. Dad said if I can get the scholarship and keep it, I could go to Bradley."
Excited by the Block Scholarship opportunity, Candy set her sights on being the recipient. On the scholarship application, Candy was asked to describe her life in 10 years. "I wrote that I wanted to be married, have a family, and be working. People said I wouldn't get the scholarship if I wrote that, but I did."
Candy earned the Block Scholarship and graduated from Bradley with a double major in math and economics. By the time she reached that 10-year mark, Candy had married John, was a mother to three children, had completed a master's degree in math from Western Illinois University, and had begun a 24-year teaching career at Western. Candy knew what she wanted and followed her plan.
Candy still appreciates the scholarship that allowed her to attend Bradley. She holds many memories, including being a Little Sister for Alpha Kappa Psi, living in the Newman Center, attending basketball games at Robertson Memorial Field House, and taking classes with Dr. Jerry Hahn, Dr. Robert Fuller, and Dr. Ray Wojcikewych. She says she can still quote her late economics professor Dr. Kalman Goldberg.
Seeing the important role their college experiences played in their lives, Candy and John want to ensure future generations of students are able to realize their dream of a college education.
John, a Knox College alum who taught history at Knoxville High School for 33 years, says, "Our alma maters are very important to us. They defined the people we have become and we wanted to give back to our respective institutions."
The Rosenes have established a bequest to create a scholarship at Bradley for students from rural counties in west central Illinois. "This will be for kids like we were," Candy says. The bequest enables Candy and John to make their future commitment while maintaining control over their resources for current needs.
A recent visit to the Hilltop allowed the Rosenes to witness firsthand the transformation taking place on campus. The physical beauty of campus and the energy of the students left the couple impressed with the direction Bradley is heading.
"Bradley played an important role in my accomplishments and successes," Candy says. "I'm so pleased the commitment to students continues today. The more I'm back on campus and see the learning environment being fostered, the more convinced I am in our decision to establish a scholarship."