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Bradley receives $1 million gift for Convergence project

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Bradley University announced Monday it has received a gift of $1 million from Robert and Carolyn Turner and the Turner Family Foundation to support its Engineering and Business Convergence Center project.

Doug Stewart, chairman of Bradley’s Board of Trustees, commended the Turners for their continued strategic influence on the university. “I have been engaged with Bob and Carolyn for a long time and their support and leadership are again evidenced by this wonderful gift. Bob was chairman of Bradley’s Board of Trustees when the early versions of the Convergence concept were crafted, and he was always enthusiastic in recognizing its strategic importance to the University,” Stewart said.

University President Gary Roberts remarked on the Turner’s passion for and confidence in Bradley. “Their generosity will positively influence the educational experiences of generations of Bradley students, as well as support economic opportunity and development in Peoria and Central Illinois,” he said. “Their gift to the Convergence Center now places their cumulative financial support among the top three individual donors in the history of Bradley University.”

The Turners previously established the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business, the Turner Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship, and the Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Since its inception, the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship has annually averaged engagement of 240 students serving, on average, 400 clients, according to the University. Over its 15-year period of operation the Turner Center has served more than 600 unduplicated clients and facilitated more than 180,000 hours of student-client interaction. 

The Turner Chair and School for Entrepreneurship and Innovation have created and sustained meaningful opportunities for Bradley and for its faculty and students, and will provide for similar experiences and successes well into the future.

Bob Turner has also been a catalyst to Bradley’s launch of a technology-assisted distance learning initiative, which now engages hundreds of graduate nursing and counseling students across the country.

Bob and Carolyn shared their observation on Bradley’s Convergence initiative: “The Convergence Center illustrates Bradley’s focus on innovative concepts that enhance the student experience at the University. The program and the building fit well with The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and we are pleased to support this effort.”

Bob and Carolyn Turner are Illinois natives who have made their home in the greater Philadelphia region.  He is a senior member of the investment committee of Turner Investments, trustee of the Turner Funds and manager of the global equity strategies and the strategic direction of Turner Investments. Prior to founding the Partnership, he held positions with Andersen Consulting and Meridian Investment Company. Turner holds a B.S. degree and an MBA from Bradley University, and also holds a chartered financial analyst designation. 

In addition to being a trustee of the Turner Funds, Mr. Turner serves as a member of the advisory council of the Notre Dame School of Architecture, and is an elder of the Paoli Presbyterian Church. He is a former trustee and chairman of the board of Bradley University.

Carolyn Turner is a University of Illinois graduate and an Honorary Alumna of Bradley University. She has a distinguished array of community and institutional involvements including current responsibilities as a member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Zoo and a trustee of the Willistown Conservation Trust. 

Carolyn and Bob have four children, including Andrew who is a graduate of Bradley.