Daniel J. Bradley is finishing up his fourth year as president of Indiana State University and has collected experience, knick-knacks and advice to show for his time at ISU.
Bradley held the position of president of Fairmont State University in West Virginia for seven years when he learned about the open president's position at ISU.
Coming to ISU "has been a great decision," he said. "My wife and I fell in love with the campus the first time we came and we love living in the Condit House."
The Condit House, bequeathed to the University in 1962, was used as office space before the Bradleys chose to have it renovated so that it could become their home.
Living at the center of campus helps the president remain in touch with the community he serves, he said.
Preparing himself to serve as the university's 11th president was quite a journey for Bradley. Born a Canadian, he immigrated to California with his parents when he was seven years old. He spent time in the U.S. Army, earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from Montana College, a master's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Michigan State University.
His academic career took him to the University of California at Berkeley before he joined the faculty at Montana Tech and eventually became department chair, dean of engineering and vice chancellor for academic affairs. He then moved to Fairmont State University.
"As I got into administration, I found that I moved away from my discipline," Bradley said. "It is important for all presidents to have a great deal of education beyond undergraduate degrees. It adds to the experience."
Bradley encourages students to participate in the ISU community.
"We really want students engaged," he said. "Given our size, students are able to be involved with any activity."
Students are given a lot more opportunities to be involved in organizations than many other institutions, he said. "We do our best to watch out for [the students] and help them grow and become successful."
As a parent of three boys and four grandchildren, Bradley is able to empathize with the challenges parents face when their children attend college.
"It's a scary time for parents," he said. "College is not a linear path; students change majors, drop out for a semester, transfer schools ... but these [adjustments] don't need to be defining moments."
Parents need to understand that while their child's age may make them a legal adult, 18-year-olds aren't necessarily prepared to handle the challenges adults must face.
"Hopefully by the time [the students] graduate, they are ready," he said.
Neither of Bradley's parents attended college, but they both stressed to their son the importance of an education.
Bradley said his parents and his extended family taught him the value of having empathy, being a hard worker, and extending unconditional love. Those are still some of the most important ideals to pass along to children, he said.
"So many families are really struggling, especially financially and socially, and this makes it difficult for the children and family," he said.
Throughout Bradley's office, photographs and other knick-knacks tell the history of his time at ISU.
"See that football? It's from my second year when we won the Homecoming game," he said. "It was our first win in a long time."
One photograph commemorates Bradley's recent trip to China and Thailand. In another photo he is amid a group of ISU presidential scholars, his familiar and casual grin stretched across his bearded face.
These images are the momentos of a man who has made it his goal to become involved with the staff and students he leads.
"Cheri and I try to be at as many campus events as possible to let the community know how happy we are to be here," he said.
That's the same advise he has for students.
Foremost, attend class, he said, but beyond the classroom, "be engaged; get out, interact with people, volunteer, whatever rings your bell,."
"Don't go home every weekend; there is so much to do at ISU."