Bill Bradley has led a uniquely American life, with nearly all of it in the spotlight.
From college basketball All-American to Rhodes Scholar, from Olympic gold medalist to two-time NBA champion, four-term U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, Bradley has struck an imposing figure in every forum he’s entered and shows no intentions of slowing down or lowering his voice.
Bradley will bring his lifetime of stories and messages to California State University, Stanislaus on Feb. 18 as part of the University’s Executive Speaker Series. The event will be held in Snider Recital Hall. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required.
“It’s exciting to bring him here,” said David Lindsay, interim dean of the College of Business Administration, which plays a key role in selecting the speaker. “It not only will enhance the visibility of the University within the six-county region, but I would think the folks in the Bay Area also would take note.”
After leading the U.S. Olympic basketball team to a gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Games, Bradley graduated with honors from Princeton University in 1965 with a degree in American history. He chose to delay his career in professional basketball to become a Rhodes Scholar and earn a graduate degree from Oxford, where he studied politics, philosophy and economics. He played with the NBA’s New York Knicks from 1967-77, a span that included two championships, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
He turned to politics immediately after retiring from basketball and represented New Jersey in the Senate from 1979-97, and in 2000 he ran for president. As a senator, Bradley was tireless in his fight for tax reform, global trade, health care and water issues.
He also was at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and battled for the refocus of the CIA toward anti-terrorist monitoring, telling the Los Angeles Times in 1991, “I think there are some basic things that any intelligence agency would have to do, and that's continue to monitor the various military threats that might exist around the world. But then I think it will have to concentrate on terrorism, terrorist threats, and I then think it becomes a much broader-gauged agency than it has been in the past.”
Bradley, 72, has penned seven books on American politics, culture and economy. The latest in 2012 titled “We All Can Do Better,” offered a solution to Washington’s partisan, political stalemate.
“We’re in an election year, so it’s important to bring somebody with his background in politics and his ideas about reform,” Lindsay said. “He’s been an advocate for taking the money out of political campaigns, which is controversial on some fronts. But he’s also an advocate for ending global poverty and is on the boards of several foundations dedicated to that process.”
Bradley is a managing director of Allen & Company LLC and a member of the Board of Directors of Starbucks. He previously served as chief outside adviser to McKinsey & Company's nonprofit practice and was a senior adviser and vice chairman of the International Council of J.P. Morgan & Company.
He also has been an essayist for CBS Evening News, and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, Notre Dame University and the University of Maryland. Currently, he has a radio show, American Voices, on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, on which he interviews a cross-section of people from all over the country.
“Here’s a man who has been a competitor all his life — not only in politics, but as an athlete, an Olympian,” Lindsay said.
The Executive Speaker Series, in its third year, is designed to engage the community with the University, particularly the College of Business Administration. It was launched through the generosity of local insurance company Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green, which marked the firm’s 100th anniversary with a $50,000 series-founding donation.
This year’s event is made possible by the Demergasso Family Trust, founded by John Demergasso and overseen by his widow Bonnie Demergasso
“It was John’s belief that through the speaker series, students would be exposed to accomplished individuals from all walks of life,” Bonnie Demergasso said. “This exposure would foster belief in themselves and aspirations to greater achievement.”
Economist Arthur Laffer was the inaugural speaker in 2014 and was followed in 2015 by David Gardner, co-founder of the The Motley Fool. Bradley’s appearance continues the pattern of guests in tune with the challenges facing the world economy.
For ticket information or to reserve tickets, click HERE.