On Board: Alumnus Steps into Leadership Role
by Emmalee Eckstein
John M. Bradley ’98 is approaching his newest role, president of the National Alumni Board, with the same enthusiasm that propelled him through his career as a student.
Bradley currently lives in South Jersey with his wife, Camille Introcaso ’00, and their two children. But staying close to his Philadelphia roots wasn’t something that was high on his wish list for colleges.
“My grandmother wanted me to apply to [Saint Joseph’s]. At first, I thought I wanted to go someplace farther from home,” he explains. But with a grandfather who spent 11 years with the Society of Jesus, he appeased his grandmother by going on a campus tour. “By the time it was over,” he shares, “St. Joe’s was my first choice.”
Bradley remembers it taking at least a semester to find his footing in college but, once he did, he dove into his coursework and a variety of campus activities: He was a coordinator for freshman orientation, a team leader of Project Appalachia (now APEX) and business manager of The Hawk student newspaper. “College is what you make it,” he remarks.
For Bradley, the SJU experience frequently manifested in the classroom. “One of the most important events of my life was the first philosophy course I took at St. Joe’s.”
Now a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania, Bradley found that reading Plato, Aristotle and modern thinkers opened him up to new ways of seeing the contemporary world. To this day, he continues to study great thinkers and uses a philosophical lens in both personal and professional decision-making. “[Philosophers] don’t provide cookie-cutter answers,” he says. “But there is a richness to their thinking that has been important for my life.”
As a new leader, Bradley wants to apply the same critical thinking to his approach with the alumni community: His ultimate goal is to meet as many Hawk graduates face-to-face as he can. “Attending in-person events is very unconventional in American life these days,” Bradley muses. “If we’re going to flourish as a civil society, we need more communal life.”
Bradley’s National Alumni Board is making sure that opportunities to interact are available to Hawks everywhere.
“The University has a vision that extends far beyond the Philadelphia area now,” he notes. “We are creating a diversity of programs for alumni. Whether you’re interested in professional networking, family-centered events, basketball game-watches or ongoing learning, we want to offer events that meet your needs.”
Though he is two decades removed from his graduation from Saint Joseph’s, Bradley remains passionate about the values that remain at the core of a Jesuit education, most notably cura personalis, or care for the whole person.
“I think Saint Joseph’s has something unique to offer the world with the concept of cura personalis,” Bradley notes. “All Hawks benefit from having their whole person cared for. I’m grateful and proud to be a part of that tradition.”
Emmalee Eckstein is SJU's associate director of communications.