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Bradley reaches out to geriatric alums, books Leno for homecoming

I received the following press release today from Bradley University:

Jay Leno will headline Bradley Homecoming

Peoria, IL (July 26, 2010) Late night television superstar Jay Leno will be the headline entertainer at Bradley University’s Homecoming on Saturday, October 16 in the university’s new on-campus arena. The arena will be dedicated during Homecoming.

“We are very excited to bring a recognized comedian and entertainer like Jay Leno to help dedicate our arena,” Bradley University President Joanne Glasser said. “Jay Leno will be a marvelous attraction for our alumni, our students and community members, helping make the 2010 Homecoming a special celebration.”

Leno became host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1992, replacing the legendary Johnny Carson. Leno began his career in nightclubs, where he worked 300 nights a year before hitting it big as a frequent guest and then hosting The Tonight Show. Despite his television commitment, he continues to perform live a clubs and venues over 150 nights a year. He has appeared on television, acted in several films, wrote a number of books and is one of the most recognizable figures in the entertainment industry. A 2009 Harris Poll named the Emmy Award winning comedian America’s Favorite TV Personality.

Homecoming will kick-off on October 13 with the traditional lighting of the “B” atop Bradley Hall. Other activities over the four-day event include a tailgate party and bonfire, a Saturday soccer game against the University of Central Arkansas, “Midnight Madness” basketball practice for both the men’s and women’s teams, dedication ceremonies for the new arena, campus and arena tours, Late Night BU for students and alumni, an alumni luncheon, and much more.

The $50 million arena, opening this fall, is a 4500-seat venue that will host major campus activities as well as serve as home to Bradley athletics. The arena houses athletic offices, state-of-the-art practice, training/conditioning facilities, the athletics hall of fame and other features, along with serving as home court for both the women’s basketball and volleyball teams. The structure was built on the site of the historic Robertson Memorial Field House, a venue where the University hosted major concerts and athletic events for six decades. The arena is one of the capital improvements that are the focus of The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance launched in April 2008 with a goal of $150 million.

Ticket information for Jay Leno’s appearance will be released when it becomes available.

Jay Leno? Bradley is obviously not trying to appeal to young people with that move. This is aimed directly at the aging baby boomers who just love Leno’s … “humor.” They’re the ones with the bucks, seeking immortality by getting their names on things like recreation centers. So, from a fundraising perspective, this is a good move on Bradley’s part.

Still, it’s too bad they couldn’t book a classier act for this event. Like a real comedian, for instance.

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