Life always seems to give us experiences that are least expected. That has been the case for Betty Bradford, a devoted wife, mother, Razorback, volunteer, and A+ Life member of the Arkansas Alumni Association. She has been an incredible example to others as she has devoted her time and talents to her family, university and country.
She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1954 with a BSHE degree and again in 1990 with a MS degree. Betty’s favorite memory from her time on campus was when she met her now husband Eddie Bradford, former president of the Arkansas Alumni Board and Razorback football player of Wyatt’s “Twenty-Five little pigs.” Their first meeting was uneventful as they went out with a group of their friends to the Spring Festival known as GAEBALE. Their second meeting was a blind date set up by one of their mutual friends. Betty jokingly described the meeting as, “it was not ‘love at first sight’ or even like at first sight,” but life had other plans. A year later, they were married. It was Betty’s senior year and Eddie’s junior year.
Upon graduation from the university, Eddie and Betty Bradford began their journey together. Eddie began his service with the U.S. Army in the Medical Service Corp. During his 26 years of service, they started their family of two children, lived in Germany for three years, traveled to 16 different countries, and saw the Berlin Wall go up. Betty was astounded to realize, “we had 21 addresses in our first 26 years of marriage.”
Throughout those 26 years and the following 21 years, Betty has served within her military community, Northwest Arkansas community, and the University of Arkansas community. When asked about her service to others and to the Alumni Association, Betty said, “I know I’ve looked up to others who were role models and family members who were ‘helping people.'” To be a part of a solution to a need while working with others to meet that need has always been her goal.
Betty has served on the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences Alumni Society Board. She has met others from all parts of the state and students in the college. She supported Eddie during his leadership of the Arkansas Alumni Board in 2002-04. As she has given back, she has gained a better idea of the current programs within the college she once attended.
The fond memories she carries have made her want to reconnect with friends from the past and serve others at the University of Arkansas. It is through the Arkansas Alumni Association that she has found the best avenue to serve others and face new challenges at the University of Arkansas by connecting her to alumni through events and the magazine. Betty expressed her gratitude for the Alumni Association because to her it has always connected her to her ‘home away from home’ – the University of Arkansas – no matter where she was in the world. She hopes others will take advantage of the great resource that is the Arkansas Alumni Association to get involved, so they can also make a difference.