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Dean’s Award – Business: Winner is grateful for hardships that ‘made me who I am today’

William Harmon Bradley, the Dean's Award winner for the College of Business, dreams of having his own marketing and communications firm where he can integrate his film and video knowledge into the business. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

William Harmon Bradley faced significant personal difficulties on his journey to becoming one of Sacramento State’s top graduates.

But Bradley is grateful for the hardships, he said, because they offered lessons in overcoming adversity and achieving independence. 

“They have made me who I am today,” said Bradley, this year’s Dean’s Award winner in the College of Business. 

Name: William Harmon Bradley

Hometown: Auburn

Degree: B.S. Business (Marketing) and B.A. Film (Digital Film/Video Production) 

Why Sac State: “I am leaving my undergrad program confident that I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do well, either starting my own business or working for someone else.”

Nominator and Business Lectuer Barbara Read says: “William is a natural leader who brought his curiosity, intelligence, and positive energy to our online capstone class. He made a difficult semester better for the class while continuing to maximize every opportunity to learn.”

Bradley, a graduate of Foresthill High School near Auburn, attended Sierra College in Rocklin before transferring to Sac State in 2018. His interest in business stemmed from his childhood, during which his father dabbled in various entrepreneurial endeavors, including automotive painting and restaurant ownership. At the University, Bradley took an interest in marketing, as well as filmmaking and video production. 

After his father died in 2017, Bradley’s family depended upon him to earn money to support them and retain his childhood home. So in addition to his studies and commute to campus from the Auburn area, he worked as many hours as he could in various jobs. In 2019, the home fell into foreclosure. Bradley helped his mother and sister liquidate most of their belongings and find a new place to live.

The juggling act will continue for Bradley as he looks forward to graduating, marrying his longtime girlfriend and entering the work force full time. In addition to school, he is working two internships on campus and helping care for his girlfriend’s two younger brothers.

Through it all, he has earned top grades at Sac State and gained valuable work experience that will serve him well after graduation.

Barbara Read, a Sac State lecturer who Bradley considers a mentor, called him “creative and tenacious, but also down-to-earth and caring.”

“He is someone, as they say, who you would want in the foxhole with you,” Read said.

Bradley dreams of having his own marketing and communications firm, and integrating his film and video knowledge into the business.

But first, he will take part in CARmencement, this year’s alternative to traditional commencement ceremonies. After that, he plans a trip to Yosemite National Park.

Bradley said he feels ready to delve into the business world after receiving his degree.

“At Sac State, I got practical experience, built a résumé and received mentoring that has been invaluable to me,” he said. “I feel confident I’ll succeed.” 

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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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