1st Consortium class: Carl Bradford’s 1969 letter to Sterling Schoen

Carl Bradford was among the first 21 African American men recruited in the first Consortium class, which started its MBA experience in 1967. The California man received his MBA from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1969.

Bradford worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. in Sunnyvale when he came across an article mentioning The Consortium in Jet Magazine in March 1967. Apparently, that very day, he wrote a letter inquiring about the program and seeking more information.

He was initially accepted in April 1967 as an alternate in the program and, a month later, received word that he was accepted for a full $2,500-per-year fellowship to attend Indiana. He was a generous contributor to The Consortium, financially and in volunteer time. He worked for Esso International after graduating and later worked for Chase Manhattan, where he was featured in an ad campaign for the company (see related photo).

Bradford died July 7, 1992. We found the letter below in Bradford’s file among The Consortium archives. He wrote it on the eve of his departure from Indiana to Consortium founder Sterling Schoen. We thought it was worth sharing.

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Carl Bradford, member of the first Consortium class, featured in a Chase ad.

Carl Bradford, member of the first Consortium class, featured in a Chase ad.

Dear Dr. Schoen:

As you know, I am completing the requirements for the MBA degree at Indiana University this June, and this happens to be my last night in Bloomington, Ind. My thoughts have been roaming over the experiences I’ve had during the past two years, and I can truthfully say that the time I have spent in the Consortium program has been most rewarding and interesting.

I’ve had an opportunity to interact with people in business, professors, and other students of business, and this interaction has strengthened my confidence in my own abilities and potential to make the grade in business. I feel that this in itself represents time well spent.

After a short vacation, I will begin work as an analyst with Esso International, Inc. in New York City in their Supply and Transportation Department. If you happen to be in this area in the near future, I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to elaborate on my experiences in the Consortium program and in business.

I want to take this opportunity to express to you my very deep appreciation of your confidence in me as shown by your selection of me to participate in the initial phase of the program, and by your words of encouragement to me during my attendance at Washington University. I can only hope that my performance at Indiana University and in the years to come will merit that confidence.

If I can be of service to you or the Consortium program at any time, please do not hesitate to call on me.
Carl Bradford