The Summit of Success
When Bradley Clement finished high school, he chose DePauw because he wanted to attend a “quintessential small school in a beautiful pastoral setting.” He enrolled a history major and sociology minor with eyes set on entering a traditional profession, but a summer spent in Alaska’s Denali National Park turned that plan on its head. The majestic mountain peaks and sweeping ravines awoke in him a desire to spend the rest of his life in the mountains.
Graduating from DePauw, the challenge was how he could make a career out of his passion. He began by leading expeditions to the summits of dangerous mountain peaks. Then came his idea to bring a camera along to capture every step of the journey. With time and practice, he became a successful filmmaker, adept at telling stories of people's individual journeys attempting to conquer mountains.
The world quickly learned of his expertise. He filmed for the likes of Google, PBS, Outdoor Channel and Discovery Channel, challenged to tell their stories and grow their brand. He filmed the acclaimed Everest Peace Project, narrated by Orlando Bloom, which documented a world-peace climb where people from different cultures and religions worked together to reach the top of Mount Everest.
Bradley credits DePauw for his confidence to create his path as a mountaineer and filmmaker. His core support network begins with relationships he formed during his student years in the dorms, in addition to an extensive DePauw alumni network whose friendship and expertise continue to help him thrive.
Bradley’s newest sky-high endeavor uses snow leopards to teach conservation to children in Nepal. He chisels his way to snow-laden remote villages to educate disadvantaged children about the importance of protecting what is endangered. “Through the vehicle of snow leopards, you are actually helping the people,” Clement says. “You are helping the environment, but you’re also helping the people gain purpose, education, inspiration and a sense of global citizenship.”
Bradley continues to be driven not by the peak but by the journey. He encourages DePauw students to “take everything you’ve learned from DePauw in the traditional sense, think outside the box and apply it to something you’re passionate about.” No matter how wide the vision or how high the goal, DePauw provides the opportunities and relationships to pursue them with hope, energy and confidence.