Sometimes inspiration comes from unlikely sources. It wasn't until the spring of his Junior year at VU that Gabe Bridger knew what he wanted to do. While studying in the Valpo Cambridge program, he was bombarded with cultural and artistic inspiration that challenged his perspectives and gave him inspiration for his future career. The moment he got back on campus for the fall of his senior year he was determined to make his communications degree relevant in the field of graphic design.
||Gabe has turned his Valpo experience into a successful career in design and in turn shares it with prospective students through the VAN.
After graduating from Valpo, Gabe landed a design job at the Valpo Admissions department designing all of the seemingly endless postcards, brochures and other pieces prospective students receive during their Junior and Senior years. After almost two years he made the move to Chicago where his newly married wife (Tracy Lukas/Bridger - Valpo '98) had been working as a teacher. He also made the successful transition into interactive design landing a job at an international consulting company.
Throughout the years Gabe hasn't forgotten that inspiration he found while studying in the UK and the subsequent classes at Valpo. Among the many places Tracy and he have traveled throughout the world, England and especially Cambridge remains a favorite.
Gabe is currently a Senior Art Director at the largest interactive agency in the world, Avenue A | Razorfish. While he can still be hands-on in the design process, much of his day is spent presenting to clients and leading design teams working on large projects with well known brands. On top of this he's also won a handful of international awards for some of his own recent design work.
Gabe and Tracy Bridger currently live just north of Chicago in Evanston IL where they enjoy much of what the area has to offer. They also keep in touch with a number of friends from their time at Valpo – usually culminating in an annual Valpo reunion that rotates throughout the US.
It's all a far cry from early morning classes in Schnabel Hall but he has many fond memories of what prepared him for his eventual career at Valparaiso . Perhaps he sums it all up best when he says; "to put it simply, I would not be where I am, or who I am without my Valpo experience.”