Hundreds of Bucknellians celebrated the first WE DO Tour stop at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
By Andy Hirsch
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Five months after publicly launching the most ambitious fundraising effort in University history, the half-a-billion-dollar WE DO Campaign for Bucknell University kicked-off a national tour in San Francisco this past weekend. More than 200 alumni, parents and friends from the West Coast gathered at AT&T Park for the celebration.
"The WE DO Tour brings Bucknell to our dedicated alumni and parents around the country, and we had a great evening in San Francisco," Scott Rosevear, vice president for development and alumni relations, said. "Our guests had the opportunity to learn about the University's future, while also seeing firsthand why our students and faculty are so special."
The event began with a lively discussion with current students, led by Bucknell President John Bravman. Attendees were then treated to faculty "snap talks" — short, engaging presentations on innovative research being done on campus across a variety of disciplines. During dinner, guests were given the opportunity to take part in a variety of interactive spaces highlighting the work of both faculty and students.
"Saturday's event was exciting and inspiring," said Anna Ricker '08. "It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many Bucknellians and in a space that we as San Franciscans hold so dear. And it was great to be part of the atmosphere surrounding the WE DO campaign."
"The presentations were impressive, and President Bravman's speech was inspirational," said 1998 graduate Bridget Thomas. "The event gave me an opportunity to both reconnect with fellow alumni and faculty, and also learn about the ambitious new direction of the University. It really reaffirmed my deep affection for Bucknell."
During his speech from atop the World Champion San Francisco Giants dugout, Bravman announced to the crowd that the campaign had leaped above the halfway mark, totaling more than $272 million, including a recent $10 million gift from an anonymous couple. The campaign has raised more than $32 million since its public launch in late October.
Increasing funding for scholarships and financial aid is among the WE DO campaign's top priorities. Since the start of the campaign, 39 named, endowed scholarships have been created, benefiting 75 students. Among them: senior Matthew Wong, who was the first recipient of the Robert and Ellen Chrencik Scholarship.
"I'm so thankful for my time here at Bucknell, which was really made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Chrencik's generosity," Wong, an accounting major, said. "A scholarship can have a major impact on a person's life. I hope to one day do the same thing for future students — give them the opportunity to not restrict themselves and to reach their full potential."
Another major campaign goal is investing in new facilities critical to fostering innovation and enhancing students' academic experiences — spaces such as the Richard J. Mooney Innovative Design Laboratory, which opened in fall 2011.
"The Mooney Lab is such a valuable resource for our students, one that allows them to build, design, create and really grow as engineers," said Associate Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering Joe Tranquillo. "It's access to these types of facilities that will have our students prepared to meet the challenges of the world once they leave Bucknell."
Through the campaign, the University also aims to create or strengthen six academic and residential learning initiatives designed to transform Bucknell's education experience. The initiatives include:
"We are truly at a historic point in Bucknell's wonderful 167-year history. The success of this campaign will shape the future for generations of Bucknellians," Bravman said. "We are very grateful to our alumni, to the volunteers and to all of the people committed to our mission of delivering one of the finest liberal arts experiences in the world."
The WE DO Tour now heads east, with its next stop in Pittsburgh on March 7, followed by Philadelphia, Boston and New York. Several more cities will be announced for 2014. || Click here for details on the WE DO Tour.
Contact: Division of Communications