John Bravman, a highly respected academic leader and distinguished professor of engineering, became the 17th president of Bucknell University on July 1, 2010. His longtime dedication to undergraduate liberal arts education at the highest level has set an innovative and dynamic tone for his presidency.
In his first five years at the University, John has steadily built a foundation of support with Bucknellians around the world. In October 2012, Bucknell launched the public phase of the largest comprehensive campaign in its history, with a goal of raising half a billion dollars for strategic University initiatives. As of August 2015, fundraising was well past $350 million.
John's leadership has helped foster an unprecedented period of expansion and improvement to University facilities. During his first year in office, the University broke ground on infrastructure for Academic West, Bucknell's first new academic building in nearly a decade, which opened in August 2013. In August 2015, the University opened four new apartment-style residence halls and a student commons building, reaffirming the University's commitment to residential education. Off campus, John continues to strengthen ties between the University and the region. The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way named Bucknell its 2014 Business of the Year.
In his earliest months at Bucknell, John initiated an in-depth examination of the quality of student life by creating the Campus Climate Task Force. This group of faculty and staff assessed student views and actions related to personal responsibility and recommended ways to improve the University experience for all students. In 2014, the President's Diversity Council created a five-year Diversity Plan to achieve Bucknell's commitment to diversity as a core institutional and educational value.
Prior to joining Bucknell John spent 35 years at Stanford University, where he led its undergraduate program as the vice provost for undergraduate education for 11 years. He played a critical role in Stanford's Campaign for Undergraduate Education, which raised more than $1.1 billion. In recognition of his accomplishments, Stanford awarded him the university's highest honors for both teaching (1989) and for lifetime service (2010).
Born in 1957, John grew up in New York City and on Long Island. He completed his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree in materials science and engineering at Stanford. John is a highly accomplished scholar, and has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and taught primarily in the fields of materials structure and analysis, thin-film mechanical phenomena, microelectronic reliability and high-temperature superconductivity. A tenured professor of electrical engineering, he patented two coatings that may make coronary stents safer for heart-disease patients.
John is married to Dr. Wendelin Wright, a professor dually appointed in both mechanical engineering and chemical engineering at Bucknell. They have two young sons, Cole and Cooper. John has two older sons, Christopher and Matthew.
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