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 January 2017, the WE DO Campaign for Bucknell University had raised $435 million.
John's leadership has also helped foster an unprecedented period of expansion and improvement to University facilities. During John’s 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, Bucknell opened a new residential quad, the South Campus Apartments, reaffirming the University’s commitment to an immersive residential learning environment. And under John’s leadership, the University will establish a third college — the College of Management — in July 2017, positioning Bucknell to offer a truly distinct, interdisciplinary undergraduate experience.
Off campus, John continues to strengthen ties between the University and the region. Since his arrival, Bucknell has renovated several properties in downtown Lewisburg, including the Campus Theatre, the Post Office Building and the DeWitt Building, which is home to the University’s Entrepreneurs Incubator, Small Business Development Center and Downtown Art Gallery. 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 underscore 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 the undergraduate program as the vice provost for undergraduate education. 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 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. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and has been cited in nearly 5,000 publications by scientists and engineers around the world. A tenured professor of electrical engineering, John has taught primarily in the fields of materials structure and analysis, thin-film mechanical phenomena, microelectronic reliability and high-temperature superconductivity. He recently patented two coatings that may make coronary stents safer for heart-disease patients. In December 2016, John was elected chair of the Geisinger Health System Foundation Board of Directors.
John is married to Professor Wendelin Wright, who holds a joint appointment in the mechanical and chemical engineering departments at Bucknell. They have two young sons, Cole and Cooper. He has two older sons, Christopher and Matthew.
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