History of Bucknell - Weis Center

Founded in 1846 as the University at Lewisburg, Bucknell traces its origination to a group of Baptists who deemed it "desirable that a Literary Institution should be established in Central Pennsylvania, embracing a High School for male pupils, another for females, a College and also a Theological Institution."

The group’s efforts for the institution began to crystallize in 1845 when Stephen William Taylor, a professor at Madison University (now Colgate) in Hamilton, N.Y., was asked to prepare a charter and act as general agent for the university’s development.

The charter for the University at Lewisburg, granted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania and approved by the governor on Feb. 5, 1846, carried one stipulation – that $100,000 be raised before the new institution would be granted full corporate status. More than 4,000 subscribers ultimately contributed, including a small boy who gave 12 cents.

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