Class of 2011 photo galleries
By Sam Alcorn
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Class of 2011 and new transfer students were formally welcomed to Bucknell University's academic community and start of the new school year Tuesday evening.
The 900-member class, selected from a near-record number of applicants, was greeted in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts by a host of University officials amid the pageantry of professors and staff parading in colorful regalia, a brass ensemble, and a bagpiper.
Convocation's traditional march to the Academic Quadrangle for the lighting of the candles and passing of the flame moved inside the Weis Center because of rain. The soft light from glow-sticks, ignited on key, were substituted for open flame as a choir sang the school's alma mater.
Susan Crawford '69, chair of the Board of Trustees, noted that the new academic year marked the 162nd in Bucknell's history and what she called a "renewed beginning."
"It is a welcome extended with a special sense of joy and anticipation," said Crawford. "The continued regeneration of ideas, talent, and energy that new members of our community make possible is among the most wonderful aspects of university life."
President Brian C. Mitchell said convocation celebrated Bucknell's academic life and the value of a liberal arts education.
No better preparation
"Soon, I think, and, in fact, now, this world requires your knowledge, your skills, and your leadership. We who believe in the liberal arts believe there is no better preparation for change than an advanced education that inspires you, challenges you, and even causes you to awaken at night with an idea that no one else has ever dreamed," said Mitchell. (See complete Welcome and Candle Lighting Ceremony texts.)
He said learning at Bucknell is an "active enterprise" and that "Bucknell chose you as much as you chose us because we know you can step up to the challenge." (See Class of 2011 extended profile and related story.)
Provost Mary DeCredico welcomed the new students to what she called the "Bucknell bubble."
Explore new ideas
"Bucknell is a bubble that expands as you explore new ideas and courses of study and as you meet new people. It is ever shifting and changing. The bubble allows you time for reflection, for serious study, and for exploring areas of inquiry once foreign to you," DeCredico said.
She said the bubble may insulate, but it also exposes students to different ways of thinking, acting, and doing.
"The bubble will stretch, but will only burst if you truly push it and yourself," DeCredico said. "And bursting that bubble will expose you to myriad experiences that will further enrich your education."
What is college for?
James Lavine, associate professor of linguistics and recent recipient of the Class of 1956 lectureship in inspirational teaching, delivered the convocation address, asking, "What exactly is college for? That is, how will you define this experience for yourself?"
"Bear in mind how you approach these four years might very well shape the next 40 or 50 years of your life, and for many of you, in a very unexpected way," he said. (See complete text.)
Passion for discovery, Lavine said, is what defines a university experience.
Rely on each other
"You are in good hands with each other," he said. "Look out for your fellow classmates. Rely on each other. Share your background, your perspective, and be prepared to embrace in each other what you haven't encountered before. This is your community now. How you choose to relate to your community will have a lasting impact on what you take from this experience and who you become."
With glow-sticks shining in the Weis Center, new students sing the Bucknell alma mater.
Contact: Office of Communications
Posted Aug. 22, 2007