June 01, 2009

Nearly 2,000 were on hand for the Reunion Weekend 2009 celebration.

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By Heather Johns

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Alumni, family and friends from around the world celebrated Bucknell University's Reunion Weekend 2009.

More than 1,900 participants returned to Bucknell for the four-day Reunion Weekend celebration that ended Sunday, May 31, according to the University's Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

The celebrants, many of whom stayed in the same residence halls they occupied as undergraduate students, came from both near and far. Four countries and 37 states were represented by Bucknellians attending Reunion Weekend.

The Class of 2004 had the largest Reunion Weekend 2009 presence, with 290 class members attending the weekend festivities, according to Development and Alumni Relations. It also had the highest percentage of giving by any class that has celebrated its fifth Reunion.

Bucknellians and their families returning to campus participated in a host of activities: a Work and Aging panel led by Provost Mick Smyer, a tent party and fireworks on the Sojka Lawn, class celebrations and open house gatherings for fraternities, sororities, athletics and other groups.

University initiatives
Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell focused on Bucknell's connection to the past, present and future in Saturday's address during Reunion Rally in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. "The demographics of America are changing rapidly, the world is more connected than ever, and each generation has its own expectations for what colleges can and should deliver," said Mitchell. "A university may be as close to a timeless enterprise as there is, but it can never stop changing or it will get left behind." || See complete text

Major initiatives are allowing the University to "change where we need to, while protecting the sacred elements of Bucknell," said Mitchell. These initiatives include The Plan for Bucknell, the new campus master plan and the University's continuing $400 million comprehensive campaign.

President Mitchell detailed campaign milestones and thanked Bucknellians who are "rising to the challenge" in difficult economic times. "The campaign already has received gifts from more than 26,000 donors," said Mitchell. "Nearly $115 million has been raised."

Reunion Rally
An all-new Reunion Rally debuted this year, treating guests to a theatrical, musical and multimedia production called "Time for Bucknell" celebrating alumni and featuring Bucknell students. Class gifts totaling more than $29.8 million were presented to the University. The Class of 1959 raised $3.8 million with 75 percent participation, and earned all three Reunion giving awards, including the Pete Pedrick Cup, given to the class with the highest giving percentage.

Alumni Awards
The Bucknell University Alumni Association honored its four 2009 Alumni Award recipients at Reunion Rally in a creative video and in-person presentation.

Recognized as 2009 Alumni Award recipients were Stuart E. Berelson, a 1959 graduate, recipient of the Loyalty to Bucknell Award; James E. Nevels, a 1974 graduate, recipient of the Award for Service to Humanity; Ronald Billings, a 1969 graduate, recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Chosen Profession; and Katie Malague, a 1994 graduate, recipient of the Young Alumni Award. Visit Alumni Association Awards for more information.

Alumni in the "4s" and "9s" class years celebrated milestone reunions in 2009. The Class of 1949 marked its 60th reunion. The Class of 1959 celebrated its 50-year golden anniversary and the Class of 1984 marked its 25th silver anniversary.

See extended Reunion Weekend coverage, including videos and photo galleries.

Contact: Division of Communications

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