June 03, 2009

First-year students pass through Christy Mathewson Memorial Gateway to mark the start of their Bucknell careers.

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By
Sam Alcorn

LEWISBURG, Pa. – They haven’t even arrived on campus yet, but Bucknell University’s newest community members – the Class of 2013 – are already making their mark in spectacular and intriguing ways.

From computer science and animation to poetry, the new students are bringing to campus skills and expertise that have not gone unnoticed by the media. Some have set high goals for themselves at Bucknell. Some, as they bid farewell to high school, are inspiring their classmates as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives.

Meet four of them. || Profile: Class of 2013 || Meet more in the series here and here 

William Farley
One is William Farley, who was president of his class at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va.

This spring, Farley won the National 2009 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest – no small feat considering he advanced from a field of nearly 300,000 entrants to become this year’s national champion.

With that prestigious accolade in his pocket, Farley received an invitation to appear on the nationally syndicated "A Prairie Home Companion."

Program host Garrison Keillor interviewed Farley and, along the way, mentioned Bucknell several times, including, “This young man is bound for Bucknell, heading off to Bucknell in the fall. He’s going to have a bright future. It’s already started.”

After chatting with Keillor about what it was like meeting President Obama at a White House dinner and doing an impressive impersonation of the president, Farley recited the Langston Hughes poem “Theme for English B” – from memory – with much audience applause. || Listen to the broadcast (Farley enters about 34:30 minutes into the program.)

Alex Ororbia
Another Class of 2013 member is an 18-year-old senior from Lewisburg (Pa.) Area High School.

Alex Ororbia turned a flirtation with a physics simulation program into an award-winning 5-minute animated video he created from scratch. || The Daily Item 

Ororbia, who is now working with an online team at FreshBrain.org to create an animated movie of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," said once he discovered the potential for creating computer animation he was hooked.

His movie, "Creative Chaos," won fourth place in a statewide computer fair competition and the movie was entered into the FreshBrain Competition Scholarship in which it placed in the top 20 out of 600 entries.

The movie is about an artist in the middle of a drawing who discovers how art can come to life when the fruit of the tree tries to escape the drawing. "It's a parody on how an idea can get out of control," Ororbia told The Daily Item. "Essentially the artist's creativity comes to life."

He plans to major in computer science and engineering.

Hunter Church
Hunter Church comes to Bucknell this fall with serious goals.

In his senior year, Church was a captain of the Branford (Conn.) High School outdoor track team and swimming squad.

Hunter's coaches have been impressed with his confidence and skills as a leader. “Our team has 80 athletes and some kids might be intimidated addressing such a large group," one coach said, "but Hunter’s comfortable and his teammates always listen because they respect him for how hard he works.”

Church will continue his track career at Bucknell where he’s considering a premed major. He’s been inspired by his older brother, Spencer, who lives with Crohn’s Disease and survived a couple of critical surgeries – one in which he was legally dead at one point.

Church told his local newspaper that his goal is to be “as good a doctor as the one who saved my brother.”

Kelly Purcell
Some, too, like Mahanoy (Pa.) Area High School Class of 2009 salutatorian Kelly Purcell, finished their high school careers inspiring their classmates. In her class address she compared life’s journeys to building bridges.

“Right now, we face the task of bridging the gap of where we are now and what we want to become. We’re all at the beginning of our bridges. Our challenge is to cross it,” Purcell told her classmates. She plans to major in neuroscience at Bucknell.

Check back throughout the summer for updates on incoming Bucknell students who are making news.

Contact: Division of Communications

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