“Bucknell has given me the opportunity for a new future. I see the world in a new way."
Diego Chiri ’12 first set foot in the United States in 2006. His English was limited at best, so he spent his first two years at the Community College of Philadelphia improving his second-language skills. There he learned about Bucknell’s Community College Scholars program (BCCS).
In 2008, Chiri attended the BCCS summer session. “An entire semester was squeezed into six weeks,” he says. “It was a challenge, but the opportunity was too great to let it go.”
Chiri transferred to Bucknell in fall 2009. In his native Peru, Chiri had daydreamed about pursuing his passion for being a filmmaker and a theater director. Bucknell has fed and nurtured this passion. He will graduate with a double major in theater and English with a concentration in film and media studies.
Last fall, the Department of Theatre and Dance presented “Shepardfest,” 11 of Sam Shepard’s short plays, directed by Professor Gary Grant. Chiri’s knowledge of film and theater allowed him to capture them all in a unique way. “Theater and film are two different art forms,” he says. “As playwright Edward Albee explains, ‘Theater is in the present and film is in the past.’ The ‘Shepardfest’ videos are an example of how theater and film can coexist. It was a fascinating experience.”
An even more rewarding experience was spending time with Albee, the 2010 Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters. “He is controversial because of his strong opinions,” says Chiri. “Meeting him has been the best academic experience I have had at Bucknell.” Chiri made his directorial debut during Family Weekend with Albee’s "The Zoo Story." He is working on a documentary on devised theater, a newly developed theater technique employed by the students who participated in this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
“Bucknell has given me the opportunity for a new future. I see the world in a new way,” says Chiri. “I am honored and grateful to have been a Community College Scholar. Bucknell has opened the doors to the world to me. Thank you, Bucknell.”