Bucknell Magazine
Winter 2011

We will move with the times, as well as help define them, and wherever and however we can, stay ahead of them. We will be open to new ideas. We will strive to lead where leadership is needed. We will aim to make Bucknell better each day for our students, and better for the students, colleagues, alumni, parents and friends of our university of new generations not yet born.

Who are we becoming?A home for the sons and daughters who possess new forms of privilege and possibility — those of perception, of the capacity to learn, of the capacity to absorb and sort information readily, meaningfully and proactively. These privileges and possibilities already challenge us in, sometimes, unexpected ways.

Who are we becoming? The transitional home for students learning how to apply such skills to help all of us — and indeed themselves — mold a future of global citizenship, of self- and family-fulfillment, yes, even of profitable application of those skills for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.

We are becoming a small part of those interdependent six billion souls who are striving to live a better life, and we are becoming one of the wellsprings that feed the oceans of knowledge and ideas we all will need as we learn, together, how to navigate a very uncertain tomorrow.

For me, the real answer to the question of who we are becoming is found in how we treat one another and in the ways we live up to those highest purposes of a university that have always been at the core of its mission. In the end, at an institution of advanced learning meant to endure, the answer to the question of, "Who are we becoming?" really is, "Who are we?"

Our time here is very special. Our time here also is brief when measured against the life of the institution we share. We have an obligation to carry forward something great. We will get the hard work done, every day, every hour, with focus and commitment. We will set our sights high. And we will achieve the critical, practical objectives that will shape the Bucknell of today and tomorrow, just as those did who came before us. Most of all, in the spirit of the University, I hope we will continue asking, "Who are we becoming?" I hope we will aim to answer it as best as we can in one way: by being together the Bucknellians whom we most aspire to become.

John Bravman, President

This text was excerpted from President Bravman's inauguration address. For the full text, the inauguration poem, video of the ceremony, slideshows, audio clips and more, go to Inauguration.