As the campaign to raise half-a-billion dollars begins, the University focuses on six priority initiatives that will propel us forward.

By John Bravman

I have found that today’s students, employers and graduate schools are looking for what Bucknell has always been: a complete liberal arts university that fully prepares students for the real world. This campaign is driven by the belief that investing in Bucknell is one of the most worthwhile commitments any Bucknellian can make. We are so fortunate that Bucknellians know that commitment and action matter.

Any campaign has many facets, from new facilities to the annual fund, and that is no different for this campaign. But after 30 years in higher education, I have learned that no financial asset is more important to a private university than its endowment. It is the key to our strength and flexibility, to our ability to invest in students and faculty in a distinguishing way and offer programs responsive to emerging areas of study that will benefit students as they graduate.

A university must turn such resources to best effect, capitalizing on its areas of greatest academic promise. Toward that end, my faculty colleagues, the Board of Trustees and I have identified six strategic learning priorities that are the academic core of this half-a-billion-dollar campaign for Bucknell’s future. Each initiative builds upon The Plan for Bucknell established in 2006, and will depend upon a stronger endowment. Together, these initiatives will ensure that our students are prepared in the 21st century to lead the lives our alumni have always sought—lives of action, achievement and fulfillment.

I will summarize these initiatives briefly here, and invite you to learn more on our website.


recognizes that the great challenges our students will face as leaders require special ingenuity and resourcefulness. With funding for new programs, integrated creativity programs across disciplines and a new arts complex, we can make Bucknell a model creative campus where, every day, students discover and master creative capacities that will benefit their lives and careers.


recognizes that our growing worldwide presence has prepared Bucknell to be a place where undergraduate and global education are indistinguishable. Through this campaign, for example, we can create Bucknell programs in Washington, D.C., and New York City; expand our overseas study offerings; and build new service-learning projects, on the model of the Bucknell Brigade, around the world.


capitalizes on our experience helping undergraduates conduct research, devise novel technologies and solve real-world problems. Through our new partnership with nearby Geisinger Health System, a national healthcare leader, Bucknell has the chance to invest in groundbreaking joint ventures that will make Bucknell a home to America’s finest undergraduate opportunities in the health sciences and related fields.


capitalizes on our being one of the few undergraduate liberal arts institutions with a School of Management. Building on such successful programs as Management 101 and ILTM (Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management), along with our new and transformative management curriculum, we can ensure that, for majors and non-majors alike, Bucknell sets the standard in experiential management education.


will take the University’s leadership in residential learning to a whole new level. Through the campaign, we will expand our Residential Colleges, introduce a new center to align and expand our signature leadership programs and introduce programs that help our students make the most of each stage of their lives as undergraduates.


recognizes that questions about how people interact with the natural world call upon distinctive Bucknell strengths, including our Susquehanna River Valley location, diverse programs in everything from the social sciences to engineering, and 30 years of environmental education. We can give our students learning and leadership experiences with sustainability that are distinctive in America.

In the weeks and years ahead, I will be out on the road talking with Bucknellians around the world about the Bucknell of today and tomorrow and the difference this campaign will make in Bucknell’s excellence, impact and reputation. I hope you will join us in this conversation. Together, in the enduring spirit of this University, we can make the future happen. It is who we are, and what we do.