When media titan Leslie Moonves '71 addressed the Class of 2016 at Commencement, he spoke glowingly of the value and versatility of his liberal arts education, citing Bucknell's role in his success. Moonves, the chairman, president and CEO of CBS Corp., later returned the favor with a seven-figure commitment that supports the humanities at Bucknell. The funding is being used for the expansion and renovation of Demosthenean Hall, which will house the Humanities Center.
"I've been fortunate to achieve great success in life, both personally and professionally, and much of that success rests on the foundation of the experiences afforded to me during my time at Bucknell," Moonves said.
"As an institution, Bucknell has a unique and special profile, particularly with its College of Engineering and, soon, its College of Management. But, for me, it all begins with the liberal arts," he continued. "My humanities classes at Bucknell — particularly in history, literature and theater — were personally enriching and broadened my perspective in ways that helped shape my career. Through this gift, I hope to help future generations of Bucknellians have those same wonderful opportunities."
The former Delta Upsilon fraternity house next to Bertrand Library will be home for the center, an initiative launched in 2015 to enhance the visibility of the humanities and foster excellence in scholarship and teaching. It will also house the Bucknell University Press and Griot Institute for Africana Studies. The center is slated to open in spring 2018.
Moonves' commitment also includes endowed funding for financial aid. The Leslie R. Moonves Scholarship will benefit students with financial need, with preference given to those majoring in one of the humanities disciplines.