August 02, 2010

Sampson funding to help more students.

By Christina Masciere Wallace

From left: Anne Sequeira '12, Stephen Wakulchik '10, Ben Sampson '69, Kylie Brandt '10 and Alexander Rivera '10

Kylie Brandt ’10 was a leader for Bucknell Brigade and first-year student orientation, a Reunion ambassador and a student caller. Right now, she’s in Uganda with Bicycles Against Poverty, a humanitarian group she cofounded.This fall, she’ll begin teaching middle-schoolers in the Bronx.

Brandt is one of 21 Bucknellians who have benefited from the Sampson Family Scholarship Endowment. Now, even more students will be able to attend Bucknell, thanks to Ben Sampson ’69, P’96. He recently committed $5 million in support of the program he started 20 years ago with his late brother, Myles ’67.

“We chose to fund scholarships because they live on through people,” says Sampson, vice-chair of the comprehensive campaign. “We felt strongly that this was the best investment we could make in Bucknell.”

His gift underscores the University’s commitment to academic excellence and accessibility. “Students like Kylie remind us why scholarship support is Bucknell’s top campaign priority,” says President Brian C. Mitchell. “Ben made a difference for her, and she is making a difference in the world.”

For Brandt, the award has meant much more than money. Sampson sets an example of alumni loyalty in several other ways, including his support of the CLIMBucknell outdoor education facility in nearby Cowan.

“Ben taught me the value of giving back to a community that has given me so much,” says Brandt. “I chose to take his attitude of active engagement, which helped me get the most out of my Bucknell experience.”

Scholarship recipient Stephen Wakulchik ’10 recently presented Sampson with a painting that represents his philanthropy. In it, a deeply rooted tree scatters seeds to the wind, spreading new life—a fitting metaphor for the healthy return on his Bucknell investment.