Since its founding, 17 presidents and eight acting presidents have served Bucknell. Under their leadership, Bucknell has grown from a "Literary Institution and Female High School" to a University of more than 3,500 undergraduate and 60 graduate students and about 350 full-time, tenure-line faculty.
Significant achievements mark the growth of Bucknell — from modest origins to its stature as one of the top national liberal arts institutions offering more than 50 majors and 65 minors in its two colleges— the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering.
The 40 years from 1890 until 1930 showed a steady increase in the number of faculty members and students. When the Depression brought a drop in enrollment in 1933, several members of the faculty were "loaned" to found a new institution: Bucknell Junior College in Wilkes-Barre. Today, that institution is a four-year university, Wilkes University, independent of Bucknell since 1947.