First Stop: Independence!

Students in Philadelphia

Hosted by the Freeman College of Management, this exciting program takes first-year students on a five-day educational adventure through Philadelphia. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the "City of Brotherly Love" as you get to know your classmates and student mentors. You'll also have exclusive opportunities to network with alumni and learn about the wide variety of career paths taken by the many Bucknell graduates who work in the city. 

First Stop: Independence! will quickly cement your connections to Bucknell as you explore one of the most vibrant cities in the U.S. Return to campus with knowledge and experience that will help you thrive during your time on campus and well beyond. This unforgettable urban experience is a great foundation for your next four years. 

2022 Pre-Orientation Dates to Know

  • Friday, Aug. 12
    • 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Move-in for Pre-O participants 
    • After move-in, Pre-O programs begin 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16: Last day of Pre-O programs
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17: New Student Orientation begins for all first-year Bucknell students 

Note: Dates and times are tentative and subject to change.

What You’ll Do

In Philadelphia, which is about three hours away from campus, you'll connect with industry leaders in technology, professional sports, real estate and finance. Enjoy private curated experiences, see breathtaking views, soak up art, learn how to navigate the city and explore its distinctive culture — including regional favorites such as Philly cheesesteaks and Tastykakes. 

Whom It’s For

All incoming first-year students are invited to participate in this interdisciplinary program — you do not need to be a management major to participate.  Space is limited to 16 first-year students who will be joined by four Freeman Fellow student mentors.


Accepted students will be asked to pay a nonrefundable $50 fee. The Freeman College of Management will pay all other program associated costs which include meals, travel, shared hotel accommodations, events, program swag and other program-related expenses. Students should plan to bring their own spending money for personal incidentals.

2022 Program Dates

Friday, Aug. 12–Tuesday, Aug. 16
(New Student Orientation begins Wednesday, Aug. 17)


Ivy Kepner, Associate Dean
Freeman College of Management
First Stop: Independence! Program Director

First Stop: Independence! Application

The applications are open. You will need your BUID, email and password to apply. The application portal will close on May 15, 2022, to allow time for all admitted students to apply.

The 16 students selected to participate in this program will be notified in May. At that time, accepted students will be required to pay the $50 nonrefundable deposit to guarantee their spot in the program.


Apply for the First Stop: Independence! Pre-O Program

Apply now

Contact Details

Division of Student Affairs


211 Langone Center