Organizations for Change

Photo of Riverfront Park in Huntington, WV

Travel with Freeman College of Management professors and fellow students to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where you will enjoy excursions, events and interactions with local leaders — all designed to help you explore the issues affecting this important region. Though this Pre-Orientation program lasts less than a week, the impact it will leave on you — and the impact you will leave on the southern coal region of West Virginia — will last throughout your Bucknell career and beyond.

Organizations for Change will focus on excursions, events and interactions with community members and leaders in companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies involved in cultivating communities of opportunity in central Appalachia. During your time in this program, you will incubate and invest in employment-based social enterprises; facilitate professional, personal and academic development; lead and collaborate on community-based revitalization projects; and build resilient Appalachian communities.

2023 Pre-Orientation Dates to Know

  • Friday, Aug. 11: 
    • 7 – 11 a.m. Move-in for Pre-O participants
    • 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pre-O participants and their parents and families are invited to join us for lunch in Bostwick
    • Pre-O programs begin after move-in
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15:
    • Last day of Pre-O programs
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16:
    • New Student Orientation begins for all first-year Bucknell students 

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

Helping Hand

Create change in Appalachia

Register here

What You’ll Do

For this program, the Freeman College of Management has teamed up with Coalfield Development, a grassroots organization in Huntington, W.Va., dedicated to cultivating socially, environmentally and financially thriving economies that help communities and all kinds of people unlock their full potential power and purpose. Participants in this Pre-O program will tour Coalfield Development's facilities and partner organizations, meet with community members and engage in service-learning activities. Participants will also enjoy several recreational activities, which will be adapted to match students' interests.

Itinerary Overview

Note: This itinerary is subject to change. Participants will receive a detailed itinerary after they register.

  • Trip to Mingo County to discuss the Mine Wars, coal towns, and life and culture in West Virginia
  • Tour West Edge Factory, a social-enterprise incubator in Huntington
  • Tour Black Diamond Warehouse, which is currently being environmentally restored as a makerspace market through a brownfields remediation program
  • Visit Huntington's Kitchen, a community food center
  • Service work day collaborating with coalfield station projects


Participants will stay at Heritage Farms in Huntington, which is a registered Smithsonian Affiliate with a mission of being a source of hope and renewal for the Appalachian region. You'll stay at their Barn Retreat Center, which has been fully renovated to accommodate 20 overnight guests.

Accommodations include bunk beds with twin-sized beds, meeting rooms, restrooms and a full kitchen. You'll enjoy the modern conveniences of the barn's heating/air conditioning, WiFi and cable television with all the charm of yesteryear.

Please note: This is an open-bunk sleeping arrangement. 

Whom It’s For

This Pre-Orientation program is open to all incoming Bucknell students in any college.


$250. Students who receive financial aid will have the attendance fee discounted in proportion to their amount of aid. Light breakfasts, boxed lunches and dinners will be provided. Students will likely want some spending money for incidentals.

Why Choose This Pre-O

This region is similar to areas around Bucknell in the Anthracite Coal Region. The Freeman College of Management works with the University's Coal Region Field Station on a variety of service and experiential learning projects, student internships and consulting opportunities in the coal region.

Addressing the problems and opportunities in these small towns provides insights into economic development, community resilience and civil society, and are of particular importance to our understanding of responsible management and sustainable values. In addition, understanding the impacts of change as we move away from coal in terms of education, jobs, health and wellness is of particular importance.


Professor Neil Boyd, program director

Professor Eric Martin, program director