May 22, 2015, BY Matt Hughes

The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way has honored Bucknell University as its 2014 Business of the Year.

Keri Albright, president and CEO of the United Way, said the award recognizes the University's "extraordinary support for the diversity of their investments in not only United Way, but in many organizations and communities across the region, offering a lot of funding and talent that runs deep."

In the past 10 years, Bucknell has contributed more than $350,000 in funding and in-kind contributions for United Way, but Albright said that only scratches the surface of the University's commitment to the surrounding region. Josh Grill, Bucknell's executive director of alumni relations, serves on the coalition's board; Professors Ruth Tincoff, Brandn Green, Carl Milofsky and Ben Marsh participate in its Impact Councils; faculty and staff regularly partner with community organizations to find solutions to local problems; and students frequently volunteer and work as interns for United Way and its partner programs.

"On multiple levels, Bucknell reaches into the community," Albright said.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way provides resources for programs serving residents of Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties with positive impacts in six areas: drug and alcohol abuse, at-risk teens, public transportation, early childhood education, poverty and diversity.

"As a United Way board member, I am humbled by the kind of support that our campus provides to the United Way and to so many other local non-profit agencies," Grill said when informed of the award. "As a member of the campus community, I am grateful that Bucknell staff, faculty and students have been honored for their longtime support of the United Way."

In the future, Bucknell's commitment to United Way and local service providers will continue to deepen. This spring, Hillary LeDesma '15, an intern with United Way, started a student United Way group at Bucknell, only the third in Pennsylvania.

"I come from a low-income community in Houston, Texas, and I've seen how important service can be for people and communities going through hard times," LeDesma said. "Our campus has such a large pool of incredible students, and I think we as a student community can make a difference. It is essential that students graduate having experienced the importance of service and having changed the community we live in for the better."