May 16, 2016, BY Christina Masciere Wallace

MacDonald Commons
The former Commons Building is now MacDonald Commons. Photo by Brett Simpson, Division of Communications

Bucknell has long been a family affair for Randy and Kathy MacDonald, parents of Megan MacDonald Hodgson '02. Over the years, the couple have enthusiastically immersed themselves in University life through a variety of high-level volunteer roles and philanthropy. 

Thanks to their most recent gift, the former Commons Building and hub of the South Campus Apartment complex has a new identity: MacDonald Commons. The formal dedication took place at an April 29 Board of Trustees luncheon in the building's multipurpose room — which was fitting, given that Randy MacDonald is a trustee and past vice chair of the board. President John Bravman thanked family members in attendance, including Randy, Kathy, Megan and her husband, Dawson Hodgson '00, and grandsons Win and Charlie Hodgson.  

"The love Randy and Kathy have for the University is deep, genuine and very tangibly expressed, and it comes from their initial roles as Bucknell parents," said Bravman, who noted the neither Randy nor Kathy are Bucknell alumni. "Their impact and their legacy here are extraordinary."  

The MacDonalds began their Bucknell involvement by joining the Parents Board, of which Randy served as president — an experience that left a lasting impression.

"We saw how Bucknell appreciates the parents of students and graduates," he said. "We were invited into the Bucknell family, and we feel like a part of it. Families take care of one another. That's what Kathy, Megan and I wanted to do with this gift, which reflects our affinity for the institution."  

The gift speaks specifically to the value the MacDonalds place on Bucknell's residential, living-learning environment and the beyond-the-classroom experiences Bucknell students enjoy.  

 Kathy and Randy MacDonald P'02. Photo by Brett Simpson, Division of Communications
Kathy and Randy MacDonald P'02. Photo by Brett Simpson, Division of Communications

"You can have the best and brightest graduates from the foremost school in the world, but if they don't know how to socially and professionally interact and work as a team on a broad array of issues, they're not going to be the most effective employees," said Randy, a retired senior vice president for human resources at IBM Corp.

The social hub of South Campus, MacDonald Commons offers students numerous engagement opportunities. A multipurpose room and lounges provide gathering spaces for study and recreation. Student-run programming includes special events for all students to enjoy. An à la carte restaurant with booth and table seating for 80 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner during the academic year. Orange and blue Adirondack chairs on the adjacent patio offer inviting outdoor seating.  

In January, MacDonald Commons became Bucknell's first building to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The nearby South Campus Apartments achieved LEED Gold certification in February.  

As the dedication came to an end, it was Randy's turn to express gratitude. "Kathy and I are extremely pleased that we have been able to be so engaged with the University," he told the crowd. "This is just a very, very special day for our family, especially because we are now even more amazingly linked to Bucknell. Thank you for making it possible."  

WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University

Residential Learning is one of six campaign initiatives of WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University. The most ambitious campaign in University history, the WE DO Campaign seeks to raise $500 million.