May 14, 2018, BY Beth Kaszuba

Kenneth Freeman sits at a table with students.
Ken Freeman '72 and students in the first Freeman College of Management graduating class celebrate the college's naming. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

As a member of Bucknell's inaugural Kenneth W. Freeman College of Management graduating class, Karen Somasundaram '18 is excited about her own future — and the prospects for management students who will follow in her footsteps.

"As a first-generation college student, I feel honored to be part of the first graduating class of the Freeman College of Management," said Somasundaram, who majors in global management. "I'm so proud that we attained college status and are the first named college at Bucknell. I hope these changes will draw prospective students, and that they will feel as confident and prepared to succeed as I do."

The first Freeman College of Management graduating class, broken down by major.

The college, elevated from a school in July 2017, was named in January in recognition of a $25 million gift from Kenneth '72 and Janice Freeman, who also provided funding to establish the Kenneth W. Freeman Professorship & Dean of Management position, which is held by Raquel Alexander.

Ken '72 and Janice Freeman meet with students at a luncheon in the University’s Weis Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

"Kenneth Freeman's gift, like all donations to Bucknell, means a great deal to current and future students," said MIDE major Scott Chambers '18, who added that he was grateful for the opportunity to be part of an evolving curriculum. "The college has allowed me to gain a unique and forward-thinking education that I couldn't find anywhere else. I applied to Bucknell specifically for the MIDE program because it combines the solid foundation of a marketing degree with digital and creative aspects, which embodies exactly what I want to do after graduation."

Jeff Hagen '18, who majors in accounting & financial management, said he expects the college's naming to further elevate the program's reputation and strengthen the connections between Bucknell's management alumni.

"Thanks to the hard work of students who came before me, the college's incredible professors and Kenneth Freeman's generosity, the reputation of Bucknell's management program continues to grow," he said. "I am very proud to be a member of the inaugural Freeman College of Management class, and I'm excited to join the network of Bucknellians in finance."