Collage of students: one scuba diving, a student band, a student in a European city, a student with a butterfly net, a student with a device attached to a cell phone, and two students rehearsing a play

20 Things to Do at Bucknell in 2020

December 20, 2019

by Matt Hughes

Being a Bucknellian is all about following your curiosity wherever it guides you. A new year is beckoning, and though it may be cold and gray, you're surely itching for a new experience or two. Whether 2020 will be the year when you publish a groundbreaking research paper, win a conference championship, explore a faraway land or master a new hobby, make it a year to remember. Here are 20 things to do at Bucknell to get you started. 

1. Take a class outside your college

management Class

At Bucknell, we have three colleges, and you aren't limited to only taking classes from your own. Management majors can study film, engineers can explore accounting and art majors can try their hands at engineering design. So follow your curiosity and try something new in any of our three colleges. The chance to complete top liberal arts and professional courses across disciplines is part of what makes Bucknell special.


2. Discover a new country alongside your classmates

Students near waterfall in Costa Rica

Bucknell In programs, like Bucknell in Ghana, new in 2020, immerse small groups of students in the culture of countries around the world — all while keeping up with their Bucknell classes. 

3. Explore the Central Susquehanna Valley 

Hickory Run Buck Wild

Nature awaits just minutes from Bucknell's campus. Climb mountains, bike trails or paddle rivers. Get out there and discover the natural beauty that surrounds us. You can borrow everything you'll need to get started — from kayaks to cookstoves to sleeping bags — from the Outdoor Education & Leadership Rental Center.

4. Dive into undergraduate research

Kyle Fouke Scuba Diving

Take on your own faculty-guided or independent research project, like Jewel Cook '20 and Ana Islas '20, who published the first evidence of carbon monoxide in e-cigarette emissions with their professors, or Kyle Fouke '20, who's looking for evidence of climate change in coral reefs in Australia and Curaçao. Bucknell offers a wide variety of opportunities and funding sources for students to explore their interests through research, including over the summer.

5. Dig into the Campus Farm

Gardening at homecoming

Now in its third year, the five-acre farm near the South Campus Apartments will begin providing campus-grown produce to Bucknell Dining in the coming year. Also coming to the farm in 2020 is an outdoor meditation labyrinth being constructed in partnership with Religious & Spiritual Life as well as a new greenhouse. Pitch in during the farm's regular volunteer hours.

6. Sneak a peek at the new Freeman College of Management/Art & Art History Building

Rendering of the MIDE hallway in the Management/Art & Art History Building

This new home for the Freeman College and Department of Art & Art History will support Bucknell's signature hands-on learning experiences in state-of-the-art classrooms, studios and labs. It will be under construction all year in anticipation of a 2021 opening.

7. Audition for a show 

Kyle Cohick and Emma Saloky in The Play Yet to Be Written

At Bucknell, parts in plays and musicals aren't just reserved for theatre majors. So polish your acting chops and step into the spotlights at Harvey Powers Theatre or Tustin Studio Theatre. 

8. Get creative in our makerspaces 

Student solders electronics in the Maker-E

Want to vinyl-cut a sticker for your laptop, laser-engrave a bookmark or even 3D-print a bust of your own head? Come to one of Bucknell's three on-campus makerspaces, where you'll find the tools to do all this and much more. The 7th Street Studio, Maker-E and Mooney Innovative Design Lab provide a wide variety of basic and high-tech tools for students from all majors to make their ideas into something real. 

9. Become Ray Bucknell

Student jumps in the air near the beach

Who is Ray Bucknell? It depends when you ask. Each week, the Division of Communications hands off the password to our student-run Instagram account, @iamraybucknell, to a different student. Follow along to see who has previously run the account (chances are you may already know a few Rays), then sign up to take your own turn. 

10. Start your own business 

Rebecca Rosenberg

Each fall, BizPitch, Bucknell's annual business pitch competition, rewards up to four promising student startups with seed grants to launch their businesses. Last year's grand prize winner, ReBokeh, started by biomedical engineering major Rebecca Rosenberg '20, is seeking to help those with visual impairments live better lives with simple assistive technology solutions.

11. Help out your neighbors

Management 101 student reads to a child

Become a mentor for local at-risk youth, cook and serve a hot meal made with vegetables grown in Lewisburg's own community garden, or take the plunge into the near-freezing February waters of the Susquehanna River for a good cause. Civic Engagement coordinates these and other easy, frequent opportunities to get involved, and additional programs like those offered through the Small Business Development Center and Coal Region Field Station contribute to the economic development of the region. There are dozens of opportunities to use your talents to have a direct impact on those around you — so get started in the coming year. 

12. Or assist a far-off community in need

Students in the Bucknell Brigade walk through the jungle in Nicaragua

Bucknell students will be assisting disaster recovery efforts in Houston and Puerto Rico through service trips coordinated by Civic Engagement. These add to our two-decade commitment to serving the residents of Nueva Vida, a refugee settlement in Nicaragua, through the Bucknell Brigade program. Sign up to join the effort, or contact Civic Engagement to learn about other ways you can help out. 

13. Enjoy a classic film at the historic Campus Theatre

Campus Theatre Entrance

Classic films weren't meant to be watched on a laptop screen. Experience them the way they were intended at Bucknell's beautifully restored art deco theatre. The Campus shows a constant rotation of classic and first-run films seven days a week — some free for Bucknell students. Don't miss your chance to catch a classic Hitchcock, Kubrick on Scorsese flick in all its cinematic glory. 

14. Try something new in a club — or start your own

Hamza Shittu in guitar club

Bucknell is home to more than 200 clubs and organizations — dedicated to everything from fashion to fencing, service to stand-up comedy, and rugby to role-playing gaming. Can't find a club that fits your interest? Get funding to start your own. Visit the CAP Center to get started. 

15. Join a group fitness class 

KLARC bikes

Try your hand (and feet) at kickboxing, feel the burn with barre or spend a weekend evening doing late-night yoga. Recreation Services hosts group fitness classes for students, faculty and staff throughout the day, seven days a week. Most don't require advance sign-ups — just bring your sneakers and get ready to sweat. 

16. Take learning beyond the classroom at a guest lecture

Ken Burns with students

Opportunities to learn something new aren't confined to the classroom and the lab. Throughout the year, guest speakers bring a world of experience and expertise to Lewisburg in lecture series sponsored by all three of Bucknell's colleges, academic departments and centers and institutes like the Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures. Forecast the 2020 election landscape over a Pizza & Policy lunch, explore the intersection of morality and technology at the Humanities Center, or ponder the mysteries of the universe at a physics & astronomy coffee talk. 

17. Cheer on the Bison, wherever they compete

2018 Patriot League Champs

Bucknell is home to 27 NCAA Division I sports teams. No matter the season, you'll find chances to cheer your classmates to victory on the field, court, pitch or in the pool.

18. Pet a therapy dog 

Therapy dog session

There's no better way to reset a stressful day than a few minutes of quality time with a friendly pooch. Throughout the year, the Susquehanna Trail Dog Training Club regularly brings therapy dogs to campus for just that purpose — look for them near the entrance to Bertrand Library after breaks and around finals. 

19. Celebrate Cafsgiving

Bucknell Pie

Pile on the stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy at the most hotly anticipated Bucknell Dining meal of the year. Bring your stretchy pants and get ready for good food with great friends. You won't want to miss it.

20. Create your own college experience 

Hickory Run Forest

Being a Bucknellian is all about writing your own story. In the coming year, resolve to pour your passion into the things you already love, and embrace your curiosity and try something new. Along the way, you'll discover what truly makes this the experience of a lifetime. 

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Start your journey to Bucknell in 2020