A blue and orange illustration of pathways on Malesardi Quad, with Bertrand Library in the lower right foreground.

Bucknell Launches New Center for Access & Success

March 15, 2023

by Mike Ferlazzo

The new Center for Access & Success will provide a cohesive system of support and mentoring for students entering Bucknell through its national and signature pathway scholarship programs.

Building on the institution's strategic priorities of increasing access and diversity, at the February Board of Trustees meeting in New York City, President John Bravman announced the establishment of Bucknell University's Center for Access & Success. The new center will serve students enrolled in Bucknell's five national and signature pathway scholarship programs, providing a cohesive system of high-touch mentoring and support throughout their four years on campus and enhancing their ability to excel at the University.

The center will focus on students from the following programs:

  • The Gateway Scholars Program, Bucknell's newest pathway program, which will enroll 20 high-achieving first-generation college students each year who demonstrate financial need, providing resources to meet their full needs without loans.
  • The Charles T. Bauer Scholars Program, which each year offers need-based Bucknell scholarships to three to five highly qualified students from the city of Baltimore or Baltimore County, Md.
  • The Posse Scholars Program, which is supported by the Posse Foundation and provides annual Bucknell scholarships for 10 high-achieving students with leadership potential from under-resourced schools in each of three partner cities — Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
  • The Langone and Langone-Walling Scholarships, which are annually awarded to 11 prospective students who have evidenced high integrity, loyalty and steadfast determination in their daily lives. Award criteria for both scholarships include service to school, family or community, or overcoming difficult circumstances.
  • The Bucknell Community College Scholars Program, which each year enrolls around 20 high-achieving, low-to-moderate income community college students, providing them a full-tuition award.

The center's vision is deeply personal to Bucknell President John Bravman, who earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford University. "As a first-generation student who struggled while adjusting to college life, I know that simply being admitted to the college of your choice does not guarantee success," Bravman says. "Ongoing support and guidance throughout the four-year experience is critical. Bucknell's Center for Access & Success will offer many of our underrepresented students the resources they need to have the best possible educational experience here."

The center will administer and further develop Bucknell's signature pathway programs as well as the University's efforts in the American Talent Initiative — a growing alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to expanding opportunity and access for low- and moderate-income students. Using data about academic experiences and outcomes, and working with other campus offices, the center will determine the most effective ways to support Bucknell students in those programs. The personal, relationship-based approach of the center's initiatives will strengthen pathway students’ sense of belonging and ability to succeed at Bucknell.

"The center will serve as a home for current and future pathway students, and will provide services and support tailored to meet the needs of these students and their families," says Lisa Keegan, vice president for enrollment management. "Bucknell has a long tradition of recruiting students from diverse backgrounds, but their success requires a commitment to support them throughout their time at Bucknell. This will allow the University to better serve underrepresented students through a more robust, cohesive and strategic approach."

The center will serve up to 300 Bucknell students at any one time. It will be led by the Andrew Hartman '71 & Joseph Fama '71 Executive Director of the Center for Access & Success, a position made possible by Andrew '71 and Janet Bauer Hartman 'P01, and by the Charles T. Bauer Foundation. The position is expected to be filled this spring.

The center is scheduled to be fully operational by fall 2023.