Bucknell Set to Celebrate Class of 2023 Commencement

May 5, 2023

by Mike Ferlazzo

Commencement 2022 on Malesardi Quad. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

Celebrating the academic achievements of nearly 900 students from the Class of 2023 representing 37 states and 20 countries, Bucknell University's 173rd Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 14, on Malesardi Quadrangle. Jay Wright '83 — a CBS Sports college basketball analyst who retired in April 2022 as a highly successful men's basketball coach at Villanova University, where he guided the program to two NCAA championships and four Final Fours — will deliver the keynote address.

The University will tentatively confer 894 degrees — 884 bachelor's degrees and 10 master's degrees. The College of Arts & Sciences will confer 552 undergraduate degrees, the College of Engineering will award 177, and the Freeman College of Management will confer 155.

The student speaker for Commencement will be Kaia Rendo '23, an English — creative writing, political science and Spanish triple-major from Elmwood Park, N.J. Tom McKillop '23, a music and history double-major from Scarsdale, N.Y., will sing the national anthem.

As in past years, the ceremony will be livestreamed on Bucknell's Commencement web page and Facebook page.

Commencement Speaker


Jay Wright '83 was Villanova University's Commencement speaker last May. Photo by Paul Crane, Villanova University

Wright became head coach of the Villanova men's basketball program in 2001 and posted a record of 520-197 (.725) in 21 seasons, which included national championships in 2016 and 2018. In his final season, Villanova advanced to the fourth NCAA Final Four of Wright's tenure. He also coached Hofstra University from 1994 through 2001, winning 642 games during his coaching career. He has coached basketball teams representing the United States four times in international competitions, including serving as an assistant coach at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

In January 2020, Wright was named the Associated Press Men's Basketball Coach of the Decade. He is a two-time winner of the Naismith National Coach of the Year award and a six-time Big East Coach of the Year recipient. He received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2018 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Under his leadership, every Villanova player who spent four years in the program under Wright earned his degree.

Wright announced his retirement as Villanova William B. Finneran Endowed Head Men's Basketball Coach in April 2022 and now serves as special assistant to the president of the university, where he is involved in fundraising, advising, education and more. He also joined CBS Sports as a college basketball analyst this past season.

Wright was a member of the Bucknell men's basketball team before graduating in 1983 with degrees in economics and sociology. He was featured in the Winter 2017 edition of Bucknell Magazine.

Weather Updates
If severe weather is likely, including thunderstorms with lightning, high winds, heavy or prolonged rain, Commencement may be delayed or moved indoors. This will be determined by 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Announcements about the change will be made through campus email notification and on the Commencement website. Signs will be posted at the entrances to Malesardi Quadrangle and the lobby of the Elaine Langone Center. The University telephone operators will also be providing information at 570-577-2000.

The procession and Ceremony may also be delayed by up to two hours, then remain outdoors as planned.

If the ceremony is forced indoors, it will be held in Gerhard Fieldhouse at 10 a.m. Only graduates and ticket holders will be permitted. Other guests will be able to view a live broadcast of the event at one of several locations, including the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Trout Auditorium in the Vaughan Literature Building and several classrooms. || Campus map

For more information, including a complete schedule of all Commencement Weekend events, registration and general information, visit Commencement 2023.