Holmes Hall opened last fall as the new home of the Freeman College of Management and Department of Art & Art History. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications
While the Freeman College of Management officially marks its fifth anniversary on July 1, the celebration has been going all year — starting with the opening of Holmes Hall and encompassing the college's first top 20 appearance in the "Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2022" rankings by Poets&Quants for Undergrads.
Raquel Alexander, the Kenneth W. Freeman Professor and the dean of the Freeman College of Management, emphasizes that this is just the latest in a series of achievements since the college's founding in 2017.
"The remarkable naming gift from Ken '72 and Janice Freeman has enabled us to double the size of our entering class, broaden our academic offerings to eight majors and two minors, and pair every student with an alumni mentor," Alexander says. "Based upon student outcomes and experiences, we earned a No. 17 ranking among undergraduate schools nationwide for 2022."
The expansion of educational offerings includes the launch of a new major program in business analytics, the reimagining of the college's already strong finance and accounting curriculum and the debut of a minor in real estate built upon the enthusiastic support of alumni working in the industry. Programs like these have placed the Freeman College at the vanguard of innovation in management education from its very inception.
"Our approach to management education — interdisciplinary and experiential — prepares Bucknellians to lead ethically and solve the complex challenges that will face current and future generations. The world needs more leaders, and more Bucknellians," Alexander adds.
Raquel Alexander, the Kenneth W. Freeman Professor and Dean of the Freeman College of Management, stands with Kenneth Freeman, the college's namesake and former Bucknell Board of Trustees chairman, during the Holmes Hall dedication event last October. Photo by April Bartholemew
The college's establishment a half-decade ago was built on the foundation of more than 100 years of management education at Bucknell. Ken Freeman — then the chair of the Bucknell Board of Trustees — was instrumental in the formation of the college, which now bears his name.
"The faculty and staff of the College of Management have made amazing progress in a few short years, from quickly gaining accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), to creating an array of innovative learning opportunities for students, to constructing a state-of-the-art facility that uniquely brings business and art together under one roof and more," Freeman says. "We have great pride in what has been accomplished, and are excited about the future."
The students are reaping the benefits. Just ask Luke Grover '22 and Bridget Tobin '22, who were named by Poets&Quants among the "100 Best & Brightest Business Majors of 2022."
"I think the [college's] evolution in the leadership sense — where it's not just academic and it's pushed toward that sustainable, empathetic leadership side of every student — is something that's evolved since I started," says Grover, now an associate auditor in banking capital markets for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"I think the holistic approach of the college has evolved too," adds Tobin, now a wealth management strategy analyst at Bank of America. "It provides a holistic view for you to explore whatever you want and then do whatever you want."
Because Freeman graduates like Grover and Tobin regularly land impressive post-graduation positions with top firms, opportunities for students to connect with and be mentored by alumni grow stronger every year, deepening the educational experience.
Tobin looks forward to the opportunity to share her experiences with future generations of Freeman students.
"Many alumni we met were not part of the management college [since it’s now just 5-years-old], so we'll be some of the first Freeman College of Management alumni — and I think that will be really special when we come back," she says. "I'm a big supporter of coming back and serving the people who helped me and being a resource for future students."