President John Bravman poses at the 2024 Posse Gala

President John Bravman One of Posse Foundation’s Gala Star Honorees

June 7, 2024

by Mike Ferlazzo

President John Bravman stands with Bucknell Posse Scholars Hillary De La Cruz '27 and Manuel Teshe '23, who introduced him at the Gala. Photo provided by The Posse Foundation

Bucknell University President John C. Bravman was one of three Gala Star honorees at The Posse Foundation's May 22 Annual Gala – An Evening of Stars in New York City.

The Posse Foundation is a nonprofit college access and leadership program designed to bring exceptional student leaders and scholars to institutions across the nation. It annually selects as Gala Star honorees three individuals who exhibit leadership, make a significant contribution in the field of education and positively affect people’s lives.

"We are thrilled to stand in partnership with President Bravman who is so clearly committed to access to education, to building an inclusive campus community and to supporting 120 Posse Scholars at Bucknell every single year," said Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial. "We are proud to have presented him with the Posse Star."

Bravman has prioritized the University's ongoing efforts to strengthen the campus culture and deepened its commitment to providing students with an exceptional academic experience that leads to a lifetime of personal and professional success. In 2018 he spearheaded the Plan for Bucknell 2025, which established goals to advance the University's four institutional priorities, including those related to diversity and inclusion.

"Posse has been part of Bucknell's commitment to a diverse campus for nearly 20 years, and I was humbled to be honored by the Posse Foundation," Bravman says. "It has connected Bucknell with talented student leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds. Posse scholars are campus leaders who bring invaluable perspectives and ideas to all aspects of life at Bucknell, in and out of the classroom. These students have a very high potential to make a difference throughout their lives, and that is perfectly aligned with Bucknell's mission."

The Bucknell Posse Scholars Program brings 30 new students to campus each year from Boston, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, resulting in about 120 students on campus per academic year. The application and nomination process is coordinated by the Posse Foundation, and students who are chosen as Posse Scholars receive a scholarship for tuition. Bucknell has now welcomed 50 total Posse cohorts, and in 2025, the University will celebrate its 20th anniversary of D.C. Posse 1.

Bucknell's Posse Scholars have held leadership roles on campus as students and established highly successful careers as alumni. The University's 2024 Commencement keynote speaker, Nadia Sasso '11 — a creative producer and digital storyteller whose work has been recognized by former President Barack Obama and former network news anchor Katie Couric, among others — was a Posse scholar.

Posse is a cornerstone of Bucknell's recently opened Center for Access & Success, which brings together the University’s pathway programs and supports participating students throughout their years at Bucknell.

"It's been a tremendous partnership for the University [with Posse] and one we are committed to nurturing in the future," Bravman says.

Annie Seibold Drapeau '88, who will become the next chair of the Bucknell Board of Trustees July 1, serves on the board of directors of the Posse Foundation and chairs the Posse Boston Advisory Board.

Last year, the University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend Bravman's contract through at least 2028. His second contract extension will give him the third-longest tenure among Bucknell presidents.