Wide shot of convention

A Turning Point

July 17, 2015

by Christina Masciere Wallace

The WE DO Management event at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, April 2014.

WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University, is going strong — and the University hopes to keep that momentum moving for future students.

With two years to go, the WE DO Campaign has raised $350 million in gifts and pledges toward its half-a-billion-dollar goal — and University leaders are confident that Bucknellians will finish strong.

"This is an extraordinary time in the life of the University," says President John Bravman. "Campaign gifts are enhancing our curriculum and campus and improving the student experience every day. We're grateful to our donors for being part of what I believe will be viewed as a turning point in institutional history. At the same time, there remain many opportunities to get involved — or more involved."

More than $111 million has been raised for financial aid, the top campaign priority. "Being able to offer more aid to top applicants is critical to Bucknell's relevance, strength and ability to prepare every student for success in today’s world," says Bravman, the first in his family to go to college.

The campaign has also provided more than $42 million to develop faculty and staff, including endowments to support eight professorships, three academic fellowships and a coaching position.

The most visible WE DO impact can be seen during a walk around campus, where $40 million in campaign funding has been invested in facilities. The most recent examples include Academic West, which opened in 2013; a new residential complex set to open in August; and the Graham Building, which will house the campus health and wellness center, as well as wrestling facilities, beginning in fall 2016.

The national WE DO event tour also offers tangible evidence of support for the University. Bucknell alumni, parents and friends have flocked to cities across the country to meet with professors and students and to hear about initiatives made possible through campaign gifts. This is an important measure of success, says Steve Holmes '79, P'06, P'08, campaign chair and vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

"Bucknell has never done regional events on this scale. That's very eye-opening to guests," he says. "This pride is transforming our culture of philanthropy and reinforcing the message that institutions like Bucknell need support to thrive and grow."

That will impact the way students see the University when they are alumni, Holmes adds.

"We're trying to be as clear as we can about our critical needs and that if we want to continue to be a leader in undergraduate education, we need support to make that happen. WE DO is not just about this campaign. It's about laying the groundwork for Bucknell's future."

For more information on the WE DO Campaign, please visit bucknell.edu/WeDo.