In 1881, facing dire finances, the University turned to William Bucknell, a charter member of the board of trustees, for help. His generous donation of $50,000 saved the University from ruin. For the remainder of his life, Bucknell gave generously to the University and in 1886 in recognition of that generosity the trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the University at Lewisburg to Bucknell University.
Bucknell Hall, the first of several buildings given to the University by Bucknell, was initially a chapel and for more than a half century the site of student theatrical and musical performances. Today, it houses the Stadler Center for Poetry.