Class of 2010 SPEECHES

President Brian C. Mitchell
Professor John Rickard
Provost Mary DeCredico


Bucknell University
August 18, 2006
Rooke Chapel

Proclamation of Matriculation – President Brian C. Mitchell

On your programs is a pin that is yours to keep forever as a Bucknellian. On this pin are shown the Christy Mathewson Gates. These gates are the official point of entry and exit for the Bucknell campus.

The gates are named after the great Christy Mathewson, a model example of a Bucknellian. While a student at Bucknell, he was an all-around person, student, and leader. He sang in the glee club, belonged to the literary society and drama society, and was the star of the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. He was also student government president. AND: He was a dean's list, straight-A student on top of all that. I also have to tell you that he was a model of clean living. And, not to rest on his laurels, he was also an author of a series of children's books.

This only proves what I have always believed: Bucknell students are, fundamentally, overachievers.

But, as you may know, Mathewson is remembered best not as a Bucknell student, hard as that is to believe, but as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. More than that, in an era when the sport was known for its hard-living, hard-drinking baseball players, Christy Mathewson proved that there was another way for athletes to live. He was the role model after whom every parent wanted their children to shape their lives.

No pressure on you there.

As a major league baseball player, Mathewson was a fierce competitor. And he became arguably the most dominating pitcher of all time. In 1936, he joined Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson as the first class of baseball Hall of Famers.  

We only open the Christy Mathewson Gates twice a year. Today is one of those times. I will tell you about the other after we sing the Alma Mater.

The pin that you are about to wear symbolizes your initiation into the class of 2010.  I hope that you will treasure it and look to it as a constant reminder that you will forever be a part of a special group of people called Bucknellians.  We are proud that you are a Bucknell student.

I now ask you to attach the pin to the front of your dress, shirt or jacket.

I am now pleased to introduce Bucknell’s all male a cappella group, The Bison Chips.  Please stand for the singing of our alma mater, Dear Bucknell.

Class of 2010: Momentarily, you will walk out the door through a set of luminaries. We will proceed through them to push open the Christy Mathewson Gates. The next time these gates will open to you will be at your Commencement, when you will process through the gates to the Commencement ceremony, which will mark the completion of your studies as a Bucknell student.

Walking through the gates signifies your official entry into the Bucknell community. As you walk toward the gates, reflect upon what you hope to accomplish the next four years and set some dreams for yourself. And, remember, you are a Bucknellian: Dream big.

Please remain standing for the Benediction.