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New! Class of 2011
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LEWISBURG, Pa. — In a unique small-town welcome, dozens of downtown Lewisburg merchants will greet Bucknell's 900-member Class of 2011 with entertainment, free food, and gifts when they arrive this month for new-student orientation.

"Welcome to the Neighborhood: Lewisburg Day," now in its sixth year, will be celebrated Monday, Aug. 20, from noon to 5 p.m.

"I hear from so many merchants that if their son or daughter were going away to school, this is how they'd want them to be welcomed in their new home," said Linda Sterling, executive director of the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, the group that promotes the downtown commercial area and works with the campus New Student Orientation to coordinate the event, one of many held over the five-day student orientation that kicks off Friday, Aug. 17. (Profile of the Class of 2011 and near-record applicants.)

62 merchants partcipating
This year, Sterling counted 62 merchants who plan to participate in the town-gown welcome. That's up from about 50 last year. Each will be provided with the names of about 15 first-year and new transfer students. When a student finds his or her name on a list at a business establishment, they introduce themselves and receive a free gift from the merchant.

In past years, gifts have ranged from homemade cookies and wool bookmarks to chocolate-candy Bison. Along the way, students can sample some of the fare prepared by downtown eating establishments.

New this year, said Sterling, is the addition of live music at a half-dozen business. Also, throughout the afternoon, one business, Flexible Frame Productions, will show at the Campus Theatre, one of the few remaining art deco theaters in the country, a series of movies they've made. Juliana Brafa, a co-owner of the film company, is a 2005 Bucknell graduate.

'Proud of the welcome'
"We're really proud of the welcome," said Sterling. "Whenever we talk to other Main Street managers from around the country, they always tell us how unique it is."

Last year, more than 90 percent of the Class of 2010 participated in the neighborhood welcome, said Amy Badal, assistant dean of students at Bucknell. "The event serves to leave students with a very favorable impression of what will be their new neighborhood for the next four years," said Badal.

And Sterling said the size of the class — at about 900 students this year — is a perfect size for the annual event. If the class was any larger, the welcome could easily lose some of its intimate charm.

Above, Class of 2010 students enjoying last year's "Welcome to the Neighborhood: Lewisburg Day."

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Aug. 2, 2007


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