April 12, 2010

Dear Bucknell Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I have the privilege of announcing to you that John C. Bravman, Ph.D., a distinguished professor and academic leader at Stanford University, will be named the 17th president of Bucknell University by unanimous vote of the Board. Dr. Bravman will begin his duties as president on July 1, 2010.

John has overseen Stanford's undergraduate program as Freeman‐Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education for eleven years. He is also the Bing Centennial Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, professor of electrical engineering by courtesy and dean of Stanford's Freshman‐Sophomore Residential College, which he founded in 1999. As one of Stanford's preeminent leaders, John has been a highly visible representative of Stanford around the world. He is well prepared to guide Bucknell as it continues moving forward with The Plan for Bucknell and the many crucial initiatives, from the comprehensive campaign to the campus master plan, that are part of it.

John is also a master teacher and scholar. He has received nearly every Stanford teaching and advising award, including Stanford's highest teaching honor, and is world‐renowned for his research in the field of thin‐film materials. We are excited about his deep devotion to the many missions of undergraduate education, and the especially active role that he has played at Stanford in building a unique residential education program and developing effective recruitment programs in under‐resourced school districts. He believes passionately in the teacher‐scholar model of education, and has been tireless in promoting faculty‐student partnerships.

Besides being a highly accomplished teacher, scholar and university administrator, John is beloved at Stanford for his generosity, transparency and leadership. During our extensive time with him during this search, we have come to know John as a person of character and warmth, good humor, and tremendous energy, and have been deeply impressed by the stellar reputation as a person and as a professional that he has earned during his extraordinary career. I am quite confident you will enjoy getting to know John, as we have, for he is a humble person who also possesses great strength and resolve and a keen command of the major issues facing the best liberal arts institutions.

John is married to Dr. Wendelin Wright, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Santa Clara University. She is expected to join the Bucknell mechanical engineering faculty in a tenure‐track position. John and Wendy's first child, a boy, is Cole Keating Bravman, and John has two grown sons, Christopher and Matthew. As a community we join in welcoming John and Wendy to Bucknell with great enthusiasm, and in celebrating with them the wonderful news of Cole's arrival. You will find much more about Dr. Bravman, including video interviews, in material being posted now on the Bucknell website.

John's appointment follows a national search that began last summer after President Mitchell announced his decision to conclude his tenure this year. The Presidential Search Committee was chaired by Trustee Steve Holmes, and comprised several trustees, members of the faculty, members of the staff, a student, an alumni representative and a parent participant, and was assisted by the executive search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates.

Special thanks are due to Steve and the members of the committee for their total commitment to the success of this search. The search committee evaluated a strong and diverse pool of candidates, and assessed finalists through an intensive review process, including multiple rounds of in‐person interviews, reference checks, and finalists' meetings with representatives of the trustees, faculty, staff and students. We are grateful to the search committee for their excellent work.

Most of all, this appointment reflects in a significantly positive way on the Bucknell community, from our stellar students, faculty and staff to Bucknell's alumni, parents and friends worldwide. John and Wendy look forward to meeting Bucknellians near and far in the coming days and months as they become part of the life of our University.

Please join me in welcoming John and Wendy to the Bucknell community.


Kenneth W. Freeman '72
Chair, Board of Trustees