John Bravman, a highly respected academic leader and distinguished professor of engineering, became the 17th president of Bucknell University on July 1, 2010. His longtime dedication to undergraduate liberal arts education at the highest level has set an innovative and dynamic tone for his presidency.
During John's first year in office, the University broke ground on infrastructure for Academic West, the first academic building constructed at Bucknell since 2004. Off campus, he continues to strengthen ties between the University and downtown Lewisburg, where Bucknell recently renovated several University properties, including the Campus Theatre, the Post Office Building, and the Entrepreneurs Incubator, Small Business Development Center and Downtown Art Gallery.
In his earliest months at Bucknell, John initiated an in-depth examination of the quality of student life by creating the Campus Climate Task Force. This group of faculty, staff and students assessed student views and actions related to personal responsibility and recommended ways to improve the University experience for all students. Ongoing campus dialogue about expectations of students has been firmly established as a top presidential priority.
John has steadily built a foundation of support through numerous meetings and speaking engagements with Bucknellians across the country and overseas. In October 2012, Bucknell will initiate the public phase of the largest comprehensive campaign in its history, with a goal of raising half a billion dollars.
Prior to joining Bucknell John spent 35 years at Stanford University, where he led their undergraduate program as the vice provost for undergraduate education for 11 years. He played a critical role in Stanford's Campaign for Undergraduate Education, which raised more than $1.1 billion. In recognition of his accomplishments, Stanford awarded him the university's highest honors for both teaching (1989) and for lifetime service (2010).
Born in 1957, John grew up in New York City and on Long Island. He completed his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree in materials science and engineering at Stanford. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and taught primarily in the fields of materials structure and analysis, thin-film mechanical phenomena, microelectronic reliability and high-temperature superconductivity. A tenured professor of electrical engineering, he recently patented two coatings that may make coronary stents safer for heart-disease patients.
John is married to Dr. Wendelin Wright, an associate professor of mechanical and chemical engineering at Bucknell. They have two young sons, Cole and Cooper. John has two older sons, Christopher and Matthew.