The strategic significance of Diversity for the future of Bucknell is compelling yet simple. Diverse perspectives and experiences in the classroom create more profound kinds of learning. Differences in race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic class, religion, political perspectives, geographic origins, gender, sexual orientation, and physical capabilities all contribute to a student’s ability to examine issues from multiple and sometimes unique perspectives — a foundational skill for effective critical thinking. Out of class, sharing a complete residential experience in which students, faculty, and staff represent diversity in all its forms teaches students respect and appreciation for diverse people, places, cultures, and interests. That experience prepares Bucknell graduates to live and work in a democratic society that thrives on differences, and in a world that is globally integrated and intercultural.
Openness to diversity is not a new strategy for Bucknell. It is a fundamental institutional value reflected in the founders’ acceptance of all individuals of good character who could benefit from a Bucknell education. These historic values, advanced for their time, are today both critical and essential for the University’s future. They are represented in the University’s Mission: students will develop a "deep understanding of different cultures and diverse perspectives."
Bucknell’s comprehensive diversity strategy — embracing diversity in all its forms — is designed to ensure that students will benefit in transformational ways both onand off-campus. On-campus initiatives seek to build a campus community characterized by multi-dimensional diversity that fosters productive interactions and civil discourse among community members. Further, it develops a campus climate that is receptive, welcoming, and supportive. Similar outcomes are sought through carefully structured off-campus experiences such as internships, study abroad, and strategic partnerships with community colleges, magnet schools, and other educational institutions with diverse student populations.
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