May 21, 2012


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host Reunion Weekend May 31 to June 3, with thousands of alumni and their families planning to return to the campus.

Bucknellians who come back to campus may participate in a variety of activities, including a discussion of the campus master plan, faculty reception and an open house at the Environmental Center.

In addition, Reunion will feature class year events, career workshops, children's activities, including a Family Fun Festival and soccer clinic; Alumni University classes; a golf tournament; canoe trips on the Susquehanna River; and gatherings for fraternities, sororities, athletics and other affinity groups.

There will be a book signing Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m. in the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore, Lewisburg. Author, 1949 alumnus and Professor Emeritus of English John Wheatcroft will sign copies of his latest book, Portrait of a Lover, 10 a.m., Copies of Wheatcroft's other books, including Catherine, Her Book and Fugitive Self, will be available. Local author Bob Gaines will sign copies of his book, The Three Mathewsons, about Christy Mathewson, a Bucknell graduate and baseball's first All-American idol and his family, all of whom were Bucknellians.

There will be a free fireworks display Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Spectators may view the fireworks from the Academic Quad in front of Bertrand Library. Parking will be available on the farm lot off Seventh Street via South Campus Drive or above the stadium. Dent Drive between Seventh Street and the stadium will be closed from 9 to 11:30 p.m.

A returning highlight of the annual Reunion Rally in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts will be a theatrical, musical and multimedia production featuring Bucknell students and celebrating alumni.

The rally will feature actor John Bolger, a 1977 Bucknell graduate who has starred as Garrett Prescott Floyd on the ABC daytime drama "General Hospital" since 2006.

A graduate of New York University's drama school, Bolger pursued postgraduate work in stagecraft at off-Broadway's Hudson Guild Theater, before entering architectural school at Cooper Union.

After a two-year program at New York's Circle in the Square, he co-founded the Willow Cabin Theatre Company in 1988. Bolger not only performs, but is involved in every aspect of production, including set design and costume.

Previous roles include Gabe McNamara on "Another World" and Phillip Spaulding on "Guiding Light." He also starred in the primetime series "Everything's Relative" with Jason Alexander, and guest starred on shows such as "NYPD Blue" and "New York Undercover," as well as the Lifetime television movie, "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story."

In addition to the theatrical performance, the Alumni Association will honor its four 2012 award recipients through a combination video and in-person celebration.

  • William Dearstyne, a 1962 graduate, will receive one of two awards for Loyalty to Bucknell for his 50 years of service. A member of the Bucknell Athletic Hall of Fame and the first Bucknell swimmer to compete at the NCAA championship, he has been a long and loyal supporter of the Bucknell swimming program, helping to establish the Robert A. Latour Swimming and Diving Endowment in 2002. A member of the Board of Trustees, he has served as a member of both the Bison Club and Alumni Association Boards.
  • Nancy Dwyer Kolb, who graduated in 1962, will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement in a Chosen Profession. Kolb recently retired as President and CEO of the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. As the museum's leader, she spearheaded an $88 million project which involved the restoration of Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park (a registered National Historic Landmark) and the Museum's move to that location. She also was a key player in the creation of the Centennial District.
  • Donald Manning, a 1952 graduate, will receive the award for Loyalty to Bucknell. For 60 years, he has been an active volunteer for Bucknell, chairing numerous Reunion planning committees and serving as president of three Bucknell Clubs. He also has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and has worked as a Bison Club, Career Development Center and annual giving volunteer.
  • S.P. "Wije"Wijegoonaratna, who graduated in 1987, will receive the award for Service to Humanity Award, honoring his work conceiving, developing and leading the Sri Lanka Care Foundation (SLC). In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, Wijegoonaratna assisted his fellow countrymen by founding SLC to undertake community development and home construction activities, as well as the construction of Sri Lanka's largest orphanage.
  • Karen Horn Welch, a 1997 graduate, will receive the Young Alumni Award. Director of portfolio strategy at the Stanford Management Company, Welch has balanced a career in the financial industry with significant volunteerism. Welch has served as a member of the Alumni Board, has appeared as a guest lecturer, and worked on behalf of the Career Development Center, Bucknell Finance Network, admissions, and her class committee.

Contact: Division of Communications

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