Dear Staff Colleagues,

With commencement now just over two weeks away, I write to express thanks to the many staff from Events Management, Facilities, Dining, Provost’s Office, Registrar’s Office, Communications, Student Life and other departments working on the countless details associated with making commencement weekend at Bucknell a beautiful and unforgettable experience for our graduates and their families.

This year’s commencement activities feature a range of great traditions at the University. Friday events include the wine and cheese reception at 9 p.m., while Saturday’s include the president’s senior award ceremony, departmental receptions that afternoon, that evening’s inter-religious baccalaureate service at the Weis Center, and the candlelighting ceremony at 9 p.m. Commencement, of course, is Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m., followed by the Graduates Farewell Luncheon. You can see the full schedule of events at

 This year we are also introducing the inaugural commencement concert on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in the Weis Center. This concert will feature the world-renowned traditional Irish folk group Cherish the Ladies with special guests that include Grammy-nominee singer Maura O’Connell; world-champion Irish dancers; and a string ensemble conducted by our own Professor of Music, Christopher Para. You can get tickets for this event now at the Weis Center and other campus box office locations.

For this year’s commencement ceremony, we will also be trying an experiment. After my first commencement at Bucknell last May, I heard from a variety of families that were seated further back in the crowd that they had a hard time seeing their graduates receive diplomas. With the technology available today, this is something difficult to explain to parents who have invested so much in their students’ education. We therefore are going to use two temporary large screens for the commencement ceremony so that all of our guests can witness the entire ceremony and celebrate our students’ achievements.

These screens will be mounted above the two canopies on each side of the stage in which the faculty and administration are seated. We have hired an experienced firm to install these temporary screens and believe they will make a big difference to all our families so that no matter where they are seated they will be able to enjoy this ceremony in a more intimate way and see their graduates receive their diplomas. My thanks to the staff from Events Management and Facilities doing special work arranging these screens.

I look forward to enjoying commencement weekend with you.




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