Byron Denenberg ’56 and Judy Plattman Denenberg ’57

When psychology major Judy Plattman ’57 returned from the Delta Upsilon pledge dance she attended with mechanical engineering major Byron Denenberg ’56, her roommate told her that she had stars in her eyes. “She also predicted that we would marry and even wrote it down to prove that she had known it from the start,” says Judy.

Of course her roommate’s powers of perception were correct. (Today we know that her roommate had good odds in her favor: About 15 percent of Bucknellians marry each other.) Judy and Byron were engaged and married in 1957. They have been counting their lucky stars ever since—55 years to be exact.

Throughout their years together, the Denenbergs have also had a love affair with Bucknell. Judy says, “It’s because we want to give back to Bucknell for all that it has given us.”  She names among those gifts an excellent education for the two of them, as well as lifelong friendships. However, Byron adds, “The best gift we received was each other.”

They are proud to have seven extended family members who have attended Bucknell, including a great-nephew who is a student today. “We are grateful for unforgettable life experiences and lessons during our college years at Bucknell," says Judy. That appreciation led them to become keenly interested in providing scholarships to Bucknell, especially to students from a diversity of backgrounds.

Many Bucknell families want to share the Orange and Blue experience with others, which explains the many families with multiple Bucknell degrees stretching across generations. Bucknellians also understandably enjoy the University’s far-reaching name, and the warm recognition when they encounter one another by surprise around the world.

While we could not lasso 55 stars for them when the Denenbergs returned to campus for their portrait, we did give them 55 balloons. When they saw them, Judy said what so many Bucknellians say when they return to campus: “Coming back is a real gift. We love Bucknell.”

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