February 11, 2013

Bucknell University recently received a $10 million pledge from an anonymous donor. It's the third-largest single gift in University history.

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By Andy Hirsch

LEWISBURG, Pa. — It's a phone call Bucknell University President John Bravman won't soon forget. He was sifting through hundreds of emails that had come in from Bucknellians about the announcement just three days before from the University that its information about SAT scores had been misreported for the past seven years.

Then the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a couple sharing a sentiment similar to most of the emails: Bucknell had had a profound impact on their lives, they told Bravman — and they wanted to make that clear, particularly now, during a challenging time for the University. Then, Bravman reported, they pledged $10 million to Bucknell.

"This extraordinary expression of support was unexpected in this situation, to say the least," Bravman said.

The couple has asked to remain anonymous, but informed Bravman that they wanted to allocate the gift to scholarships, the top priority of We Do. The Campaign for Bucknell University. Their gift brings the amount raised for the half-a-billion dollar We Do campaign to $272 million in gifts and pledges.

"This is a devoted couple who believes deeply in Bucknell and the transformative power of the education it offers. They know how scholarships can significantly change the lives of young men and women by presenting them with the opportunity to come to Bucknell," said Bravman. "We will be forever grateful for their generosity and their investment in the lives of generations of students who will benefit from this gift."

The $10 million pledge is the third-largest single gift Bucknell has ever received. In 1996, R. Theodore Ammon '71 and his wife, Generosa, gave $15 million in what became known as The Ammon Challenge. Their commitment to match every $3 donation toward scholarships with $1 of their own resulted in $60 million in contributions to the University's scholarship programs.   

In 1999, Ken Langone '57 gave the University $11 million toward the construction of the Kenneth Langone Athletics and Recreation Center.

We Do.
The We Do campaign was publicly launched during Bucknell's 2012 Homecoming celebration. Its half-a-billion dollar goal makes it the most ambitious fundraising effort since the University was founded 166 years ago. The money raised will be used to increase funding for scholarships and financial aid, strengthen current academic and residential learning initiatives, recruit and retain outstanding faculty, invest in new facilities, and create new initiatives key to the University's continued success as one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the country.

Contact: Division of Communication