Holmes Hall, open at the start of the semester
Photo: Emily Paine
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Holmes Hall, named for Steve ’79 and Bonnie Bencsko Holmes ’79, was open at the start of the fall semester.

Technology-rich Building Opens

by Matt Hughes
A sculptural light fixture caps the atrium of Holmes Hall, the new home for the Freeman College of Management and Department of Art & Art History that opened this semester. Cubes of metal dance playfully, drawing arcs of evolution amid floating points of light, organization reconfigured by creativity and inspiration.

It’s the perfect visual metaphor for the building and — more broadly — for Bucknell’s model of education. Here, top-tier liberal arts and professional programs don’t just coexist; they speak to and redefine one another.

Under construction since 2019, the 78,500-square-foot classroom building on Coleman Hall Drive features an array of modern, technology-rich spaces for teaching management and the arts. All together, more than 1,000 students per year will study, collaborate and create in Holmes Hall.

The building, named to honor significant commitments by Steve ’79 and Bonnie Bencsko Holmes ’79, features nearly 20 new classrooms, labs and studios, as well as offices for more than 50 faculty and staff members.

Among its most distinctive spaces are the 216-seat Hislop Auditorium, with a theatre- like high-definition screen for events both in-person and virtual; the Elfers Family Management 101 Classroom, an easily reconfigurable space wrapped in whiteboard walls for the Freeman College’s signature course; a classroom for the college’s new major in business analytics with a wall-spanning touchscreen smartboard; and a computer lab to be shared by management and art students offering augmented- and virtual-reality design tools.

Art & art history students will find airy, adaptable spaces, including classrooms with high-resolution projectors for zooming in on classic and contemporary artworks, a painting studio illuminated by expansive skylights, innovative fabrication tools, and enhanced spaces for displaying student and faculty work.

Most important, Holmes Hall houses ample collaboration spaces that include meeting and interview rooms, a large central atrium, and patios for indoor and outdoor gatherings. It’s in these spaces, says President John Bravman, that Holmes Hall becomes more than a collection of classrooms, but a forum where left- and right-brain thinkers can build the future together.

“Holmes Hall is an expression of our institution’s distinctive prospect made tangible in brick, glass and steel,” he says.