Instant Success

To reach prospective students, you need to go where they are.

That was the plan in December, when Bucknell debuted its Instagram Q&A to answer admissions-related questions from prospective students and others. By harnessing the built-in audience of @BucknellU’s 18,000-plus Instagram followers, the launch was an overwhelming success.

Nearly 4,000 people tuned in to the Q&A, which was extended by popular demand from two days to a full week. More than 400 Instagram users, most of whom are prospective students, submitted questions.

Some of their queries:

  • “How do I improve my chances of getting in?” (Take tough classes that interest you, and participate in activities you love.)
  • “Can I participate in theatre while also majoring in something else?” (Yes.)
  • “What percentage of students study abroad?” (About 50%.)
Viewing Instagram stories on cell phones

On the other side, answering those questions were Dean of Admissions Kevin Mathes ’07 and Leah Mallett, associate director of digital & social media.

To answer some questions, they recorded video responses at appropriate locations around campus. Mathes and Mallett answered a question about academics in the library, an athletics question at the Kenneth Langone Athletics & Recreation Center and a question about Bucknell traditions in front of Christy Mathewson-Memorial Gateway.

This personal approach even allowed Mathes to share one of his talents. When confirming that Bucknell has several a cappella groups, Mathes sang an excerpt from “In the Still of the Night,” which he performed at Bucknell as a member of Two Past Midnight.

To see his performance and relive the entire Instagram Q&A, go to and tap the pinned Q&A story. And look for another Instagram Q&A after college application season begins later this year. — Bryan Wendell