A Familiar Face

Kendy Alvarez ’06 is Lewisburg’s new mayor
by Brooke Thames
Anyone who’s lived in Lewisburg, Pa., long enough has likely encountered Kendy Alvarez ’06. From organizing the annual ice festival and holiday light display to serving on the leadership boards for the local Rotary Club and chamber of commerce, Alvarez is nearly as much of a fixture of the borough as its iconic three-globe lamp posts and historic Victorian homes.

“It had been a running joke among my family and friends that I was the ‘unofficial mayor,’ ” says Alvarez who immigrated to the area from Trinidad at age 5. “They’d kid that if you need something, just call Kendy — she’ll make it happen.”

After running unopposed in the 2021 mayoral race, Alvarez’s status as the community’s go-to resident is no longer unofficial. In January, she was sworn in as the new Lewisburg borough mayor, succeeding Judy Wagner M’71. Alvarez is Lewisburg’s second woman and first woman of color to hold the position and is among the youngest to lead a Susquehanna Valley town.

Kendy Alvarez Headshot
Photo: Emily Paine
Strengthening Lewisburg’s relationship with Bucknell is a goal for Kendy Alvarez ’06.
“There are so many things that make Lewisburg this perfect Hallmark movie kind of place, but there are also plenty of ways that we can do things better,” she says. “I think a big part of that is getting new blood involved and engaged, so that’s what I strive to do.”

One of Alvarez’s priorities is re-establishing a Town and Gown committee to strengthen the relationship between Lewisburg and Bucknell, where she earned an English degree. Ensuring that communication is open and consistent is essential to everyone’s success, says the former president of Bucknell’s Black Alumni Association.

“So many aspects of downtown — from the Small Business Development Center to the Bucknell bookstore — have come about because people recognized the intersectionality of the town and the University,” Alvarez says. “Both have to work together to truly thrive.”