Bucknell leaders look to the future
by Andy Hirsch
Bucknell’s Board of Trustees set the stage for the continued evolution of the University during its April meeting. The board and President John Bravman agreed to extend Bravman’s contract through June 2025. At the conclusion of the extension, Bravman will be the third-longest-serving president in Bucknell’s history; he began his tenure in 2010.

“The Board of Trustees unanimously believes that, under John’s continued leadership, Bucknell will capitalize on its forward momentum and advance its position as one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher education under his direction,” said board chair Ken Freeman ’72.

The meeting marked the last for Freeman, who will step down from the board in June following 17 years of service, including nine as board chair. During their eight years together, Freeman and Bravman have led Bucknell through a number of historic accomplishments, including the completion of the $513 million WE DO Campaign, the establishment of the Freeman College of Management and a number of significant construction and renovation projects designed to strengthen Bucknell’s residential education.

“Few individuals in the University’s 172-year history have contributed more to Bucknell’s success than Ken,” Bravman said. “His leadership has helped position the institution to succeed for many generations to come.”

In recognition of Freeman’s service, he was awarded the University’s most prestigious honor, the Stephen W. Taylor Medal. It’s given to those who render extraordinary service to Bucknell and who best exemplify the spirit of Taylor, the University’s first president.

Succeeding Freeman will be Chris O’Brien ’80, P’18, P’20.

“Since joining the board in 2012, Chris has displayed a special combination of leadership, dedication and enthusiasm from which Bucknell has already greatly benefited,” said Bravman. “I am excited to work with him in this new capacity as we continue to build upon Bucknell’s institutional strengths and distinctiveness.”

O’Brien, the founder and partner at Endurance Capital Partners and the founder, president and CEO of O’Brien Capital Advisors, majored in business administration and was a member of the cross-country and track & field teams and president of the Phi Lambda Theta chapter of Chi Phi fraternity. An avid volunteer, he was a co-chair for the WE DO Campaign.