From the President
Illustration of John C. Bravman, President
Illustration: Joel Kimmel
A Legacy of Generosity
Far from our pastoral campus, on April 5, those of us milling about the Loeb Boathouse in New York’s Central Park attracted curious glances from passersby. Looking through the floor-to-ceiling windows, they must have wondered, “What is this gala event? A wedding, a business function, an anniversary party?”

As I looked out over the room, preparing to welcome our guests, I paused. And then I told them what I saw. I saw love. These are the people who, through their devotion to Bucknell, enable us to do all that we do for our students and society at large.

This was the third time in 16 years that we have formally celebrated members of the William Bucknell Society for their lasting contributions to the University. Just as William Bucknell created a legacy of support in 1881 that endures today, the members of his namesake society — who’ve each contributed $1 million or more to our University — have provided a sturdy foundation for the University’s future. These believers in the power of a Bucknell education support student financial aid, faculty endowments, capital projects and immediate annual needs. And I am forever grateful to them.

That night in Central Park, we recognized 64 new members, bringing society membership to 150 alumni, parents, friends and Board of Trustees members. We also honored two very special individuals — Ken Langone ’57, P’83 and Elaine Langone P’83. Surprised, and speechless with emotion, Ken and Elaine accepted the inaugural William Bucknell Philanthropic Award, to honor their lifetime of philanthropy, as many guests wiped away tears.

They also were moved by the remarks of two people who are beneficiaries of society members’ benevolence. My wife, Professor Wendelin Wright, who is jointly appointed to mechanical and chemical engineering and is the Heinemann Family Professor in Engineering, described the endowed professorship that supports her research and the work of her students. The professorship is named for fellow engineer Kirsten Heinemann ’81, P’12, P’15 who attended the event.

We also heard from one of the 182 Langone Scholars who have received generous support from Ken, Elaine and their friends. Amanda Stefura ’19 shared that attending college was always a long-term goal for her — as it was for her parents, Irish and Canadian immigrants who weren’t financially able to attend college. Amanda shared how a Langone Scholarship made her family’s dream come true.

A managing for sustainability major, Amanda had many enriching opportunities during her four years, including visits to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that ignited a passion for service and international and community development. She also gratefully received help from a fellow Langone Scholar while interviewing for her job as a human capital analyst in the government and public sector for Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C.

But it wasn’t just the speakers who helped make April 5 so special. Earlier that day, society members toured Hudson Yards, a new neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. Adam Frazier ’99, Jennifer Beauchamp Tuhy ’97 and Dean Shapiro P’18, who led the tour, are instrumental in the formation of this new city within a city.

Just as they are building a new community, we are building a new Bucknell. A few weeks after the event in New York City, our faculty endorsed and trustees approved our new strategic plan that positions Bucknell to flourish in the coming decade. We are building the next best version of Bucknell — with the help of devotees like members of the William Bucknell Society and thousands of students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends.

Copy of John C. Bravman signature

John C. Bravman