From the President department heading
Illustration of John C. Bravman, President
Illustration: Joel Kimmel
A New Attitude for a New Era
Whether you’re holding this magazine in your hand, or reading these words on a screen, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that this edition of Bucknell Magazine is boldly different from what you’ve seen throughout the past decade. The changes reflect our desire — our need — to tell a more compelling, differentiating, defined and authentic story about what we as a community do and why we do it.
A Demographic Shift
During the past quarter-century, the higher-ed marketplace has grown more crowded and competitive, with colleges and universities vying to enroll a shrinking population of prospective students.

Demographics have shifted as well, challenging our traditional reliance on students from the Northeast. Many families in the new markets to the west don’t know what Bucknell is: an exceptional living-learning community, comprising three colleges with deeply engaged faculty, boundless co-curricular activities and a tremendously strong network of successful alumni.

This new look and attitude for the magazine was not developed in isolation. It’s the latest piece of a comprehensive branding initiative titled By Way of Bucknell that informs the visual and verbal language we use to communicate with our various audiences. To aid in that effort, we partnered with Ologie, a higher-ed branding agency based in Columbus, Ohio. We spent 18 months talking with key stakeholders — more than 1,400 alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff — and developing strategic messaging and supporting design elements. We began our brand rollout this summer with prospective students and families, followed by the campus and alumni communities this fall.

To be clear, we are not changing what and who we are, but employing a focused brand strategy to better tell our story.

Building Strength
How do we see the renewed Bucknell Magazine fitting into our new strategic communications portfolio? Our magazine redesign consultants, Zehno, helped identify goals of the new brand that the magazine could address:

  • Building the strength of the Bucknell name and network and the opportunities that they provide
  • Presenting stories of student and faculty accomplishments, innovation within the Bucknell community and the powerful impact of our residential learning environment
  • Showing Bucknell alumni achieving great personal and professional success
  • Positioning Bucknell as a community of ambitious scholars that creates confident, credible experts.

Zehno also remarked upon qualities of the new brand voice that align with the magazine:

  • Intentional: action with purpose
  • Layered: unexpected depth
  • Bright: a balance of approachability and intellect
  • Ambitious: staking a bold claim
  • Self-assured: confidence without ego
  • Clear: sophisticated simplicity.
Finding a New Voice
After extensive research, and in partnership with our magazine team, Zehno developed a new editorial and visual strategy for Bucknell Magazine that complements the work Ologie accomplished with the By Way of Bucknell branding initiative.

As higher-ed strategist Robert Sevier has written, “Anyone can promote, but it takes a real master to communicate in such a way that audiences respond.” We hope our magazine readers — one of our key audiences — will respond well, and we are eager to hear from you about how this new expression of the Bucknell story is resonating.

Copy of John C. Bravman signature

John C. Bravman