A New Gateway to Bucknell

Bucknell’s Gateway Scholars Program funds education for first-generation students
by Katie Williard
When students apply to college, the financial uncertainty they face can be daunting. Many must take on sizable loans that are built directly into their financial aid packages.

Bucknell has long been committed to helping students overcome financial hurdles in their pursuit of higher education. And now, thanks to the generosity of Bob ’84, P’16 and Sue DeMent Gamgort ’84, P’16, Bucknell’s incoming Class of 2027 will have additional support via the Bucknell Gateway Scholars Program.

This new initiative will meet the full demonstrated need of 20 first-generation students each year, eliminating federal loans from their financial aid packages. The program provides more than just financial aid. Each scholarship recipient will benefit from ongoing outreach, mentorship and guidance that will support their success.

University President John Bravman is keenly aware of the impact this program will make. “As a first-generation college student at Stanford, I know the value of persistence, mentorship and opportunities,” he says. “I am eternally grateful for those who believed in me as a student, and now I am grateful that the greater Bucknell community is showing their support for future students in a very tangible and life-changing way.”

" " “Through these scholarships, we look forward to assisting other first-generation college students so they can reach their full potential at Bucknell.”
Bob ’84, P’16 and Sue DeMent Gamgort ’84, P’16
Bucknell Gateway Scholars will be identified through the regular application process. The program will award the most qualified students — chosen for their exceptional academics and robust extracurriculars — with the opportunity to attend Bucknell regardless of their financial capacity.

“This gift allows us to make the commitment to meet the full need of what we know will be an exceptional group of scholars,” says Lisa Keegan, vice president for enrollment management. “I’m excited to steward this generosity to the bright young minds waiting to make their mark
— first on Bucknell and then on the world.”

“Both of our fathers were first-generation college students who earned their way through school,” the Gamgorts say. “We appreciate how their sacrifice and hard work changed the trajectory of both of our families and created the opportunity for us to attend a school like Bucknell. Through these scholarships, we look forward to assisting other first-generation college students so they can reach their full potential at Bucknell.”

Students in the Bucknell Gateway Scholars program will benefit from the camaraderie of their cohort as well as GenFirst!@Bucknell, a mentorship program that pairs first-generation first-year students with faculty and staff members who were also the first in their families to attend a four-year institution.

The Bucknell Gateway Scholars program is a component of the University’s plans for continued growth and evolution. It also provides a model for donors looking to make influential gifts aimed at supporting the student experience. “The goal is to fully endow all 20 of these scholarships over the next four years,” Keegan says. “The Gamgort family has provided us with an exceptional opportunity in the foundation of this program. Our job now is to ensure their work will be lasting.”