Bucknell University was founded in 1846 as the University at Lewisburg in central Pennsylvania and, since that time, has established itself as one of the foremost liberal arts institutions in the country. Bucknell now hosts 3,400 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students, who are able to choose their concentrations from among over 60 majors and 50 minors, and further explore their interests with the help of over 200 organizations.
First housed as a preparatory school in the First Baptist Church in Lewisburg, the school finished and moved into the first building on campus in 1850—it is now known as Taylor Hall. Male and female students shared the building until the Female Institute opened two years later. Women, however, were not admitted to university-level classes until 1883. The school assumed its current name in 1886, after trustee and benefactor William Bucknell helped the school out of financial trouble.
Bucknell sits on 450 acres in historic Lewisburg, PA, in the Susquehanna River Valley. Structures are a mix of traditional collegiate red brick, and more modern designs. The oldest building on campus, Taylor Hall, dates to 1850. The campus layout features grassy quads where students linger in warmer weather.
The stadium and other recreational facilities are located on the north and northwestern edges of the campus, including the new Kenneth G. Langone Recreational Center. Bucknell’s Fraternity Road, a focal point of the popular Greek life on campus, is at the southern end. The campus features more than 100 facilities, with a robust wireless network covering much of the property.
Lewisburg is a small town in central Pennsylvania. With a population of around 6,000, a small commercial center, and historic district on the National Register, Lewisburg is very accessible to students, and business owners and residents also benefit from having the university nearby.
Bucknell University is located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River. Student opinion on Lewisburg's adequacy as a college town is diverse, ranging from complaints of its unambiguous status as a ‘small town,’ secluded and lacking sophistication, to appreciative assessments of its beautiful architecture, historical shops and friendly residents. Although you do have to travel 20 minutes to reach a mall, and over 35 to reach a Starbucks, Lewisburg is close-knit and college-friendly, providing an intimate community that has a definite appeal for students and faculty.
Sarah Hallowell ’09 explains some traditions at Bucknell:
"The most anticipated weekend on a Bucknellian’s social calendar is House Party. Sponsored primarily by Bucknell Greeks, the event occurs once a year, usually the last weekend in March or the first weekend in April. On this weekend, the campus almost shuts down; it is essentially a big campus party. There are barbeques during the day, followed by parties at night, one at almost every fraternity - they either bring in a local band or a DJ. The administration and Public Safety make sure that everyone has a fun, yet safe weekend. Public Safety sets up a perimeter around Frat Row and every student who goes to House Party must wear a wrist band. Dining Services provides midnight snacks for the partygoers and all the deans help out by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs.
"Chrysalis is a semi formal put on by Bucknell’s Student Activities Committee. This semi formal is usually held on one of the last weekends of the spring semester and is located in the Field House. Dining Services provides appetizers, and students who are over 21 receive three free drinks on the university. This event is not only for students, as the faculty and staff also turn out in large numbers. There is usually a big name band for the entertainment. Some of the past acts have included the Beach Boys, Kool and the Gang, and CCR. This year’s entertainment was KC and the Sunshine Band and the Village People."
Rob Andrews (1979) is a Democratic congressman representing New Jersey’s first district.
Edward Hermann (1965) is an actor who has appeared in films such as The Paper Chase, The Purple Rose of Cairo and The Lost Boys.
Les Moonves (1971) is president and CEO of CBS Corporation.
Philip Roth (1954) is a prolific novelist. Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for American Pastoral.
Jay Wright (1983) is the basketball coach at Villanova University.
The Bucknell Bisons compete at the Division I level of the NCAA and are members of the Patriot League. Without question, the most popular sport at Bucknell is basketball, and with good reason. They were the first-ever Patriot League team to win an NCAA tournament game, with their victory over Kansas in 2005. Because of their record, and because the students at Bucknell have an intense love of their school, you’d be hard pressed to find a senior who has never attended a basketball game.
Of course, the school is notable for other teams as well. Women’s Rowing regularly places highly, and the men’s soccer team beat top-seeded Lehigh last year. And of course, don’t forget that the school did help produce one of the best pitchers in history, Christy Matthewson.
Bucknell offers 27 intercollegiate sports teams – 13 for men and 14 for women.
Pitcher Christy Matthewson enjoyed his time at Bucknell so much that he requested a plot in the cemetery adjoining the campus.
Beirut may or may not have been invented at Bucknell. Allegedly, the drinking game, similar to Beer Pong but without the paddle, has its origins at the school, while Pong started at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA. The official history has yet to be uncovered.
As incoming freshmen, students take an online housing survey, where they indicate their rooming preferences (single, double, triple, or quad). Freshmen are live in one of five dorms: McDonald, Swartz, Smith, Vedder, Larrison, and Harris. These dorms are open to all students, but certain halls are designated as freshmen only. Upperclassmen reside in the previously mentioned dorms, as well as in Trax, Kress, Roberts, Hunt, and the five buildings that make up the Gateways. Every room has phone and internet jacks, and there is at least one lounge, kitchen, and laundry room in each building. Most halls are co-ed by room and there are both male and female bathrooms.
Swartz and McDonald Halls are located uphill, just off the academic quad. McDonald is the newest dorm at Bucknell; while the other dorms are set up in long halls, McDonald is a four-story, H-shaped building. Each of the leg of the H is arranged as a "neighborhood," and each of these has a total of 10 rooms, all doubles, except for the RA room, plus a large common room with a kitchen and TV.
Swartz Hall is a considerably older dorm, but has gone under extensive renovations. Swartz is split between a freshman side and an upperclassmen side. The freshman side of Swartz is commonly thought of as the party dorm for freshmen who cannot swing a frat party invitation. Smith, Vedder, Larrison, and Harris Halls are the downhill dorms, further away from the academic buildings but closer to the Student Union and the downtown area. The rooms in Smith are much like the rooms in McDonald, but in long hallways. Vedder’s rooms are Z-shaped, which gives inhabitants a little more privacy from their roommates. Harris is the CHOICE dorm, substance-free and silent. Larrison is probably one of the oldest dorms on campus, originally built to house female students at the turn of the century.
Upperclassmen have plenty of options when comes to on-campus living. Besides the aforementioned buildings, students can live in Roberts, Trax, and Kress Halls, otherwise known as RTK. Trax and Kress are made up of singles, coed by floor and for the most part designated quiet dorms. Roberts, or Old Main, was originally the first academic building on campus, and features a mix of room sizes. This building has the distinction of being the only housing option with split doubles, where there are rooms separated by a bathroom. Because of an outdated local law, sororities are not allowed to have houses on or off-campus, so they are all located in Hunt Hall, which was built exclusively for the female Greeks. Each of the six sororities has a 13-room wing of the building called a "suite," complete with kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Every senior wants to live in the Gateways, which is a mini apartment complex. Each apartment holds four students in four single rooms off a living room and has a full kitchen and bathroom.