Letter to the editor: Univ. actively seeks and finds diversity

To the Editor:

Fostering a diverse, supportive and welcoming university community at Bucknell is a never-ending process. I applaud Jasmine King (“University is uninviting for minorities,” Feb. 10, 2012) for bringing attention in her article to this critically important goal.

Ms. King discusses the role of student admission in this process, so I’d like to share information about partnerships we are cultivating to make Bucknell a more diverse place.

Over the last few years, we have pursued a strategy of building meaningful partnerships with excellent organizations that help us recruit outstanding students from diverse communities in addition to the individual recruitment of students. For example, since 2005, Bucknell’s relationship with the Posse Foundation has opened our campus to exceptional students who otherwise may not have considered attending the University. Since then, 152 Posse scholars from Boston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles have enrolled at Bucknell, making Bucknell one of only three universities in the country with such an extensive Posse network. In addition, through the generous support of Andy Hartman ’71 P’00 and Janet Bauer Hartman P’00, Bucknell established the Charles T. Bauer Scholars Program for students in the Baltimore City School District.

Bucknell has also built partnerships nationally with five other related programs:  A Better Chance and Prep for Prep in the New York City area, YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Schuler Scholars of Chicago, Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia and One Voice in Los Angeles. Our relationships with these programs will help bring new students of exceptional academic ability from a variety of underrepresented backgrounds to Bucknell.

Just last year, we also launched an effort to connect more closely with high schools in such Pennsylvania cities as York, Reading and Harrisburg, where families of color and families with no experience with the college process have begun to settle in greater numbers. We are determined to extend Bucknell’s outreach and to give students from all backgrounds the chance to be part of Bucknell and contribute to our community.

Finally, as Ms. King notes, the effort cannot stop at simply recruiting students to apply. A truly selective university has both the privilege and obligation to build a learning environment that provides opportunities for all of its students to succeed. We will continue to review every applicant for the ability both to benefit from, and contribute to, academic and residential life at Bucknell. We are building global citizens at Bucknell, and we share with Ms. King a deep appreciation for the importance of this effort.

Sincerely,

Rob Springall

Dean of Admissions

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