University celebrates inauguration

John C. Bravman was inaugurated as the University's seventeenth president on Nov. 14.

By Meghan Finlayson

Staff Writer

John C. Bravman framed his inaugural address, the focal point of last weekend’s celebration, around one question: “Who are we becoming?”

Bravman was inaugurated as the University’s 17th president Nov. 14 in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. He focused on how the past, present and future are all linked and on important aspects of the University in his address.

Who we are becoming “is a question we inherit and answer not only for ourselves, but also to those who shall inherit Bucknell from us,” Bravman said.

After describing the University’s past achievements, he spoke about his desire to continue to uphold the strong values on which the University was built.

“Integrity, civility, fairness, honesty … they’re essential to the survival of our University in the world of education and especially the lives of young people,” Bravman said.

Bravman said he strove for the best at the University academically but also truly cared about students.

“Education requires faith in the future … our students today are that future,” Bravman said.

Bravman also challenged the audience to set their sights high when determining who they are becoming.

“We will achieve the critical practical objectives that will shape the Bucknell of today and tomorrow, just as did those who came before us … I hope we will continue asking, ‘who are we becoming?’ I hope we will aim to answer it in one way, by being together the Bucknellians that we most aspire to become,” he said.

The inauguration ceremony involved members of the University, Lewisburg and broader academic communities. It began with a prelude from the Bucknell Brass Quintet and the ROTC Posting of the Colors. Both were followed by the processional and the national anthem, performed by Anissa Corser ’14. The ceremony continued with the invocation from Reverend Thomasina Yuille and a welcome speech from Kenneth Freeman ’72.

Nancy Weiss Malkiel, Dean of the College at Princeton University, delivered the first greeting.

“[Bravman] cares passionately about teaching, which he regards as an art to be practiced and perfected,” Malkiel said.

Leslie Hume, chair of the Board of Trustees at Stanford University, spoke of Bravman’s time at Stanford University. Hume described Bravman as having “character, leadership, commitment to excellence and devotion to students.”

Judith Wagner, mayor of the borough of Lewisburg and John Rickard, professor of English, also gave greetings.

Charles Kreitler ’12, president of the Bucknell Student Government, gave Bravman one last piece of advice from a student’s point of view.

“Never lose sight of what makes Bucknell such a special place: the Bucknell student body,” Kreitler said. “A president can only be successful if they develop, guide and enlighten the personal traits of the students.”

Shara McCallum delivered an inaugural poem titled “Susquehanna.” The poem was her reflection on the history of the Susquehanna River.

A video presentation themed “We Are Connected” was shown featuring pictures of students and of the University itself.

Freeman gave Bravman the oath of office and Stephen Holmes, trustee and chair of the Presidential Search Committee, gave an introduction to Bravman, welcoming the president and his family.

The ceremony ended with the alma mater, benediction and Striking of the Colors from the ROTC. A Community Welcome Reception in Gerhard Fieldhouse followed the ceremony.

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