Who is Ray Bucknell? Students debunk University fable with social media takeover

Reed Widdoes, Contributing Writer

Even though every incoming first-year is taught the University fight song during orientation, there are still some first-years, and maybe even upperclassmen, who walk around campus wondering, “Who is Ray Bucknell?”

“I just assumed Ray Bucknell was a person. Even now, I have heard rumors that he exists,” Emma Wagner ’19 said. 

Various explanations as to Ray’s history have been offered. Some rumors say that Ray was the founder of the University. Others may have been falsely led to believe that Ray is the secondary mascot to the Bison.

While the reality is that Ray actually refers to “Hooray Bucknell,” the fictitious embodiment of this campus spirit has found ways to manifest within the community.

Assistant Director of Media Communications Heather Johns sought to capitalize on this mystery. This past summer, she unveiled a social media campaign on Instagram to reveal the identity of the mystified “Ray Bucknell.”

The official “I Am Ray Bucknell” Instagram account features different students taking over the account for a week and posting pictures of life around campus, showing off the school from their own perspective.

To date the account has had four different “Rays” and has already picked up a large fan base with almost a quarter of the campus following the account.

“I wanted to be Ray Bucknell because I truly enjoy being a part of Bucknell’s student body. I love being involved, and if seeing what a typical Bucknell student does helps a prospective student decide to come here, that makes what I did worthwhile,” said Louise Morrissey, the first Ray Bucknell of the semester.

Any student can apply to be Ray, as the official slogan from Communications states: “Everyone wants to know the identity of the infamous Ray Bucknell. And only you can show them.”

Students seem eager to take up this mantle, and help create the fable that Ray was a part of the University’s history.

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