Photo courtesy of Connor McLaughlin
Class of 2016,
One of my greatest privileges over the course of my Bucknell experience has been the opportunity to serve as your Class President for the past two years. It has become increasingly hard for me to believe that our time as students at this great University is about to expire. I know that I am not alone in that sentiment, either. So many of you have talked to me about how you are not the same person that you were coming into Bucknell, about how much you have been changed in positive and constructive ways as a result of your experience here. Speaking for myself, I know that I am certainly not the same as I was four years ago—I’ve become far more mature, open minded, and appreciative of the countless opportunities that Bucknell has and will continue to unlock for me.
To be honest, I only just recently began looking back on our time at Bucknell. As I did so, there were a number of questions that raced through my mind. What was it that made our experience here so incredibly special? What was it that made it go by so quickly? What was the defining moment of my own Bucknell experience? At first, I thought that I would be able to identify a set of key moments that would stand out to me over everything else. To my surprise, however, I found myself appreciating the little things as I thought more and more deeply. Here’s a small sampling of things that we might take for granted now, but we will likely come to miss as we move on into the next phase of our lives:
Message Center. From the academic to the personal classified sections, this daily email kept us up to date with nearly everything and anything happening on- and off-campus. For some of us, including myself, it also served as a reminder to go to bed at 1:30 a.m.
The Rooke Chapel bells. Whether it was playing the alma mater at 5:32 p.m. or simply letting us know that we were late to class, the bells in Rooke Chapel were both a convenient way of keeping track of time and a constant reminder of our limited time at Bucknell.
Lewisburg. The quaint, beautiful town that is always standing in the background of Bucknell. Whether it was grabbing a meal with friends, getting a haircut, or seeing a movie at the Campus Theatre, the town reminds us that we live among an even larger community.
First-year halls. Some of the very first people we met when we arrived, and in many cases, some of our closest friends today.
Bucknellians. While Bucknell is a tremendously beautiful school, it would not be the place it is without the people that inhabit it. Our Bucknell experience has been shaped by fellow students, faculty, and staff who work tirelessly toward creating an even better Bucknell.
As we prepare ourselves to walk across the stage this Sunday, I think that it’s important to keep these little things in mind, because in just a few short days, they will disappear from our daily experience. I would keep one more thing in mind too: as soon-to-be college graduates, we are the lucky ones. A minority of people in our age cohort even attend college, much less have the opportunity to attend a top notch University like Bucknell. Let’s do some amazing things with the education that we have been gifted with. Thank you for an amazing last four years, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Congratulations, Class of 2016!
President, Class of 2016