The Bucknellian’s 120th Anniversary


Natalie Spears, Special Features Editor

From 1896-2016

The Bucknellian published its first issue in 1896, just 50 years after the University was founded. The newspaper was one of the first student-run organizations on campus, and since its first issue, the staff has tried to provide readers with interesting and informative news. Its sections (and even its name) have changed and evolved throughout the years, but the quality of articles has prevailed. For this 120th anniversary, we’re reflecting on The Bucknellian’s history and looking forward to what lies ahead for the newspaper.

Looking Back

The Bucknellian’s first issue addressed topics similar to today’s in many respects–sports, campus life, news, etc. The newspaper was originally named The Orange and the Blue, but was renamed years later to the moniker that persists today. The Bucknellian newsroom was located in Roberts Hall, switched to Rooke Chemistry for a year, and has now found its home in Stuck House on Seventh Street.

Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Ellis ’00 was editor-in-chief of The Bucknellian in 1999, and shared some information concerning what The Bucknellian used to be like and how it’s changed.

“We covered a lot of topics that were pretty controversial at the time … but the most lasting one was probably dealing with athletic scholarships and the future of the Patriot League,” Ellis said. “The biggest challenge was probably getting students to care about things that went on beyond the campus. Believe it or not, the ‘Bucknell Bubble’ was probably even more insulated than it is now.”

The Bucknellian Today

Student newspapers are an important part of any college community. The Bucknellian’s new advisor, Brent Papson, stresses the value of a student-run paper.

“Student-run newspapers like The Bucknellian are an invaluable asset to a college campus. They tell the history of the institution and provide students with hands-on learning opportunities. From investigating news to selling advertisements, The Bucknellian furthers intellectual exploration and critical thinking,” Papson said.

Media has drastically changed in the throes of a developing digital age. Blogs and other social media outlets allow nearly anyone to publish and voice their opinions, and people now look to the internet for most of their news.

“The media industry currently sits at a crossroads. Social media has steamrolled the barriers of who is a reporter, a publisher, an expert, and so much more. News is shared instantaneously, often in 140 characters or less, or through some sort of mobile device,” Papson said.

The Bucknellian’s staff has diligently worked to keep up with these changes by expanding the newspaper’s web presence and being active on social media.

Going forward

After 120 years of press, The Bucknellian has an illustrious legacy to uphold. Each week, our staff and writers try to provide the University community with fresh and interesting stories. Papson hopes that The Bucknellian will maintain its effort to represent the sentiments and culture on campus.

“My goals for the future of the newspaper include providing students with a voice that reflects their student experience, contributing to the mission of Bucknell, and enriching the history of the University,” Papson said.

1946 Headlines (50th Anniversary):

“Fraternities Pledge 204 Men; Sorority Rushing is at Peak”

“Homecoming Plans Near Completion: Thousands of Alumni Are Expected for Largest Reunion in History”

“Forum Speaker Warns Against Losing Peace”

“Women Make Plans for Square Dance”

“More Classroom Space Will be Provided by Government: Temporary Buildings to Aid Congestion of Classes”

“10 Soph Men Will ‘Pin’ Choices for Queen at Winter Carnival”

“Post War Economic Dangers Discussed by Dr. Gellermann”

1996 Headlines (100th Anniversary):

“Record Number Apply for Class of 2000”

“The Bison: It’s Not Just for Dinner Anymore!”

“Playing the Game on the Internet”

“Celebrating the Birth of a University”

“Hockey Sticks it to the Hoyas”

“House Party Weekend Changed to End of April”

Headlines courtesy of Archives
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