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Bucknell University

Bucknell University

Bucknell University is a private liberal arts university located alongside the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the rolling countryside of Central Pennsylvania in the town of Lewisburg, 60 miles north of Harrisburg. The campus is bordered by the river on one side and the Victorian-era neighborhoods of downtown Lewisburg on the other.

Because of its rural location and lack of nearby large cities, Bucknell may seem fairly isolated. However, downtown Lewisburg is within a short walking distance of the campus and features a variety of shops, museums, galleries, restaurants, and historic downtown movie theater in addition to old-fashioned Victorian “gingerbread houses.”

Bucknell University seeks to educate students to serve the common good and promote justice in ways sensitive to the moral and ethical dimensions of life. Founded in 1846 as the University at Lewisburg, Bucknell traces its origin to a group of Baptists who deemed it “desirable that a Literary Institution should be established in Central Pennsylvania, embracing a High School for male pupils, another for females, a College and also a Theological Institution.”

Bucknell was always committed to equal educational opportunities for women. This commitment was reflected in the words of David Jayne Hill of the Class of 1874, who also served as president of the university from 1879 to 1888: “We need in Pennsylvania, in the geographical centre of the state, a University, not in the German but in the American sense, where every branch of non-professional knowledge can be pursued, regardless of distinction of sex.”

The university was struggling financially in 1881, but was saved from ruin after being given a substantial donation by William Bucknell, a charter member of the board of trustees. In recognition of Bucknell’s generous support of the school, in 1886 the trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the University at Lewisburg to Bucknell University. Today, more than 100 buildings dot the 450-acre campus.

Bucknell features programs in engineering, management, education, and music, as well as nationally ranked and pre-professional programs that prepare students for law and medicine. Bucknell offers 47 majors and 65 minors. Majors include history, mathematics, environmental studies, geology, East Asian studies, management, accounting, biology, chemistry, education, music, art history, English, animal behavior, neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, theatre, and various foreign languages. Students can also design their own majors.

The school’s College of Engineering (with majors in electrical, chemical, computer science, mechanical, civil, biomedical and computer engineering) is particularly strong. Among American schools that do not offer a Ph.D. in engineering, Bucknell ranks No. 8. The Chemical Engineering Department ranks No. 4, the Civil Engineering Program No. 5, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Departments No. 6, and the Mechanical Engineering Department No. 7 under the same criteria.

Bucknell is also strong in animal behavior, neuroscience, environmental studies, and ecology. Because Bucknell is larger than many other liberal arts colleges (in fact, it’s the nation’s largest private liberal arts university), a wide diversity of courses can be offered in these fields; for example: entomology, limnology, mammalogy, invertebrate zoology, ornithology, tropical ecology, ecosystem and community ecology, conservation biology, and social insect courses. Faculty research is active in these areas with many opportunities for student participation, field work, and travel. Bucknell recently received a Solar Scholars grant, and the Bucknell Environmental Center has major initiatives focused on the art, culture, and ecology of the Susquehanna River basin.

Bucknell University is home to an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. ROTC or Military Science education is a four-year program designed to prepare college students for Army service as commissioned officers in the active Army, or part-time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. First and second year students may also enroll with no commitment to the military. Program requirements include weekly classes, physical training, monthly leadership labs, a semester field training exercise, and a 33-day summer training course between the junior and senior years. Specialized training opportunities include Airborne School, Air Assault School, internships with active duty Army units, or internships with federal government agencies.

Bucknell also has strong programs in Theatre, Dance, Music, and Film, where students work closely with experienced professionals. State-of-the-art performance and practice facilities enhance the undergraduate performing arts experience. In the area of creative writing, the Stadler Center for Poetry has achieved national renown for its commitment to the art of poetry. Bucknell Hall, the first of several buildings given to the university by William Bucknell, now houses The Stadler Center, a literary center offering a wide range of programs and residencies for emerging and established poets and writers.

Primarily an undergraduate institution with 3,400 students, there are also 150 graduate students on the Bucknell campus. Students come from all fifty states and from more than fifty countries. First-year undergraduates are required to live on campus. Some students choose to live off campus after their first year, but the school guarantees on-campus housing for all four years. All on-campus students must purchase a campus meal plan. There are several dining options on campus.

Forty-five percent of Bucknell students study abroad. The University sponsors semester-long programs in four locations: London; Barbados; Tours, France; and Granada, Spain, and several short-term summer programs in locations such as Nicaragua, all of which are staffed by Bucknell professors. Students can also choose to study in a variety of other countries through alternative providers.

Bucknell has nearly 200 student organizations including several different religious groups. The university has a lively Greek community in which approximately 50 percent of eligible students join the school’s 13 fraternities and 8 sororities. Bucknell’s weekly student newspaper is The Bucknellian and its radio station is WVBU 90.5 FM. Bucknell is part of the Patriot League in Division I athletics. In addition, many student performances and a year-end formal ball provide students with a wide array of activities.

Bucknell is a highly competitive liberal arts university, with a Class of 2015 undergraduate acceptance rate of 27.3%. U.S. News & World Report classifies it as “most selective.” Bucknell ranks among the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the number of students that go on to gain their Ph.D’s, and is No. 3 on the All-Time List (CoSida) for Producing Academic All Americans. It also ranks in the Top 100 for schools that produce America’s top business leaders. It was ranked 30th for liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes rated it 46th in America’s Best Colleges.

The 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores for the Class of 2011 that matriculated were 600 and 690 respectively in Critical Reading, and in Math the 25th/75th percentiles were 630 and 710. 81% of students accepted into Bucknell were in the top 10% of their class, and 94% of accepted students were in the top 20% of their class. The student-faculty ratio is 10:1.

The qualities that are considered when Bucknell admissions officers evaluate applications include: academic achievement, talent, good character, leadership skills, and high quality writing. While grades, test scores and recommendations are extremely important, they also want students who show they want to cultivate passions outside of the classroom and contribute to their communities in bold and compassionate ways.

At Bucknell, students are free to take creative and thoughtful risks. “As students realize their own potential through risk, so, too, do they better understand how valuable risk can be in understanding – and making a difference – in the world. We’re interested in the kind of positive risk-taking energy you would bring to our University.”

Bucknell University welcomes homeschooled students. In particular, they encourage homeschooled students to enroll in a college summer program during the summer before their senior year, or enroll in a college course during their junior or first semester senior year. Application requirements for homeschooled students include: The Bucknell Application with the Home School Supplement, SAT I or ACT test scores, one graded English paper, one writing sample from another subject, and the $60 application fee.

Bucknell’s supplemental essays offer an opportunity to demonstrate what makes you uncommon and uniquely you. They enable you to have some fun telling about your talents and interests so the admissions officials can learn about the real person behind the transcripts. Essay questions include: “What are the three most important things Bucknell’s faculty and students should know about you?” (up to 200 words each) and “Please describe a time when you found the courage to step outside of your comfort zone to do something unexpected and completely unlike you. Why did you take this risk? What have you learned from the experience?” (up to 500 words)

Bucknell University won an award for best college website with its interactive virtual tour. Visitors to the site can click buttons to complete sentences that describe their interests and characteristics. The site then shows visitors a campus map, with arrows pointing to programs and areas at the university in which those interests might be developed. Visitors can also read related blurbs about Bucknell and click on multimedia describing the Bucknell experience.

For more information about Bucknell, visit http://www.bucknell.edu
Click here for 360 Panorama Photos of Bucknell University.

Take a Virtual Tour of Bucknell University

Bucknell University won an award for best college website with its interactive virtual tour. Visitors to the site can click buttons to complete sentences that describe their interests and characteristics. The site then shows visitors a campus map, with arrows pointing to programs and areas at the university in which those interests might be developed. Visitors can also read related blurbs about Bucknell and click on multimedia describing the Bucknell experience.

Bucknell University’s content-rich virtual tour was creatively designed to be informative and engaging, encouraging prospective students to “visit” the campus and see if Bucknell might be a good fit for them. This site is much more than simply an interactive aerial campus map. The use of Flash enabled the developers to combine images, text, and video to offer many glimpses into the academic, cultural, and social life of Bucknell students.

Bucknell’s innovative website features a customized tool that allows users to create sentences describing themselves. As a result, the virtual tour helps students think about who they are and what they like to do. When visitors to the site click on words to form a sentence that describes their interests and characteristics, they can learn how similar students have applied those qualities at Bucknell.

Starting with “I am ____,” visitors fill in the blank with one or more words such as “adventurous,” “hands-on,” “literary” or “scientific.” Arrows then point the visitor to places on campus that relate to these descriptions. If you say “I am hungry,” the site will point out places to eat on campus. If you say “I am sleepy,” the site will point to the residence halls. If you say “I am athletic,” it will point out the stadiums, fitness center, indoor fields, tennis courts, and pool area.

From there, the interactive site contains lots of quick facts, photos and videos to view. Visitors can read blurbs and click on mutimedia describing the Bucknell experience. Video clips showing a diverse assortment of students, faculty, and activities were gathered from a variety of campus sources. The Bucknell tour unfolds as a kind of open-ended story in which prospective students can imagine themselves as part of the scene.

Visitors to the site can even venture off-campus to explore the Susquehanna River and the surrounding area of Lewisburg, PA. If you ever get tired of just browsing around, you can search for specific information by using the quickfind menu. The site also contains a social media aspect since you can learn about other people by reading their saved sentences, and you can share your own results as well.

Four concepts learned in our course that look like they were used to create the interactivity implemented by the Bucknell site include: buttons, text fields, embedded videos, and XML documents. The sheer quantity of material that had to be assembled, organized, interconnected, and hyperlinked for the tour to work must have been a tremendous amount of effort, but the finished product was definitely worth it.

Click here for the Bucknell University Virtual Tour: http://community.bucknell.edu/

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