Bucknell Starts Fall 21 with Record Enrollment and New College Building | New
Thousands of students have returned to Bucknell University as the 2021 fall semester begins Monday.
Bucknell has re-focused on in-person education amid the evolution of the novel coronavirus pandemic, moving away from distance learning as a universal option.
This comes with mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students, except those with medical exceptions. Staff on campus are encouraged, it is not mandatory to get vaccinated. Anyone studying or working at Bucknell who is not fully vaccinated will be subject to routine testing.
The appetite for a face-to-face experience is evident. With 3,810 students, enrollment has never been higher at Bucknell as she enters her 176th year of university. His new class of 2025 is also the largest, with 1,031 freshmen.
“We haven’t seen so many students who have committed to coming to Bucknell change their minds over the summer,” said Kevin Mathes, dean of admissions. “Bucknell was committed to having a face-to-face experience and I think the students wanted it.”
“With three colleges in Bucknell,” Mathes said of the arts and sciences, engineering and Freeman College of Management, “we have met or exceeded enrollment numbers for each.”
Diana Wallet felt this desire. The senior biomedical engineering student was at the forefront on Wednesday helping freshmen move into campus housing.
Wallet felt lucky to have classes in person last year, she said, but the experience was limited by social distancing and other students virtually. Group work in engineering is vital and there hasn’t been much of it last year, she said.
“For my senior year, all I want to do is go back to class, see all my classmates and I’m so excited,” Wallet said. “Being able to work together on a problem instead of having to sit 6 feet apart would be amazing.”
Jonathan Searcy, a returning junior and member of the football team, noted how COVID-19 precautions did not allow for a busy move-in day last year. There was a feeling that despite being on campus, a sense of community was lacking.
“I really hope for a full year. I think everything is back to normal for the most part except maybe a little bit of masking, ”he said.
Opening of the Holmes room
Freeman College of Management is Bucknell’s newest college. After being based in the oldest building on campus, Taylor Hall, he moved to a brand new home.
Holmes Hall will open its doors this fall at Coleman Hall Drive and South Campus Drive. It is named in recognition of the commitments of Bucknell alumni, Steve Holmes, administrator, and his wife, Bonnie Bencsko Holmes. Both are members of the Class of 1979.
University administrators approved the building in 2019 at an estimated cost of $ 49.6 million. Construction began later that year. The last finishing touches were still in progress this week.
The Freeman College of Management will share the 78,500-square-foot building – the only building on campus with a curved shape – with the Department of Art and Art History. It includes nearly 20 new classrooms, laboratories and studios.
Raquel Alexander, Dean of Freeman College of Management, pointed to the varied spaces for collaboration between business and artistic disciplines. Spaces such as patios on the ground and third floors, an auditorium, exhibition spaces and a central atrium.
“The theme of the building is collaboration and connection,” said Alexander. “Classrooms and learning spaces are really designed in a spirit of collaboration. “
Much of the furniture is on casters to allow students to regroup. The classrooms are oriented so that the pupils face each other in the manner of a parliament. Several rooms will be available to students to book and work as a team on projects.
Freeman College of Management got its first promotion last year. It is the only accredited business school in the northeast affiliated with a leading liberal arts school, Alexander said. The entire top floor of Holmes Hall will be an “innovation center” to bring together the disciplines of art and business.
“So many artists are entrepreneurs,” Alexander said. “We think there are a lot of opportunities to do interesting things.”