Lewisburg, Pa. — Brian C. Mitchell has been working hard, staying up late, and doing his homework on Bucknell University since well before his official, on-campus Aug. 10 start date as Bucknell’s 16th president. In recent weeks, he has visited campus several times, held key meetings with senior administrators at Bucknell, stayed in touch with university officials on key issues, and worked closely with the university’s transition committee to ensure that he hits the ground running from day one.
"Over the next several weeks, I will be immersing myself in meetings with Bucknell faculty, students, staff, and community leaders," said Mitchell. "I’ve learned a lot about Bucknell already, thanks to the excellent help of the university administration, the transition committee, and its staff. But now the real work begins in earnest, and Maryjane and I couldn’t be more excited about being here."
Previously, Mitchell was president of Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Mitchell and his wife, Maryjane, regularly held dinners at the president’s house for students, faculty, and other community members — a tradition they plan to continue at Bucknell.
Mitchell, the first in Bucknell’s history to be hired as a sitting university president, stresses that he plans to spend the first six months on the job listening to people and learning about Bucknell’s culture.
"Bucknell is a great institution — small enough to nurture strong, personal relationships between its faculty and its students, and large enough to allow students to choose from a broad array of educational experiences," Mitchell said. "And Lewisburg, with its historic structures, its lively downtown, and its beautiful park and recreational spaces, is one of the best small towns in America."
Mitchell, 51, succeeds Steffen H. Rogers, who retired earlier this year.