We posed this question to alumni, faculty, staff and students last November, expecting to hear about the Bloomsburg Fair, Town Park, the fountain on Market Square and local business establishments. We did receive the responses we expected, but we also heard much, much more. Half of those who responded told us what they love most about Bloomsburg is, in fact, Bloomsburg University.
From across the decades, they spoke of experiences at Bloomsburg State Teachers College, Bloomsburg State College and Bloomsburg University. At this location, by any name, alumni said they matured, found their career or their true love, participated in extracurricular activities and athletics, established lifelong friendships, learned from devoted faculty and made dreams come true.
Alumni who graduated over the past 60 years described the essence of our institution as it existed while they were here and as it is today. Certainly, we have grown from the 727 students who were enrolled in 1953, the year alumnus Gene Morrison graduated, to a total of 9,950 in fall 2012. The number of majors we offer has grown, as well, to 56 undergraduate programs, five pre-professional majors and 20 graduate programs, including the doctor of clinical audiology. Our outstanding programs are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as well as many program-specific accrediting bodies.
Just as in years past, opportunities abound for students. Bloomsburg University has nearly 200 organizations where students can pursue their passion, hone leadership skills and make friendships. Volunteer opportunities are readily available, with students annually performing 67,000 hours of community service worth an estimated $1.3 million. These activities are an integral part of our new model for fulfilling some general education requirements through experiential learning, known as MyCore.
More than 500 dedicated faculty members teach and mentor students today, carrying on the tradition of foreign language faculty Drs. Eric Smithner and Mary Lou John and others remembered by Patrick O’Neill ’74. Nearly 90 percent of our graduates find employment or enter graduate school soon after graduating, proof of the high-quality education students find here.
The Bloomsburg tradition continues, just as our alumni remember, in our well-earned reputation for academic excellence and preparation for a professionally and personally fulfilling life. And, our students continue to make memories to last a lifetime.
President, Bloomsburg University
Editor’s note: The feature, What We Love About Bloomsburg, begins on page 18. To read What We Love About Bloomsburg University, see www.bloomu.edu/magazine.