Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Challenge Yourself in 2022

The start of a new calendar year always brings me a sense of excitement, anticipation, and hope for the coming year. While I have never been someone to make resolutions, I have spent some time looking for ways to become a better version of myself as a husband, father, brother, uncle, colleague, and leader. 

Taking a step back, like an artist staring at a blank wall and reimagining who you are, is a healthy way to grow as a person. Whether that means creating good habits or committing to doing something to help others, it takes time and continuous effort to be the best you. So don't be afraid to challenge yourself in 2022. Together, we can make our community a shining example for others.

As our campuses spring back to life and we welcome students from the semester break, we move forward with enthusiasm immersed in the details of the integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield. Each day walking through the doors of Carver Hall I am energized knowing our vision for the integrated university is taking shape, and the promise of an exemplary student experience remains our highest priority. The expansion of high-quality affordable educational opportunities for our students remains our steadfast commitment. 

 We're also looking forward to spring semester traditions that are the hallmark of maintaining vibrant campuses within our respective communities. And most importantly, we're changing the lives of students and their families forever. In short, we're reimagining public higher education for the coming decades!

If you have any questions about the integration process, please email or check out for more information.

So remember, a new year means a new blank canvas awaits to paint a new picture. Always remember, as Iva Ursano, a Canadian blogger, once wrote, 'You are the artist of your own life. Don't hand the paintbrush to anyone else.'

Go Huskies!

    Bashar W. Hanna, President

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A season of giving and thanks

During our most recent Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees meeting, I had the honor of announcing a $5.3 million gift to the University from radio and media legend Kerby Confer. This generous gift will allow us to create a state-of-the-art media center for students aspiring to achieve success in the fields of radio, video, podcasts, live streaming, as well as other areas of broadcasting and media. In recognition of the impact this gift will have on the University, BU will name the new facility the Kerby Confer Media Center.

A central focus of the Confer Media Center will be to prepare students to enter the radio and media industries. As Kerby said to our trustees after the gift was announced, “This will make north-central Pennsylvania the hub for media.” I can’t thank Kerby enough for his commitment and for helping us bring that vision to life.

Gifts such as this one from Kerby and Steph Pettit ’89 in 2019 help BU transform the lives of our students and their families for generations to come. While gifts of this magnitude are transformational, every gift is significant. Our most recent Giving Tuesday resulted in over $40,000 from 168 donors. Those donors included 26 current students whose $1,375 in contributions will be matched by me. Now, more than ever, the need is great for immediate use funds to support students in earning their BU degree. 

On behalf of our students, a heartfelt thank you!

Speaking of the moments that can change a family’s direction for generations, last weekend, we held our Fall commencement ceremonies, in-person. It was wonderful to celebrate this milestone event with our students, their families and friends.

Fall Graduation '21

Now, as we near the end of 2021 and gather with those near and dear for the holidays, I send warm wishes for a season of joy.

May you stay healthy and safe and have time to relax, recharge, and get ready to usher in 2022!

    Bashar W. Hanna, President

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

We have much to be grateful for

It has been a busy Fall semester on campus and November was filled with a host of important events.

The month began with First Gen Week, a celebration of our students who are the first in their families to attend college. As a first generation student myself, I have walked in your shoes questioning whether or not if I belonged in college. But know that you are not alone in this journey at BU. There are resources on our campus to help you so don’t be afraid to raise a hand. Your destiny awaits if you stay the course and remain focused. This week I join with our campus community to honor and celebrate the more than 1,700 BU First Gen students who are set to be the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree.

We also celebrated Veterans Week to honor and recognize those who have served our country in the military. At BU we take great pride in our Military and Veterans Resource office which works to support our students as they pursue their educational goals. It was an honor to host the fourth annual luncheon for our faculty/staff/student veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. In addition, our BU Student Veterans Association held its annual Suicide Awareness Walk on Friday, Nov. 12, at 8 a.m.

Our final recognition week of the month was No Hate Week from Nov. 13-18. This year’s theme is “No More Silence.” As a campus, town, state, and nation, we must work to treat each other equally, fairly, and without fear. One of the most impactful programs during the week that serves as a bridge for our University and the community we call home is “Beyond the Fountain”, an annual Community Government Association (CGA) event, which was held on on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Kehr Union Ballroom. The week wrapped up on Thursday, Nov. 18, with “A Conversation with Albert Jones,” the chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities.

Finally, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Bashar W. Hanna, President

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A September to remember

This Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 through Oct. 15), I invite you to join with all of us at BU as we highlight and honor the contributions of Americans of Mexican, Spanish, Caribbean, and Central and South American descent in all aspects of American life.

We kicked off our celebrations earlier this month (Sept. 9) with a presentation by Javier Ávila, an author and professor whose work with students earned him the 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. 

Professor Ávila offered a close examination of the American Latino experience and said, quite profoundly, that “we can never be free if we have to hide who we are.”

Over the next 30 days, I hope you will participate in the many events that have been planned for BU’s Hispanic Heritage Month. You can learn more about those events by visiting our website.

Finally, I want to thank our students and my colleagues who helped coordinate and took part in BU’s 9/11 Day of Remembrance event earlier this month. 

What a powerful tribute it was to hear from two members of the BU Family and proud alumnae: PA State Treasurer Stacy Garrity ’86 and Elizabeth Miller ’17. Our remembrance of Sept. 11 is especially important when one considers that many of our students are too young to remember the tragic events of that day. For this reason, it is ever important to honor the memory of those we lost and pay tribute to our first responders.

Monday, August 23, 2021

A President's Welcome

Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester! It’s wonderful to have everyone back, and especially energizing to see our students back on campus. Welcome back to all our returning students, and a special welcome to our first-year and transfer students – I look forward to seeing you in the Commons and on the Quad.

To our faculty and staff, I thank all of you for your unwavering commitment to our students, and appreciate your perseverance in spite of the challenges we’ve encountered over the past 18 months. Special thanks to all our colleagues, CAs, and HOWLs who have been helping our newest students move in and get acquainted with the campus over the past couple weeks.

As you recently read, the health and safety of our campus community remains a high priority for us as we begin this semester. We continue to track the COVID-19 virus, and we have mandated masking indoors on campus because of the recent increase in positive cases in our county. I thank all of you for your cooperation in support of our commitment to conclude the semester as we begin it: in-person, and with a vibrant campus life and educational experience for all students.

I ask each of you to please wear a face covering of some sort while indoors, and please check our regular campus email announcements and COVID-19 dashboard for the latest updates. I remind all students that they will be automatically entered into our scholarship lottery upon providing proof of vaccination to our Student Health Center (SHC). Please visit the SHC webpage for further information on the scholarship opportunities, COVID testing, and on-campus vaccine registration.

Best of luck to all our students as we commence this academic year together, and thanks again to all my colleagues for your hard work and dedication in support of our students.

Please continue to be safe, mask up, and GO HUSKIES!

    Bashar W. Hanna, President

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Celebrating Juneteenth 2021

This Juneteenth, as we celebrate the significance of this historic day marking the end of slavery in the United States, may we also take a moment to reflect on the past year in our nation’s history. Since the senseless killing of George Floyd, we have witnessed an awakening of the ongoing need for our country to look inward, find our flaws and blemishes, and work to correct them through constructive dialogue and with a collaborative spirit and growth mindset. 

Here at BU, we will continue to strive for racial equality and justice for all. During our town halls for the BU community last summer and fall, we acknowledged that our campus is no different from many cities and communities across this country in that we have much work ahead of us in the areas of equity and inclusion. Thanks to the leadership of the co-chairs of our President’s Commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Shavonne Shorter and Ms. Maddy Rodriguez, we have held many training sessions and engaging discussions for faculty, staff, and students over the course of the past academic year.

While we as a campus community have made progress, we have more work to do and more progress to make. As we celebrate Juneteenth, let’s take some time to think about how we can make a difference as individuals to support our students, colleagues, and neighbors as we continue to build more equitable, inclusive, and welcoming communities at BU and across this great country. 

    Bashar W. Hanna, President

Friday, May 14, 2021

Congratulations, Huskies!

Dear BU Class of 2021,

This weekend I'm elated that you and your families will be able to conclude the academic year with an in-person commencement ceremony, the 152nd spring commencement in our institution’s history. We are proud of your patience and perseverance over the past year as the pandemic has altered our lives in so many ways.

I also want to express my gratitude to our faculty and staff, who taught, guided, mentored, and counseled you during your years here at BU. This weekend, we all delight in celebrating with you.

As you move into your next phase of life, my challenge to you is simple. Wake up every morning with one goal in mind – to face life’s challenges and make a positive impact in the life of another so that our future is a better place than it is today.

Now, more than ever, our world needs compassion, empathy, and leadership. My wish for you is to develop and maintain a growth mindset and contribute to your respective communities in meaningful ways. Don’t be afraid to challenge what you see and hear as you continue to learn and grow. Be courageous. Make your voices heard and make a difference in the lives of others. Be leaders. Stay engaged. Be Huskies.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you! May you and your loved ones continue to remain safe and healthy, and remember you’ll always have a home here at Bloomsburg University.

    Bashar W. Hanna, President