LEWISBURG, Pa. -- More than 30 Bucknell student-athletes traveled to The Graham Company Building in Philadelphia on Nov. 14 for a Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute career networking event. Trustee emeritus Bill Graham '62 hosted and sponsored the event at his company's headquarters. Also among the 20 alumni participating Bucknell Hall-of-Famer and trustee emeritus Bill Dearstyne '62 a, who traveled with his wife Tockey all the way from his home in Austria. 

The networking event featured four rounds of "speed interviewing," where student athletes had the opportunity to practice answering commonly asked interview questions with alums. The second half of the evening consisted of networking opportunities for current student athletes to learn from our successful student-athlete alumni about the ins and outs of life after college, various career paths, and how sports has helped them long after their days in college are behind them.

"We are so fortunate to have alumni that give back to Bucknell with their talent and expertise," said Lauren Wicklund, associate director of athletics for leadership development. "The tools student-athletes learn in sports will make an impact on them for the rest of their lives, and this event brought those lessons to life. It was a wonderful collaboration between our Bucknell family across generations."

"I was able to meet and speak with some very interesting people who have similar interests as me," said wrestler Zach Valley a few days after the event. "I received an email today from one of the alums, and I am following up with two others later today via email. I hope that I will be able to strike an internship from one of the alums but, if not, it was still an amazing experience and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of it."

"I don't have a lot of experience with interviews, so being able to do a mock interview and get feedback was really valuable for me," said Annina Ruggirello of the Bison rowing team. "I also thought that the networking session was a good idea, I already felt very comfortable talking with the alumni, so I didn't feel awkward. Overall I think this trip was an extremely valuable experience"

"I absolutely got more out of the event than I even thought I would," said Ben Richard, an All-Patriot League linebacker on the Bison football team. "The feedback that the interviewers gave after we answered our questions was very helpful. All-in-all, the event was very helpful."

"I had a really great time and really enjoyed the opportunity to network with some Bucknell Alumni," added Julia Ulrich of the women's water polo squad. "I think the mock interviews were very well done and was definitely beneficial. I also really enjoyed the networking part."

Bill Graham and Bill Dearstyne are two of the most prominent supporters in Bucknell Athletics history. Most recently, Mr. Graham was the lead donor for the Graham Building, which opened this year adjacent to Sojka Pavilion. The new facility houses the Student Health Center as well as a state-of-the-art training center for the Bison wrestling team. Mr. Dearstyne recently made a seven-figure gift to support the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute. Alumni participants included:

  • Enoch Andoh '12 (men's basketball) -- manager of corporate development, Philadelphia 76ers 
  • Carter Bumgardner '13 (baseball) -- producer, The Graham Company
  • Caroline Coady '12 (field hockey) -- senior associate, KPMG
  • Bill Dearstyne '62 P'89 (swimming & diving) -- company group chairman and director emeritus, Johnson & Johnson and East West Institute
  • Jeff Dorst '90 (lacrosse) -- director of capital markets group and head of liability, Houlihan Lokey, Inc.
  • Ryan Ebner '12 (baseball) -- consultant, Trauner Cunsulting Services
  • Emily Frenzel '08 (golf) -- director, assistant market head, UBS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Taylor Funk '12 (cross country/track & field) -- senior internal auditor and underwriting specialist, Chubb
  • Laura Gowen '04 M.D. (lacrosse) -- plastic surgeon, Main Line Health Hospital System
  • Bill Graham '62 (wrestling) -- CEO & chairman of the board, The Graham Company
  • Clement Gyan '10 (cross country/track & field) -- multicultural initiative director, American Heart Association
  • Susan Hitchings '84 P'16 (field hockey, lacrosse) -- office manager, Lenker Dental
  • Brian Hitchings '84 P'16 (swimming & diving) -- senior vice president, SSH Real Estate
  • John Lawton '90 (wrestling) -- CEO, principal and portfolio manager, Burke Lawton Brewer & Burke
  • Heather Lenker '12 -- associate dentist, Lenker Dental
  • Jonathan MacKenzie '93 (soccer) -- managing director, PWC
  • Nick Mozal '08 (football) -- attorney, Ross, Aronstam & Moritz LLP
  • Scott Thistlewaite '94 (football) -- finance director, Johnson & Johnson
  • Stephanie Vogt '08 (swimming & diving) -- client service specialist, Walden Capital Advisors

Bucknell student-athletes in attendance included: