After ten years as Bloomsburg University’s president, David L. Soltz retired at the end of the 2016-2017 academic school year and after the long process of deciding which candidate will best fit BU, Bashar W. Hanna was named as Bloomsburg University’s 19th president in July 2017. During his first two months as president of Bloomsburg University, President Hanna has reached out to build a connection with the student body here at BU.
Every first Monday of the month Hanna meets with students at the library to have conversations with them. The “Fireside chats” are a great way for students to get to know the new president more and to also bring up any topics to his attention. President Hanna enjoys the Fireside chats at the library and he will continue to do them for the rest of the academic school year.
“I love meeting with the students and having conversations with them. I love seeing how much our students love Bloomsburg and how much they want to make a change,” said Hanna.
During his years as president, Hanna will make sure to look at every issue equally in order to keep BU successful for its faculty, staff and students.
“ I believe that the university as a whole is doing great,” said Hanna, “but we will pay attention to every part of the university. I will continue to engage in conversations to help us steer the university forward, central to that vision will be student’s success,” said Hanna.
Hanna was born in Syria and moved to the United States when he was ten years old. He then settled in Allentown, Pennsylvania with his family.
“If you would have asked me when I was 10 if I would have thought that an undergraduate, a master’s and a doctorate would have been in the realm of reality or possibility for me, I probably would have laughed and said, I just want to learn a few words of English,” said Hanna.
“My first impression of Bloomsburg is the family-like atmosphere that it has, it was very attractive to me and the beautiful mountains,” said Hanna. “Also I love the faculty and staff here that are highly dedicated to our students.”
Two weeks ago was Bloomsburg University’s Homecoming and it was the first time Hanna had the chance to experience the festivities as president of BU.
“It was a wonderful experience. I saw parents visiting their kids. It was a tremendous atmosphere. One word I would use to describe that whole weekend is family,” said Hanna.
One of the many things that the president loves about BU is the students; they were a large part of what made him want to come to the university.“Our students is what I love the most about Bloomsburg, everything about them, the energy, the engagement, the warmth that they shared with me,” said Hanna.