The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 25, 2009

Bucknell University freshmen get big welcome

LEWISBURG — Was there hospitality in Lewisburg on Monday? Ewe bet!

About 60 merchants participated in the seventh annual “Welcome to the Neighborhood” downtown fest for Bucknell University freshmen, and many of them gave the students treats, samples and chances to win prizes. The stores divided up the freshman class of just over 900 and pledged to specially welcome, by name, about 15 each.

At the Mad About Ewes store on Market Street, owner Libby Beiler gave out 20 hand-knitted caps to students on her list.

The students said they were delighted with the thoughtfulness of the gifts, including Vincent Pitagora, of Greenwich, Conn., who wore his tan cap, which had a beige border, in defiance of the heat, tag dangling with knitter Diane Marin’s name displayed.

Beiler said she couldn’t have done it without her customer volunteers who made the caps, 10 tams for girls and 10 stocking caps for boys.

“I love it,” said Arthur d’Auteuil, of Fort Worth, Texas, who modeled his green one. “I picked Bucknell for its small-town feel,” he said, and the cap confirmed his decision.

Elizabeth Barrett, of Warenton, Va., was momentarily stumped by her choices: lime green, yellow-orange, blue. She finally picked the red one.

I absolutely love it,” she said.

Students who didn’t get caps weren’t left out, however. Their names were distributed among other merchants who gave out food, chances and other gifts. And everyone got to make the rounds of their new neighborhood.

“The idea is to make the students feel more comfortable with downtown,” said Elaine Campbell, owner of Mya’s Cafe. She was giving out frosty strawberry tea smoothies, which were a big hit in the heat.

Nathan Hayes, a freshman from Portland, Ore., said Lewisburg is not so small there’s nothing to do, but it’s not so big there’s traffic and it’s a hassle to get around.

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