The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 1, 2008

Bucknell alumni stream back onto campus

LEWISBURG -- Judy Ratcliffe and Barb Jones knew from the moment they met Marilee Cole during their freshman year that she was going to be special.

So did Stacy Hagerty, Pat Haddon and Linda Jackson.

In fact, the close-knit group of Bucknell University graduates was so sure Cole would do great things, they made plans to meet up again 40 years later when she would be honored by the university.

"We've been looking forward to this for a while," said Linda Jackson, of Conn., Class of 1968. "Not just to be here for Marilee, but to see the campus and (Lewisburg)."

Dr. Cole, who used her biology and chemistry degrees earned at Bucknell to pursue medicine, was among the celebrated alumni Saturday during the university's annual Reunion Weekend, which kicked off Thursday and concludes today.

Dr. Cole, who has since become an expert in tropical medicine, international health, and developing world HIV/AIDS management, was given the Service to Humanity Award by the Alumni Association for her work traveling on her own to Cameroon to provide medical treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.

Dr. Cole has been the making the two-month trips since 2000.

"By the time we graduated, it was written all over her face," said Barb Jones, of Texas, Class of 1968. "We knew she would do a lot of good."

Dr. Cole kept it all in perspective, while focusing more on how her classmates were going to plan out the rest of the night. Just like college, Dr. Cole said.

"It's nice to see not too much has change with them" said Dr. Cole, of Washington, D.C. "Even though a lot has changed on campus, you can sense it's the same quality of students, faculty and alumni."

The Class of 1968 was among 10 graduating classes celebrating their milestone reunions, while other alumni filtered to campus from 39 states across the country and as far away as Australia. More than 2,000 alumni and guests were expected to be on campus this weekend, according to Kristin Stetler, Bucknell's associate director of alumni marketing and communications.

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