By Lois A. Engle, engineering external relations manager
In April 2016, Mitch Blumenfeld ’91 was honored by the College of Engineering and the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association (BEAA) for his 11 years of service on the BEAA Board of Directors, including the most recent three years as its president. Blumenfeld continued the strong leadership legacy that has maintained and continued the BEAA’s tradition of providing vital support to the College of Engineering. The BEAA is an active and dedicated group of volunteers, returning more than 30 alumni to campus at least three times per year and engaging them with students and faculty in the College of Engineering — from career networking to serving as judges in design competitions and consulting with faculty on curriculum changes.
Blumenfeld joined the BEAA’s Board of Directors to give back to Bucknell in appreciation for the education that launched him into a successful 15 year career with General Electric, first as a software engineer and progressing through a wide range of assignments around the world. In 2006 he joined AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation as its senior vice president and CFO. His career continues today as the CFO for PCI Pharma Services, the world’s leading provider of outsourced pharmaceutical packaging, clinical trial services, drug development and manufacturing. In his three years at PCI, the company has nearly doubled in size through acquisitions, global expansion and strong organic growth. Since 2011 he has also been active as an angel investor, supporting startups in health-care IT and social networking, including three companies founded by Bucknell alumni.
Under Blumenfeld’s leadership, the BEAA helped the College of Engineering make history in three important areas:
WE DO ENGINEERING Event
Blumenfeld and more than 20 members of the BEAA board welcomed more than 200 alumni, faculty and students at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, in 2015 for an exciting evening celebrating the College of Engineering’s past, as well as its current accomplishments and its very important future goals. The evening showcased many of the important WE DO Campaign initiatives that support the mission of the college, including Sustainability, the Creative Campus, Human Health and Global Studies initiatives.
Alumni stayed late into the evening, connecting with old friends and faculty, as well as current students. As Bucknell’s first campaign event dedicated entirely to the College of Engineering, the event was a great success!
BEAA Transformative Engineering Education Endowment
In July 2013, just two weeks after assuming the BEAA presidency, Blumenfeld led the effort to establish the BEAA Transformative Engineering Education Endowment (TE3) to be co-directed by the dean of the College of Engineering and members of the BEAA Board of Directors. This was the first initiative led by the BEAA that will provide direct financial support to the most student-focused needs in the college. As an endowed fund, TE3 provides funding in perpetuity to support students’ needs and emerging engineering trends.
Initial areas of focus for the fund have included the Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program, entrepreneurship and innovation programs, and scholarship support for students participating in the ENGR 290 summer study abroad program.
TE3 has a targeted endowment goal of $500,000 and fundraising has been off to a great start. One hundred percent of the current members of the BEAA board have made pledges or gifts to the fund, which has raised nearly 35 percent of its target.
Today, we need the engineering alumni and parents help to hit our target goal to this endowment that directly supports our students. If you would like to learn more about this giving opportunity and to make a gift, please visit: BEAA Transformative Engineering Education Endowment (TE3)
BEAA Board of Directors Makes History with 100% Giving
In June 2014, the BEAA Board of Directors under Blumenfeld’s leadership reached 100 percent participation in giving to the Engineering Fund and TE3 for the first time in the history of the BEAA, which was established in 1956. In 2015 the rate of board participation was more than 90 percent, which fueled Blumenfeld to renew his challenge, and in 2016 the BEAA Board again reached 100 percent giving to the Engineering Fund.
Upon stepping into the presidency, Blumenfeld immediately began a campaign to showcase the importance of giving back to Bucknell through challenging the engineering alumni leadership, the BEAA Board of Directors, to reach 100 percent participation in an annual gift to the Engineering Fund and TE3. The board’s giving was historically focused on the giving of their time and talents to the students and faculty. The group provided strong financial support to the college and individual departments, but they struggled to reach 100 percent participation in annual giving. Today, Blumenfeld is leaving a legacy of 100 percent participation for the BEAA’s incoming president, Richard McFadden ’87, P’19, to continue.
Another major area of focus for the BEAA over the past several years has been to forge stronger connections with the faculty in the College of Engineering. Annual department-level meetings have been expanded to include a board committee focused on faculty engagement, the inclusion of faculty liaisons in all board meetings, and a major overhaul of the BEAA alumni survey to target connections between potential alumni volunteers and faculty needs. This initiative has brought new alumni support to key faculty initiatives such as the KEEN design challenges and the ENGR 290 summer study abroad program.
“Mitch has been a pleasure to work with throughout his time on the BEAA board,” said Keith Buffinton, dean of engineering from 2009 through June 2016. “He has ensured that the board has been able to continue its fine work and build upon its many successful points of engagement with the College. I cannot thank Mitch enough for his more than a decade of service on the board, particularly his three years as president. Mitch bleeds blue and orange (and often has the Bucknell colors prominently displayed in his attire). His dedication over the past 11 years on the board and lifetime of dedication to the College of Engineering are tremendously appreciated. Thank you so much Mitch. You have truly made a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and alumni!”
The College of Engineering and Bucknell extend a sincere thank you to Mitch Blumenfeld ’91 for his three years of leadership and guidance as president of the BEAA Board of Directors. Job well done, Mitch!