On May 3rd, the Bucknell University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to elect Chris O’Brien, a 1976 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, as its next chairman, effective on July 1, 2018.
O’Brien attended the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania institution from 1976-1980 after graduating from CBA. He has been an active member of the Board at Bucknell since 2012.
“Since joining the board in 2012, Chris has displayed a special combination of leadership, dedication and enthusiasm from which Bucknell has already greatly benefited,” said University President John Bravman in a press release. “His insight and guidance have been invaluable, and I am excited to work with him in this new capacity as we continue to build upon Bucknell’s institutional strengths and distinctiveness.”
O’Brien was a varsity runner at the Academy for head coach Tom Heath, later continuing the sport at Bucknell for their Division I cross country and track programs. He was also the student president of the Phi Lambda Theta chapter of Chi Phi Fraternity while at Bucknell.
“Bucknell is truly a unique institution offering a liberal arts education right alongside exceptional schools of management and engineering,” O’Brien said. “I have always believed in an education that is well rounded. It should provide both academic knowledge and career preparation. Bucknell does that very well and I was honored to be asked by my fellow Trustees to help maintain and fortify that commitment to our students going forward.”
The father of two current Bucknell students, Connor and Rory, O’Brien has held a number of roles as an alumnus of the university. Currently, he is the Board of Trustees’ executive assistant secretary, and he previously was chair of the Development & External Relations committee and was as a member of the Academic Affairs, Campus Life, Finance, Investments, and Nominating & Governance committees.
O’Brien also served as a co-chair for “WE DO: The Campaign for Bucknell,” a half-billion-dollar campaign that concluded in July 2017.
After majoring in business administration, O’Brien has enjoyed a very successful professional career. He is the founder and a partner at Endurance Capital Partners and the founder, president and CEO of O’Brien Capital Advisors.
Even deep into his business career, O’Brien continues to credit CBA for giving him a one-of-a-kind experience during his young adulthood.
“My years at CBA were a transformative time for me as a young man,” O’Brien said. “CBA provided a rare combination of focused learning in a truly ethical and moral environment. Those two influences have stayed with me throughout my life. In addition, I ran for Tom Heath for four years and that experience taught me the importance of hard work, discipline, and leadership, attributes that played an important role in any personal and business success I enjoy today.”
O’Brien currently lives in Connecticut with his wife Elizabeth and their two sons. His brother, Sean ’79, is a current CBA Board of Trustees member, while his father, Raymond, was a past CBA Board member. He also has an older brother, Raymond, a 1975 CBA graduate.
With his CBA and Bucknell roots running deep, O’Brien truly understands the rewards that come from excellent educational experiences.
“CBA gave me my first insight into the advantages of a high quality education. This was reinforced by the extraordinary four years I had at Bucknell, an experience I hope I can continue to help provide to Bucknellians for years to come.”