The fundamental characterization and understanding of 5f electron behavior in actinide complexes is imperative to provide an enhanced basis for the rational and accelerated development of improved processes relevant to nuclear energy. Soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy utilizing the scanning transmission x-ray microscope (STXM) at the Advanced Light Source-Molecular Environmental Science (ALS-MES) Beamline 11.0.2 has been used to probe the electronic characteristics of a nitrogen donor ligand 2,6-Bis(2-benzimidazyl)pyridine (BBP) and its resulting U(IV) complex. The nitrogen K- and carbon K-edges have been collected from both ligand and uranium complex, as well as the uranium 4d-edge from the complex. Upon complexation, the light element absorption spectra change markedly and the uranium spectra from the complex is compared to the reference spectrum obtained from U(IV)Cl4. The evolution of the spectral features are described and interpreted within a simple conceptual framework. Based on spectral evidence alone, the uranium is bound through the pyridine-like nitrogens and the oxidation state of the uranium is consistent with a U(IV) species.