The Ursinus community celebrated the Inauguration of Bobby Fong on April 21, installing him as the 15th president of the College.
The ceremony was a highlight of a four-day campus series of celebratory events beginning Wednesday with the opening of a Student Art Exhibition, continuing Thursday with the Celebration of Student Achievement (COSA), and Friday with a Science Roundtable symposium, a Faculty-Staff Expo, and a celebration for students, Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and friends at the historic Foundry in Phoenixville
Sunday’s events included a Berman Museum open house and indoor Community Partnership Parade, and the final event, a concert by The Meistersingers and College Choir.
Speakers welcoming Dr. Fong as president included Professor C. Dallet Hemphill for the faculty, Berman Museum director Lisa Tremper Hanover for the staff, Collegeville Borough Councilman Arnold Mann for the community, Trustee and alumnus Alan Novak 1971 for the alumni, State Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. for the Commonwealth, the Rev. Judith Youngman for the United Church of Christ and Erica Schindewolf 2102 for the students. Chair of the Board of Trustees John EF Corson presided. The premiere of a musical piece, “Breath of Days,” with music by Professor of Music Garrett Hope and text by Professor of English Nzadi Keita, was performed by the Ursinus Wind Ensemble and College Choir.
The ceremony was capped with a performance by the Philadelphia Suns who performed a traditional Chinese dramatic Lion dance.
A keynote address by Dr. Daniel F. Sullivan, President Emeritus of St. Lawrence University, connected the Ursinus past with the anticipation of a bright future. “I love the spirit here,” he said. “ I love how Ursinus is so perfectly positioned to deliver more of what our students and the nation need right now. And I love that you have found a new president who knows how to work with trustees, faculty, staff and students to do what needs to be done at a very, very high level.”
Dr. Fong, in his inaugural address, asked the campus community to “rededicate ourselves to the promise of what an Ursinus education entails for present and future students,” and cited four themes: interdisciplinarity; experiential education; commitment to service; and appreciation of difference.
Said Dr. Fong, “The greatest justification for the kind of education we do here is that it can change the world. And our greatest obligation to our students is to remind them that the work they do will make a difference for good, not just for themselves, but for us all. For this reason, our final gift to our students must be to teach them to hope.”