An Ursinus Education Is the Star at 139th Commencement

An Ursinus College liberal arts education was celebrated at the 139th Commencement on May 11, as 455 seniors received diplomas, and speaker Dr. Carol Geary Schneider addressed the importance of a liberal arts education for the twenty-first century. Video

Dr. Schneider, Baccalaureate speaker Rev. Geoffrey Black, and Chair of the Board of Trustees and immediate past President (interim) of Ursinus John E.F. Corson received honorary degrees at the ceremony, on a picture-perfect day.

Senior Class President Erica Schindewolf and Student Speaker Shane Eachus

Introduced by Senior Class President Erica Schindewolf, Dr. Schneider, who is the President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said that it was a special distinction to be at President Bobby Fong’s first Ursinus commencement. He is chair of the AACU organization.

Addressing the question,  “Is college still worth it?,” Dr. Schneider enumerated the skills employers seek, all gained through a liberal arts education. She said that strong communication, writing and speaking skills, as well as comfort with diversity and an interest in ethics are all strengths that employers want.  “They are things that Ursinus College does particularly well,” she noted. “[Employers] highly value that broad knowledge that has been a part of your education.

“We believe firmly, and Bobby Fong shares this belief, that liberal education in the twenty-first century has to bring together knowing and doing.”

Student speaker Shane Eachus lauded “the Ursinus way,” which he described as “following your heart and trusting your mind.”

President Bobby Fong announced three faculty awards.  The H. Lloyd Jones Jr. Award, established in honor of H. Loyd Jones, professor of English from 1947 to 1988, awarded to a faculty member for distinguished advising and mentoring, was awarded to Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Richard Wallace.

The Laughlin Professional Achievement Award, endowed by Henry P. Laughlin M.D. 1938, for a faculty member who has made significant contributions to scholarship, was awarded to Associate Professor of Biology Rebecca Lyczak.

The Lindback Award, for distinguished teaching, was awarded to Associate Professor of Business and Economics Jennifer VanGilder.

Dr. Fong said that the graduates “have been inspired by teachers, as they have been inspired by you . . .You are part of Ursinus forever, just as Ursinus will always be part of you.”