‘Let Ursinus Be Ursinus:’ State of the College Address

In the annual State of the College address, Ursinus President Bobby Fong highlighted the achievements of the previous year while presenting a candid and optimistic vision of the college’s future.  

“We are more solidly-situated than a year ago, with notable results in enrollment and advancement, building on the strength of our academic programs, the vitality of our residential life, and the attractiveness of our campus,” Fong said.

The College anticipates a full-time student body of more than 1,630 for the coming academic year. That total includes 502 first-year students who arrived on campus August 21 as the third largest entering class in Ursinus history. The college’s yield—the percentage of accepted students who chose to enroll at Ursinus—rose to 22.7 percent, the highest since fall 2005.

A widely accepted measure of student success and satisfaction is the percentage of each entering class that graduates—the crucial metric being the six-year graduation rate. The Ursinus six-year graduation rate has improved. For the class of 2010, the six-year graduation rate at Ursinus was 74.1 percent. The rate for the class of 2011 was 79.1 percent, five points higher, and the six-year graduation rate for the class of 2012 is 80.5 percent.

Those graduates are finding professional and academic success just a short time after leaving Collegeville. More than 97 percent of the Class of 2013 graduates are employed, engaged in advanced study, or serving in the military or ventures such as Teach for America just one year after graduation.  Eight-six percent of that class participated in the annual year-end survey.

The personal and professional achievements of Ursinus graduates are a result of Ursinus providing the academic rigor that ultimately leads to reflective judgment, said Fong.

“Graduates grasp the social, economic, political, and scientific implications of today’s pressing issues,” he noted. “Ursinus encourages civility, civic responsibility, and the development of character. Graduates are able both to make a living and also to make lives worth living, where their personal flourishing is intertwined with the welfare of others.”

Fong also reported the College decreased its expenses from a historic high of $61.7 million in 2011-12 to $57.1 million in 2013-14.  Last year, Ursinus College raised $14.5 million in cash, stocks and in-kind gifts. This was the highest number of fiscal year gifts received in College history.

“At a time when higher education is being criticized for not teaching its students well or preparing them for the future, Ursinus stands fast to a tradition of liberal education that has served our graduates well for 145 years,” Fong said.

Faculty, staff and students can read the full text of the 2014 State of the College Address.