In Memoriam: Dr. Bobby Fong

bfongDr. Bobby Fong, President of Ursinus College, passed away on the morning of September 8, 2014.

Students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends are invited to share their remembrances and condolences. Please use the comment feature below.


181 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Dr. Bobby Fong

  1. What a great man. I reflect back on the first time we met. So dedicated to preserving the liberal arts education preparing young well rounded students who can give back to community. He will truly be missed.

    • I never met him, just read his words, sensed his character and his care for others, and appreciated his attiude and understanding that we all have a part in making the world a better place for having been here….he will be missed.

      • We are extremely saddened by the news of the sudden death of Dr. Bobby Fong. He was wholeheartedly generous, kind and sincerely devoted to educating our children. The Jimmy McDaniels Foundation appreciated his enthusiastic support. He will be truly missed.

    • I have known Bobby for many years and always admired his integrity, his dedication to students and to the liberal arts. His was a civil but strong voice for the values of higher education at its best. My sincere condolences to his family and to the college community.

    • I am so sad and my heart is broken. My mentor, my friend and someone that I loved, respected and trusted for the past eight years has passed. Dr. Bobby Fong, former Butler University president, meant so much to me. He offered me advice about my career decisions, celebrated my successes, and we shared great things that were happening to each other’s family. We just communicated with each other a week and a half ago, letting him know about my current developments. He was such a great leader, educator, and mentor. I will forever miss him and be thankful for his mentorship. He invested in me and believed in my leadership abilities and skills and for that, I am more successful.
      I am praying for Dr. Fong’s family.

    • I am deeply saddens to learn of President Fong’s passing. As a former Collegeville Borough Council Member I so much appreciated Dr. Fong’s desire to build a strong working relationship between the Ursinus College and Collegeville Borough. Having had the opportunity to meet with him on a number of occasions I quickly came to admire Dr. Fong. He was a good listener and committed not only to the college but the community at large. My thoughts are with his family, the students, faculty, and staff at Usinus.

    • Dr. Fong was the first professor I had in my major (English) at Berea College. He was an extraordinary teacher who was able to unlock the potential in all of his students, through his kind and insightful instruction. I regretted when he left Berea but understood his desire to have an even greater and far reaching impact on higher education. While I know he reached that goal, I can’t help but think that the legacy of his positive influence on the lives and achievements of Berea students will be one of his most enduring.

      My prayers go out to his family and friends for whom his loss will be most greatly felt.
      Amy Shehee

    • On behalf of Berea College, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Suzanne, Colin, Jonathan, and the Ursinus College community. Bobby‘s first full-time teaching position was at Berea, and he is remembered her as an amazing professor and a remarkable human being. Berea’s campus was shocked and deeply saddened at the news of his passing.

      While I regret not having had the opportunity to meet Bobby when he was at Berea, I was privileged to get to know him later when I, too, became an academic administrator. Bobby was in a league of his own; his generosity and long experience made him a favorite among those of us who were less seasoned. It is not surprising that he is still fondly remembered at Berea as an inspiring mentor of both students and younger colleagues when he chaired the English and Theatre Department. Many of his students have become professors and strive to emulate his teaching style in their classrooms. All who knew him were inspired by his positive, joyful personality.

      To those who knew Bobby, and especially his family, may God comfort you and grant you peace. May your many wonderful memories of him lift your spirits as you mourn and become finally a lasting celebration of a truly singular man.

      Lyle D. Roelofs, President
      Berea College

  2. This is sad news. President and Mrs. Fong treated my wife Sara, our (at the time) new-born Isaac and me as family during the 2013 Alumni events when I received a recognition. Isaac was a fussy little baby who was tired, hot and hungry but the Fong’s made certain we were comfortable. I enjoyed the conversations I had with Dr. Fong that afternoon, sharing thoughts about faith, liberal arts education and public service. His passing is a loss to the Ursinus community.

    • This is such sad news. He was a great man who personalized our experience of Ursinus College during our visits in 2014. Our hearts go out to his wife, sons, and family, all of Ursinus and the rest of the world that he touched.

  3. We are heartbroken to hear of this tragedy. Dr. Fong is the main reason that we came to Ursinus. Dr. Fong’s vision of ‘soul making’ is beautifully described in Thomas Moore’s writings, notably “Care of the Soul”. Perhaps the whole community might read this wonderful book in Dr. Fong’s honor, so that he may be remembered daily, and will live on through his students at Ursinus. With a very heavy heart, Vicky Sloat

  4. Such very sad news. My heart goes out to Suzanne and the boys for their loss.
    Pres. Bobby Fong…a very special individual. I first met him at Alumni Weekend before he officially took office and he was so at ease with everyone. A wonderful new leader for Ursinus. One who was ready to greet you with that fabulous smile of his. Being a part of his inauguration will be a memory I carry forever.
    Such a well rounded leader who was concerned for all…he will be missed.

  5. Dr. Fong was a thoughtful leader during my first few years working at Butler University. His actions and words reflected his commitment to the importance of the soul. My condolences to Suzanne and his sons.

  6. Dr fong and Suzanne joined our church at st James and became an immediate asset. His wife is in our choir and we as a choir are very saddened by his loss. We will forever keep dr fong and the Fong family in our prayers.

  7. Dr. Fong was president of Butler University all four years I attended. He was an amazing man, a thoughtful leader and had a wonderful sense of humor. My heart is with the whole Ursinus campus – his passing is making a lot of Bulldogs really sad today, too!

  8. Our hearts go out to the family. He was a wonderful President with a brilliant vision and.caring disposition. His smile and presence at the 2014 graduation of our son will always be remembered.

  9. As a current student, President Font probably did more for me than I’ll ever be able to recognize. I spoke to him in passing a few times, and I now regret not taking the chance to get to know him better.

  10. Our thoughts are with his family. As a mother of an Ursinus student, I was very impressed with the way Dr. Fong would not only solicit parent input on Ursinus issues but actully listen and take action on that input. Rare indeed. He will be missed–and he will be remembered.

  11. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Fong family. Bobby was president of Ursinus for the last three years I was there. I remember him always being a huge supporter of the swim team I was a part of. I will miss him dearly.

  12. Dr. Fong’s loss will be painful to everyone who knew this brilliant and warm person. He was a pioneer in the slow march toward diversity in college leadership. A gentle scholar who wanted to be in the midst of his students, and know each by name.

  13. Our condolences to Dr. Fong’s family and the Ursinus community. What a wonderful man, mentor, scholar and President. He will be missed. Our prayers are with you all.

  14. I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Fong. He was a blessing to us at Butler University as I am sure that he was during his years at Ursinus. His passion and vision transformed our university and I learned a great deal from his example about creating powerful communities of learning. Although he had many gifts, his ability to connect with people and create a positive, collaborative community is unprecedented in higher education.

  15. Even though he was only president for one year at the time, President Fong made a lasting impact of my Ursinus career. His passion and leadership were truly inspirational. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, colleagues, and the Ursinus community.

  16. We met President Fong in the early stages of the Ursinus web redesign, and we were all really impressed by his interest in the project— and in his willingness to trust his staff with overseeing the project. Our hearts go out to his family (both his immediate family and the greater family of Ursinus students, faculty, staff, and alumni).

  17. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for your kind words and your unwavering support. I will miss you. My prayers are with your family, friends, and community. Rest in peace.

  18. Very sad news to hear of the passing of Dr. Fong this morning. Ursinus has lost another great leader. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Ursinus community.

  19. I was privileged enough to have worked at Ursinus with President Fong and to have had many conversation with him. I will remember many things about Bobby, but as I reflect on his legacy the two things I continue returning to are humility and wholeness. Bobby was humble in his position as President. He treated people as an equal, and from my experience, valued opinion and ideas, no matter how similar they were to his own. This humility served him well as an educator. In his position as President Bobby advocated for the education of “whole people,” not just of the mind. He recognized the transformational power of education, for individual and society, and called others with him to serve in their community, nation, and world. His loss is a communal loss, not just for Ursinus, but the community of educators he has impacted.

  20. My thoughts are with President Fong’s family and the Ursinus community. I had the great pleasure of getting to know Bobby as a professional colleague over the last three years, where he represented Ursinus well in the national community of liberal arts colleges. He was invariably kind and thoughtful, and an interesting and insightful thinker about the opportunities and challenges facing our institutions. He will be greatly missed.

    Steve Thorsett
    President, Willamette University

  21. President Fong came to Ursinus long after I had graduated, yet I was greatly impressed with his vision, dedication, and passion for not only Ursinus but the students, faculty, parents, and alumni. I had the pleasure of having lunch with him and his wife this past June at the Phillies alumni event and I will remember fondly the excitement we shared talking about the growth of the college and increasing involvement of alumni. At homecoming this year when the Class of 2004 celebrates our 10 year reunion we will surely miss President Fong being with us. My thoughts are with his family, friends, the Berea College, Hope College, Hamilton College and Butler University communities as they grieve and celebrate the life of President Fong along with us.

  22. I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Fong’s passing. As a recent graduate, I can say Dr. Fong truly made a lasting impression on my life. He genuinely cared for every student at UC and many looked to him as a role model. I was surprised and honored when he attended my COSA presentation in 2013, and I will never forget the sense of appreciation I felt when he stated, “Excellent presentation, Abby!”. Dr. Fong certainly made it his priority to support the students of UC. My heart is heavy with sympathy and I will be thinking of Mrs. Fong and the rest of Dr. Fong’s family as they struggle through this difficult time.

  23. Bobby was the role model for any university president — he was inclusive, curious, vibrant, and engaged. He was so loved and respected. I will always remember the once a month opportunity — the sign and table at Starbucks in the Butler Union for anyone to come, sit, and chat awhile. He so loved that time. My condolences to Suzanne and their sons. Today so many of us are profoundly sad learning of your loss but so enriched for having known him.

  24. My heartfelt condolences go out to Suzanne and the Fong family. I am deeply saddened at the passing of a truly wonderful, caring man. Having served on the Alumni Board and Trustees during Bobby’s tenure at Butler University, I saw first hand the vision that he brought to our campus which continues flourishing to this day. May our Ursinus friends find strength in coping with the loss of Dr. Fong.

  25. As a fellow liberal arts college president, and the daughter of a former Ursinus College faculty member, I was deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Fong’s passing. Having met him several times and followed his career with interest, I was impressed by the combination of intellectualism and deep humanity he brought to his understanding of undergraduate education. My condolences to his family and the Ursinus College community.

    Alison Byerly
    President, Lafayette College

  26. I met Bobby at several campus events during his too short tenure.. He was always friendly and approachable. I loved his vision for Ursinus and for education as development of the soul. In his memory let’s go bears.

  27. We were very sad to hear the news about Dr. Bobby Fong this morning. He was a remarkable person, and our entire family feels blessed for having had the opportunity to work for him at Butler University. Our thoughts and prayers are with Suzanne, Jonathan, Colin, and the MANY people that he inspired in his work across higher education. – Brad and Tracy Stevens

  28. I had the honor of serving as a student member of the strategic plan with President Fong my senior year of college. Every early morning meeting he arrived with a smile and contagious energy. He chose to lead Ursinus with humility, with compassion, and with unwavering dedication to the students, faculty and staff he worked with. He immersed himself into our culture all the while leading us to create anew. I feel so fortunate to have called him a mentor. My thoughts and heart are with his family, and the Ursinus community during this loss.

  29. Some years ago, I served with Bobby on the AAC&U Board. He was gentle, caring, smart, committed. His interests were wide-ranging, from baseball to Oscar Wilde. He loved his family, his friends, his students, his colleagues. I grieve for Suzanne, for Ursinus College, and for everyone who knew him.

  30. My sincerest condolences to Suzanne and her sons on their tragic loss. I will always remember President Fong presence at my retirement party in July 2012. He had been away from campus all that morning, and upon his return rushed to Wismer Hall where my retirement party was being held, just to give me his personal thanks for years of service and encouragement for my retiring years. He was a fine man, a gentleman I hold in high esteem. He will be sorely missed by countless people in the Ursinus community and beyond the campus walls.

  31. I was introduced to Dr. Fong at a campus event in April, where we chatted about our mutual experiences as college presidents. I found him gracious, welcoming, interesting and committed to his college community. My sincere sympathies to his many families, at home and on campus, for his untimely passing.

  32. So sad to learn of Bobby Fong’s passing this morning. My son just graduate this past May 2014. Dr Fong was a visionary and his love for learning touched many in higher education. He contributed to elevating Ursinus even further as a well-regarded liberal arts school. Our deepest condolences to Suzanne and to his sons for the loss of a wonderful individual.

  33. I had the privilege of having Bobby as a close colleague during his presidencies at Butler and Ursinus, as well as serving together on the AAC&U board. He was consistently a thoughtful, generous, warm and gentle human being and his loss will be felt throughout the higher education community. The Elon community sends our sincere condolences to Bobby’s family and the Ursinus community.

  34. I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of an accomplished scholar, a visionary leader, and a caring human being: Dr. Bobby Fong.
    My family joins me to extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Fong, their sons Jonathan and Colin, the extended family of Ursinus College and many more people who were touched by Dr. Fong’s life of purpose and legacy of excellence, locally and globally.

  35. What a loss for the college and the family, and all of us whose lives were touched by Bobby Fong. When my daughter died by suicide while a student at Ursinus last year, Bobby was an incredible source of help and support to us and the campus community. He was open and honest in addressing the issue of suicide/mental illness and its effect on students, rather that keeping things quiet, as other college administrations might have done. He traveled to our hometown to give the eulogy, and also arranged for a memorial service and tree planting for our daughter on campus. His gentle words of comfort will always stay in our hearts. I will never forget him, and my love goes out to everyone who loved him, and those he loved.

  36. I am stunned by the sudden death of President Bobby Fong. He was a friend and colleague. I will miss him greatly.
    Bobby was a true pioneer. One of the very few Asian American Presidents/Chancellors in higher education, he was a visionary and mentor to so many.
    My wife, Shirley Hune, and I send our condolences to Suzanne and their sons as well as to the Ursinus College community. He is a loss to us all.
    Kenyon S. Chan
    Chancellor, University of Washington Tacoma

  37. My deepest condolences to Dr. Fong’s family and the Ursinus community on their loss. Dr. Fong served as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Hope College, my alma mater, and as President of Butler University, my other alma mater. Students, faculty and community members loved him at each stop. He was also a huge baseball fan; I used to see him at Indianapolis Indians games. He will be greatly missed by everyone whose life he touched.

  38. We were deeply saddened to hear of Bobby Fong’s death. As parents of a recent UC graduate and a junior at Ursinus, we were impressed with Bobby’s commitment to the college. Always accessible, he was a friendly presence on campus. His pride in the faculty, administrators, and students was evident in every speech he delivered or letter he wrote. He will be missed. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family and the entire Ursinus community.

  39. With a heavy heart I offer my condolences to Dr. Fong’s family, friends, colleagues and the Ursinus community. His belief in liberal arts education always excited my soul and especially when I read the many President’s Papers or articles, which revealed the importance of his love and purpose of life through striving to continuosly recreate ourselves and thus contribute to the lives of families, friends and communities. His life is a celebration!

  40. We are all feeling a profound sense of loss following Bobby Fong’s untimely death. He and Suzanne made it a priority to support the Collegeville Farmers’ Market, the non-profit Collegeville Economic Development Corp. (CEDC), and most of all, the entire Collegeville community. Because of Dr. Fong’s commitment, a strong partnership now exists between the campus and the community. That legacy will live on after him, along with the memory of Bobby as both a valued leader and as a warm, caring individual who made every person he met feel special.

  41. A sad day for Ursinus and for the liberal arts generally. Bobby was a model leader, something I saw in our few conversations, in his hire of Provost Winegar, and in the admirable work he accomplished at Ursinus. Condolences from a friend at a sister institution,
    David Imhoof
    Susquehanna University

  42. I did not know Dr. Fong but I’ll always remember seeing him in the middle of the picture of the wrestlers after their conference win. By his presence, he certainly let them know that their hard work and dedication were important. Thank you, Dr. Fong, and my condolences to his family and the Ursinus community.

  43. Bobby was Dean of Faculty at Hamilton College when I joined the English Department in 1995. He was a mentor, a guide, and a friend, and I was delighted to be able to re-connect with him and Suzanne when I moved to Philadelphia. He had a rare empathy and kindness that informed everything he did. I will miss him.

  44. It was tragic to learn of the passing of President Fong. I only met Bobby a few times including a chance meeting at a baseball card show in King of Prussia where my son was able to shake his hand and talk hoops. The Ursinus community and his neighbors on 9th Avenue will miss him. God bless you Bobby!

  45. I am the parent of a current Ursinus student and was shocked and saddened to read the news this morning about Bobby Fong’s passing.
    At Parent’s Day last year, he came up to the stands during the football game and sat among the members of the newly-revived Pep Band. He seemed truly excited about the band and spoke with parents and students nearby. He seemed very kind and interested in everyone. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Ursinus community.

  46. The Bormann family is so saddened by the loss of such a tremendous man. I first met Dr. Fong at an event for prospective students we attended with our now freshman daughter. Dr. Fong humbly introduced himself as “Bobby” and was so happy to chat informally. We immediately got a sense for his sensitive and caring intellect. Never had we seen a college President be so accessible! We were sold on Ursinus from the get-go! Often times, I would comment on a “President’s Perspective”, and would almost immediately receive a thoughtful response. My heart breaks for Dr. Fong’s family, and the greater Ursinus community. We lost a giant. In his honor, I suppose we must go on, and embrace the values that Dr. Fong held dear closer than ever.

  47. I am deeply saddened to hear of Bobby’s passing. Bobby Fong was such a remarkable person, and his impact on higher education throughout his life is exemplified by the many students, staff and faculty he inspired. On behalf of all of us at Scripps College, I extend my condolences to Bobby’s family and the Ursinus community. He will be missed by all of us.

    Lori Bettison-Varga
    President, Scripps College

  48. Bobby Fong loved students. Everything he did in college and university leadership grew from that love. He believed that a campus community shapes the heart and mind and soul of each student and that each of us is called to care for one another in this world. Thank you, Bobby, for the love you gave. May we remember you always by living as you lived.

  49. Had the privilege of meeting Dr. Fong the night I was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. I didn’t know him well but it was easy to see his pride in what he did. This is truly a sad loss. My thoughts are with Dr. Fong’s family and the Ursinus community.

  50. Our sincere condolences to his wife, sons and his family, as well as the Ursinus community. We had the opportunity to meet him and were impressed with such a great man. He will be missed.

  51. It was my privilege to know Bobby as a fellow board member of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. He immediately impressed me with his intelligence and generosity of spirit. His passing is a loss to American higher education, but how fortunate we were to have his talents for the years we did.

  52. I have not met Dr. Fong, but I’ve watched with pride as he has kept Ursinus College moving in a great direction. I graduated 51 years ago, and I continue to support my alma mater in all ways.

  53. Dr Fong gave a great boost to Butler University. He sought to further his passion at a great institution that focused so intently on the undergraduate development of learing. Our loss, your gain but now we both experience a great loss. Dr Fong is fondly remembered for his many contributions in the decade of service he gave Butler University as its 20th president. I wrote down a quote from the NYTimes sports section that he once said that represented him as a person and leader ““I always needed to worry about where the next dollar was going to come from,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with worrying about how to be secure economically. It may be a necessary thing, but it’s not the sufficient thing. There are things that ultimately will make for satisfaction in life that go far beyond that.”.. I am so happy he found his satisfaction at Ursinus. He was principled and kind. My heart goes out to Suzanne, Colin and Jonathan.

    • What a wonderful quote. As an alum of Ursinus, Dr. Fong’s President’s Perspective was one of my main ways of staying in touch with the college. From those writings, I felt blessed that Ursinus had a leader that obviously cared deeply about the liberal arts and developing well-rounded graduates. My deepest condolences to his family.

  54. My heart and prayers go out to the Fong family. President Bobby Fong was such an asset to Ursinus College. I was blessed to meet him during the 2014 Alumni Awards Ceremony. He was so committed to the future of the College. He will be missed. His presence will live in piece. R.I.P.

  55. Bobby was a friend and mentor through some of the most difficult months of my professional life. He was there with Suzanne for me and my wife Kim, providing context, experience, insight, support, vision, confidence, humor, imagination, faith, strength, and balance. His passion for higher education, his commitment to Ursinus’ mission, and the joy and love he felt for his colleagues and students, his wife and children, made him the happiest of men.

  56. Dr. Fong was one of my favorite professors at Berea College, back in the 1980s. He has always been scholarly, caring, and had such an infectious laugh. What a loss to higher education, and to the community. Thinking of Suzanne and the boys.

  57. As a Butler University freshman in 2001, Bobby Fong joined “our class” as the incoming president. Four years later, I shook his hand as he handed me my degree. The kinship my fellow graduates and I felt with him was immeasurable, and in the years between and since, I, like countless numbers of my fellow Bulldogs, was touched and changed by his teachings and actions as our beloved President.

    Today as I grieve our “BoFo,” my heart goes out to Dr. Fong’s family and to the entire Ursinus College community. My sincerest condolences to all, and my hope that Dr. Fong’s legacy at Ursinus will continue on as it has at Butler. To the students, faculty, and staff especially, I wish you the best as you begin a new school year under the weight of this loss. My thoughts are with you all.

    Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz
    Butler University ’05

  58. Such sad news for the Fong family as well as the Ursinus family. Such a young spirit that understood and championed the importance and value of a liberal arts education. His refreshing and inspirational leadership will be missed.

  59. On behalf of the Butler University community, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Suzanne, Colin, Jonathan, and the entire Ursinus College community on the passing of a truly wonderful man. I met Bobby as I was assuming the presidency at Butler University. From the very first time I met him, right up until his passing, he demonstrated a consistent and thoughtful concern for Butler University, and sincere and gracious support as I worked to build upon his most significant legacy. This is a true loss for his family, friends, and the academic community. He will be missed!
    James M. Danko
    President, Butler University

  60. I had the privilege of being an undergraduate student at Butler while Dr. Fong was President. He made such a positive impression on so many of us. I wish I could post my favorite picture of him: I snapped a photo of him laughing and joking with a group of students at a student talent show put on by our music department. He looks genuinely pleased to be there.
    I express my heartfelt condolences to the Ursinus community in this loss. We have lost a great leader, a man with wonderful vision, and a person who truly loved encouraging the pursuit of learning. Take care during this time.

  61. We had a chance to talk to Bobby Fong at an event in Boston that was held at the Sam Adams Brewery. I was impressed by his desire to have real heart-to-heart conversations with students during the reception. It’s sad to think that the Ursinus community had to go through another loss of its president.

  62. I am very saddened by this news. I truly enjoyed his Presidents Perspective emails. He was a true educator and understood the significance of education and the advancement of or society . We have enjoyed the experience my son Michael has had at Ursinus and I was looking forward to meeting Dr.Fong at his graduation this may. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and kids. God. Bless and Go Bears!!!

  63. We were honored to host Dr. Fong at our annual Farm City dinner in 2012. Dr. Fong spoke to the guests about his personal connection to farming…his parents were rice farmers in China. He was a fascinating man who loved the college and the surrounding community. On behalf of the members of Keystone Grange #2 in Trappe, Dr. Fong’s family and the greater Ursinus College family have our condolences.

  64. As a Butler University faculty member, I join with the Ursinus community in expressing my sincere condolences to Suzanne and their sons at the sad passing of a truly wonderful man who has made a difference in the life of students, faculty, staff, and community members across the country. Bobby lived his wish for all students: to live a life of purpose. My thoughts are with you all.

  65. I was deeply shocked and saddend of the news that Dr. Fong has so suddenly passed. Words alone cannot begin to describe what a great man he was to the Ursinus community. I have spoken with Dr. Fong at several football games and the passion he had for his students was beautiful. His eyes would sparkle and smile from ear to ear! The feeling was truly mutual from all of the Ursinus family. He will be truly missed by all. Mrs. Fong, Colin and Jonathan, God Bless you all and may you all find peace during this difficult time.

  66. I didn’t know Bobby well, but had the privilege of meeting him several times. He was such a gentle man, so bright and wise, and completely dedicated to liberal arts education and to Ursinus. He was committed to securing the reputation of Ursinus as an outstanding liberal arts college dedicated to providing an exceptional education to students of modest financial means. I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and thanks for the contributions of their partner in life/dad.

  67. I, too, am profoundly saddened by the loss of this wonderful, kind, inspired, intelligent man. I had the great good fortune to be among the first “civilians” at Butler to meet Bobby Fong when he was interviewing for the Butler presidency. He and Suzanne made what he later revealed to be a “stealth visit” to the admission office to learn more about the University from a parent’s point-of-view. I didn’t know until later that he was about to become Butler’s leader. That first connection was always worth a wink and and a hug thereafter. I feel so fortunate to have known and worked with such an amazing man. My deepest sympathies go out to Suzanne, Jonathan and Colin, the Ursinus and Butler communities, and all who are feeling this tremendous loss.

  68. The news of Bobby Fong’s passing is beyond heartbreaking.

    I had the distinct pleasure to sit and talk arts administration AND baseball (our two shared lifelong passions) with BoFo in his office at Butler University just after I graduated from there, and it couldn’t have been a better experience. Later, when I saw him at a concert, he took the time to me ask how things were going, as well as take a moment to talk with my mother.

    His guidance and example as an educator, a humanitarian, a gentleman and a crusader for others, will forever shine in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew him. And more proof of his legacy is seeing how many students have and WILL benefit from his warmth, passion and drive – both in Indianapolis and Collegeville.

    My sincerest condolences to Mrs. Fong, their sons, and family.

  69. Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
    Lengthen night and shorten day;
    Every leaf speaks bliss to me
    Fluttering from the autumn tree.

    I shall smile when wreaths of snow
    Blossom where the rose should grow;
    I shall sing when night’s decay
    Ushers in a drearier day.

    ~Emily Bronte

  70. I was deeply saddened to hear this terrible news. Bobby was a good friend, an outstanding colleague, and a gifted leader. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My thoughts are with Suzanne and his family.

  71. President Fong was a visionary and understood the critical intersection between academia and the broader community. It was just a few weeks ago that we met in his office to discuss these issues. As much as he enjoyed the discussion, I think his favorite part of the meeting was showing off his baseball bat collection. I will miss him and so will Montgomery County.

  72. We are numbed and heartbroken by the news of Dr. Fong’s passing. We will never forget the warmth and kindness of Dr. Fong and Suzanne towards the Butler community, and us, personally. You were the soul of this school while you were here. It was a privilege to know you. Our condolences to Suzanne and the boys. May God give you the strength to bear this unbearable grief. Dr. Fong – you will be missed, and never forgotten.

    – Sudip and Nandita Das, Butler U.

  73. Such a tragic loss for Dr. Fong’s family and the entire Ursinus family (past, present and future). I looked forward to meeting Dr. Fong at my 15 year reunion in October. I’m so, so sorry.

  74. I worked at Butler University when Bobby arrived and had just left before he moved on. He began at Butler when times had been quite tough and had a difficult job at the outset. He made a few blunders but much to his credit he learned from them quickly and became a very good leader. He had a gentle soul and a good heart. I quite liked him and developed a respect for him over the years. He left Butler in an extremely good position, a real turnaround. I admired him for his personal and quiet leadership and appreciated his intelligent and wise management. The world has lost a good man. Rest in peace, Bobby.

  75. I will never forget the spring day in 2001 when I was sitting in the Admissions office at Butler University and one of the staff members came in and asked “Who gave a tour to Bobby and Suzanne Fong yesterday?” I looked up, raised my hand and acknowledged that it was me. I was afraid I had done something wrong. They informed me that the Board of Trustees had interviewed him to be President of Butler University and they wanted the two of them to experience Butler as anyone else would, so they sent them on a tour unannounced to the rest of us. I was relieved when he accepted the job a short time after. In the fall after the academic year had begun, I went up to him once again and introduced myself. He smiled and said “You were my tour guide”. From that day forth, he never forgot me, his Butler University Tour Guide. He would wave at me across campus, and never missed an opportunity to stop, say hello and ask me how I was doing. Dr. Fong was one of the most kind, down to earth people I have met. Butler University is a better place because he was there. Thank you Dr. Fong. You will be missed.

  76. I met Bobby Fong last winter when we were on Capitol Hill as part of an AICUP delegation. As we waited for our appointment President Fong treated me to an iced chai and we had a lovely conversation that ranged from our visit on Capitol Hill, his academic interests, his excitement at being president of Ursinus College and his family, who he spoke about with such love and pride. I was impressed by his openness and humility. I am so saddened for his family and friends and the Ursinus community who, in recent years, lost two wonderful leaders, Bobby Fong and John Strassburger. My thoughts are with his family and his academic colleagues.
    Patti Lawson
    Government & Community Relations, Gettysburg College

  77. I am a nearby seminary president in Lancaster, PA, and I met Bobby Fong last March. I was inspired by his story about helping his former university (Butler) to cope with the 9-11 tragedy through rituals rooted in various communities of faith. I was glad to see he carried this awareness of religious life and spirituality to Ursinus. He encouraged maturity in faith as integral to the formation of young adult character. He spoke eloquently of “soul making.”

  78. It is a sad day for Ursinus and the entire higher education community. Back in 2013 I invited Bobby to come share his thoughts on executive leadership with my Leadership class at Ursinus. He accepted my invitation without hesitation, demonstrating his true love for educating and sharing his life with others. Bobby was a beautiful man and remains an incredible inspiration.

  79. Dr. Fong will be remembered for his compassion, kindness, and thoughtfulness. He was the leader we all aspired to be. I will always be grateful for the time and dedication he shared while serving Butler University.

    One of the greatest speeches I ever heard was the time he shared his personal story and thoughts on immigration. I am confident Suzanne, Jonathan, and Colin know the impact Dr. Fong made on thousands and thousands of students–he was a true difference maker. I am so sorry for their loss, and I hope they know how much we are all thinking about them during this devastating time.

    Dr. Fong was one of the great ones.

  80. On behalf of the entire Juniata College community, I want to express our deepest sympathy to Suzanne, her sons, their extended family, and the broader Ursinus college family on the loss of Bobby. I will always remember his smile, his humility, his passion for students. He was an extraordinary colleague and even better person.

    Jim Troha
    President, Juniata College

  81. As a member of the Butler community, I deeply appreciated Bobby’s integrity, positive approach and compassion. He truly left Butler a better place.

    I join the Ursinus community in sending condolences to Suzanne, Jonathan, and Colin. Bobby was a fine man, indeed!

  82. My wife and I are both sad to hear about the passing of Bobby in the Indianapolis Star.
    We send out our prays to Suzanne, Jonathan and Colin. I grew up with Bobby in Oakland, CA and he was the smartest guy in the group, We appreciate the time we were able to spend Bobby & Suzanne in Indianapolis.
    James & Leah Yee

  83. Bobby Fong embodied greatness. A man of enormous intellect
    and infinite kindness his endearing spirit led people to respect and admire him. I had the great privilege to become acquainted with Dr. Fong while he served as a board member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. A great light has gone out in higher education. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the Ursinus community.

  84. While I had no connection to Dr. Fong, I admired his work, personality and warmth when he was at Butler University and wished him all the best as he moved along to Ursinus. This is a sad day and all who knew and cared for him are in our hearts and prayers.

  85. President Fong was a caring mentor, thoughtful advisor, and inspiring role model for my colleagues and myself, as a proud Chinese American leader in the field of higher learning. His kindness, humility, courage, and talents were deeply unforgettable… His reminder for our fellow life long learners to live with a purpose larger than yourself is so meaningful, profound, and far reaching. My thoughts and prayers are with his love ones and campus communities.

    Honggang Yang, Ph.D.
    Dean and Professor
    Nova Southeastern University
    School of Humanities & Social Sciences
    3301 College Avenue
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

  86. I am deeply saddened by the news of Bobby’s passing. He was a true teacher and scholar, and a passionate champion of the liberal arts. In two short years, he became a valuable friend and mentor. My sympathies go out to his family and the Ursinus community.

    Kathleen Harring, Muhlenberg College

  87. It is with great sadness that I learned of Dr. Fong’s passing. It was such a gift to be at Butler during Dr. Fong’s tenure. His first year at Butler University was also my freshman year, and I still remember his joy and enthusiasm as he kicked off the school year. He could always be spotted around campus engaging with students, faculty, and parents, and was always so approachable. He was able to do amazing things for the university, and I look back fondly on my time there.

    My sincere condolences to Dr. Fong’s family and the entire Ursinus community for your loss.

  88. My father, Ben Maliken Class of ’54, was a true supporter of Bobby Fong. They worked closely together on educational changes (Chair in Ethics). Bobby’s love of Ursinus and his genuine excitement and enthusiasm every time he spoke was infectious. When my father fell ill, Bobby was very supportive of my dad and the family.

    Condolences from the all of the Maliken children to Suzanne, the boys, and the entire Ursinus community – it is a huge loss and we are deeply saddened by the news.

  89. I remember Bobby’s tenure at Berea College very well. He was a popular teacher and well-liked by colleagues. It was obvious that he would go from Berea to some higher levels and he certainly did! I am saddened to learn of his death and will remember his family in my daily prayers.

  90. I will forever be grateful to Bobby and Suzanne for opening their home (and pool) to the Crigler Institute participants. Their warm hospitality was always a great way for us to end the program.
    My heart is heavy and I’m praying for the Fong family

  91. Dr. Fong, affectionately nicknamed “BoFo,” was the epitome of an exemplary university president. He came in with my freshman class at Butler in 2001, saw the university through the difficulties of 9/11 and the campus shooting in 2004 with the utmost pastoral care; and through BU’s amazing growth, two National Championship basketball games, and so much more. He was so accessible to, and respectful toward, the entire community, so caring, and a champion of the institution. My prayers and thoughts are with Suzanne, Jonathan, Colin, and the entire Ursinus community.

    Dr. Ursula M. Kuhar, ’05, MM ’07

  92. What a tremendous loss to the higher education community. Bobby was a consummate educator and presidential leader of two progressive universities. My prayers and thoughts are with his immediate family and the greater higher education community. “Gone too soon”

  93. We were neighbors and colleagues of Bobby Fong while teaching at Berea College in the 80’s. I am greatly saddened to hear of his death. My condolences to Susan and their sons.

  94. Of my many memories of Bobby, the most precious are two. We were colleagues and friends at Berea College. He never knew how much I admired his good nature, intelligence, love of learning and scholarship, love of teaching and students, fidelity to Berea’s Commitments, and zest for life. The other took place in the living room of their home when Bobby was Dean at Hope College. The two of us played cowboys and Indians with his and Sue’s two young boys, with dramatic pows, bangs, and (clutching the heart) “You got me!” A moment of sheer joy. How blessed I was to know him and for a time be a part of Bobby’s life.

  95. Dr. Fong became President after I graduated but he was a member at the golf club where I worked right out of college. The first day I met him as his waitress I introduced myself and let him know I was an alumni. He was so kind and gracious and immediately made me feel happy! Ursinus had many events at the club after that and he always greeted me with a smile. Very sad for everyone – his family, friends, colleagues, students. I am keeping all current students and faculty in my thoughts as they cope with another tragic loss.

    MacKenzie Miller
    Class of 2009

  96. My deepest condolences to Dr. Fong’s family and his loved ones. It’s a huge loss to the Ursinus and the general higher education community. Dr. Fong’s significant contributions as a leader and scholar will be remembered forever and his ground breaking legacy will inspire more to follow suit.

  97. So sorry to hear that Bobby Fong died, I have met him on several occasions and he was so nice and considerate. My heart goes out to his family and the entire student body at Ursinus.

  98. Every member of my family is deeply saddened by this news. Bobby was a great man, a deeply kind and luminous soul. My heart goes out to Suzanne and their children. Thank you all for your years at Butler.

  99. Our entire Montgomery County Community College community is saddened by the sudden passing of President Fong. He was so new to our Montgomery County community and was so gracious in working to connect Ursinus to the county’s emerging Montco2040 plan. Most important, he was a champion of the value of a liberal arts education and understood the important role the community college plays in opening up access to the liberal arts. Just a few weeks ago we met to begin thinking about building innovative ways for Montco students to transfer successfully into Ursinus. We will miss his vision, his passion and his leadership. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire Ursinus family.

  100. I also had the privilege of being mentored by Dr. Bobby Fong as an American Council on Education Fellow 2012-13. My life is richer for his counsel, and he was a great inspiration to me and other Asian Americans as a universally respected leader in higher education. His life serves as an example and inspiration to those of us who share his dedication to the liberal arts education paradigm. My thoughts go out to his family and the Ursinus Collge community. Truly a wonderful man and thinker who will be sorely missed. Thanks Bobby for all you did for so many people.

  101. As an alumni of Butler University I got to know Dr. Fong. I found him to be a wonderful, down to earth person. He really loved the students, faculty, and alumni. He and Mrs. Fong welcomed us into there home for lunch which was very special. He also came to Cincinnati for a visit. He was the first and only university president I ever felt like I really knew. He will be missed by all.
    Patricia Bennett

  102. One day we received a phone call from Tom Weede, who then was Vice President for Enrollment Management at Butler. Would we consider having President Fong spend a day with our Upward Bound Program at the Center for Urban Education in the Pace University School of Education here in New York.

    A thunderbolt from the heavens!

    Of course we would.

    What an incredible day. What a wonderful guy. The conversations with parents and students, especially considering that our students were so poor. There was no hiding. He understood our families’ poverty. You can’t imagine how real that day was, how honored our students felt, and how touched President Fong was.

    I don’t know why he came. But it was a blessed day for everyone. What a great guy.

  103. I had the great good fortune of having Bobby Fong as a professor for a year at Berea College in the 1980s. It was a required course on Religious and Historical Perspectives, one that came alive under Dr. Fong’s skillful and inclusive leadership. That course and the experience of him as a humane, egalitarian and provocative teacher – long before ‘active learning’ became a buzzword – have stuck with me for the nearly 30 years hence. Dr. Fong, you will be missed.

  104. Since hearing the news, I have been flooded with fond memories of Bobby’s presidency at Butler. I remember his stories, his leadership, and importantly, the way he always treated others with kindness and compassion. So many of us at Butler join with those at Ursinus to mourn the loss of this great man. May peace be with Suzanne and their children.

  105. I got a note from my daughter Trish(graduate work) who knew Bobby Fong while he was at Butler. She got news and let me know so the connection of Butler and Ursinus occurs in my family. I was lucky to know him. He made several trips to the west coast and we connected on those visits as well as visits to Ursinus. I loved his enthusiasm and his vision. He was excited of the direction the school was going. HIs excitement was infectious. The suddenness of his passing made the sadness more painful. He was doing his work and was suddenly taken. My sympathies to his wife,Suzanne and their two sons. These many notes are of small comfort but you will note that he was cherished and appreciated by all he touched. He left a wonderful legacy not just to Ursinus but to those who were blessed to know him.

  106. My husband and I were deeply saddened to hear the news of Dr. Fong’s passing. We had the privilege to be undergraduate students during Dr. Fong’s tenure as President of Butler University. We both grew very close to Dr. Fong while traveling with the Men’s basketball team (my husband) and myself as a cheerleader during the tournament seasons. Dr. Fong was such a wonderful mentor who supported us both as we continued on from our undergraduate careers to medical school and beyond.

    Dr. Fong always gave such a wonderful welcome addresses to the incoming freshmen students at Butler. My best friend and I found it to be such an inspirational speech that we continued to attend as orientation guides to the incoming freshmen each year. He had a wonderful way of reminding each and every student that it was such a privilege to be attending college and something not to be taken for granted. He inspired us all to do great things!

    Dr. Fong will be deeply missed!! My husband and I adore his wife Suzanne and will be keeping her and their sons, Jonathan and Colin, in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jenna Streicher, MD
    Butler University Class of 2007

    Drew Streicher, MD
    Butler University Class of 2007, MBA 2008

  107. Dr. Fong began his time at Ursinus while….of all possibilities….a baseball exhibition was on display at the Berman Museum of Art. A lover of baseball, he held an interview in the gallery surrounded by baseball memorabilia. I remember how friendly and open he was upon meeting him that day; an openness and kindness that only strengthened as his time at Ursinus moved forward. My students truly loved him as president and sensed his caring and commitment to the college. While crossing paths with Dr. Fong on campus, he would always smile, say hello and ask how your day was going. I’m honored and blessed to have worked at Ursinus under his leadership.

    Dr. Bobby Fong will truly be missed as we remember his life and the wonderful mark he’s placed on Ursinus; an impact and vision that will continue to shine within the people and communities he loved.

  108. I have known Bobby since I was about 9 years old. I was also one of those children of Chinese immigrant parents ….even as a young person Bobby showed his strong leadership qualities….that big smile….hearty laughter and was excited in what the future would hold for him. Life was tough for Bobby in his young years but he just kept pushing and making the most of his life. He achieved more than we could have imagined back then. Through the years he maintained his integrity and sincerity.. He remained personable and easy to relate to. He will be greatly missed. My sincere sympathy to Suzanne, Jonathan and Colin.

  109. Suzanne, I am so glad we got to speak at Reunion, and will think of you and the boys in my prayers. As you know, I had great respect for Bobby because of his unflinching decency towards all people. He was a remarkable and accomplished person.

  110. Nancy (class of ’66) and I were so very impressed last spring at my 50th Reunion with Bobby’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and lively dedication to Ursinus. He was the quintessential college president and a great to our whole community. His verve for life and joy in his vocation will continue to live on to our welfare and his credit! He will be greatly missed!

  111. Dr. Bobby Fong started as President of the College the year my son started at Ursinus College. I remember thinking of him as a remarkable, dedicated and inspiring man. He made everyone feel they were important to the college and him.
    I will miss reading he passionate letters and emails that would ooze the excitement he had for the new school year.
    I will miss seeing him at graduations; he was the most likely to be photographed with the graduates, each waiting in line patiently.
    What I will miss most is his contagious smile. He was a familiar face at the wrestling tournaments. You could spot him from across the room as he engaged the wrestlers in conversation.
    Ursinus College and the community has suffered a great loss, Dr. Bobby Fong you will be missed.

  112. I met Dr. Bobby Fong, with the rest of the Boston Ursinus community, at the Samuel Adams brewery; even then, I was struck by his humble dignity and integrity. He was a sweet man who valued everyone, a quiet, unassuming intellectual who tended to – when I had the privilege to speak with him on campus occasionally – coax opinions rather than advise. He had a gentle, if quirky, sense of humor about the simplest things, and it is this–the twinkle in his eyes even when saying nothing at all–that I will most remember about him. Dr. Fong was an advisor and mentor, an inspiration and role model, who lead not by shining example but by giving the gentle nudge that we all so very much need. He was, as we say in Yiddish, a mensch, and I am proud and privileged to have considered him, however tenuously or briefly, a friend in my senior year at UC in 2012. He will be missed.

  113. One of my first one-on-one meetings with Bobby was the day before Major League Baseball opening day in his first year at Ursinus. I do not even recall about what we met, but when we finished the formal discussion we got to talking about the upcoming baseball season and Bobby invited me to participate in one of his personal traditions. before opening day each year, Bobby would write the names of the eight (at that time) MLB teams who’d make the playoffs at the end of the season. He’d said his personal best was five of eight. I am a baseball lover but it was obvious to Bobby, from previous baseball conversations we’d had, that my baseball knowledge was a thousandth of his. Yet here we were discussing the teams and playoff prospects and Bobby weighing my comments, it seemed to me, with as much validity as his own intuition. I’ll remember that time with Bobby more than any other. I wonder who he picked for this season?

  114. The Class of 1963 Reunion for its 50th Year was held on the Ursinus Campus and it was my first opportunity to meet the new president Bobby Fong! What a wonderful experience! His positive student- focused leadership was evident from the start! Ursinus has been blessed with outstanding leadership over the years and Bobby surely will be missed!
    When I visit the Class of ’63 Grizzly (presented at our 50th) on Campus I will remember the Bobby Fong Presidency cut far too short! God Bless!

  115. I was fortunate to have met Dr. Bobby Fong not long after he came to Ursinus. His unassuming nature, true interest in those he was speaking to, and his thirst for knowledge of any source was truely impressive. I hope that he understood how loved he was when he was alive – because the outpouring of affection and respect really speaks to what an impact he had on the world around him.

  116. Approximately three weeks ago, Dr. Fong was standing at my desk before greeting the class of 2018 in Bomberger Auditorium. He would always ask me about my grandson. I told him my daughter was due to have another baby any day. He told me a story about being in the delivery room when his first son was born. From the story he told me it was clear it was not one of his finer moments. That is one of the things that made him so beloved, he would tell you the stories that showed the human side of himself. “As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. ” ~ Leonardo DaVinci

  117. I had the pleasure to meet President Fong during my time at Ursinus last year interviewing your Watson Fellowship finalists. As a China scholar, I very much enjoyed our conversations and several times have reflected fondly on our interaction. I was very sad to learn of Pres. Fong’s untimely passing.

  118. I’m shocked and saddened. Even though I have long since graduated from Ursinus, Dr. Fong was very receptive to my input and responsive to my inquiries in his first year. I’m not a big donor – just an alumna who had always, even as a student, lobbied for the addition of music as a major, what I felt was an integral program offering for a prestigious liberal arts college. He was very thoughtful in his concerns and educated me on the process and the challenges. He advised me as to how I could support the process, all this while he was VERY busy settling into his new assignment and administration. The following year, my Ursinus intern informed me that music was then offered as a major. I knew that Ursinus was in the hands of a great man. I am grieving for his family, and for the student body and staff. Thank goodness he didn’t waste any time making impacts and contributions; he left a strong legacy.

  119. Although my daughter, now a Freshman, loved Ursinus from the start, I wondered if she might benefit more from one of the other colleges to which she was accepted. Then I started to read Dr Fong’s letters and interviews, and I was sold (not that I had much say in the decision). Dr Fong articulated everything I wanted for my daughter in a liberal arts education. His emphasis on the soul as well as the mind, on developing character and finding purpose in life is truly how I believe we can change the lives of students and improve the world. Although the pain is most crushing to Dr Fong’s family and close friends, we have all lost a man with vision and passion, someone who undoubtedly had so much more to give to our kids and society. My heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Suzanne, and sons.

  120. While I only worked for Bobby Fong for his first nine months before I retired, it was a pleasure to go to work every day and be greeted with a smile. He was kind and calm and always so gracious to guests. After I retired, it was very heartwarming to visit campus and get a big hug and smile from Bobby. That is the memory I will always treasure. My deepest sympathy on the passing of Bobby Fong to Suzanne and her two sons. They are in my prayers at this very sad time. God Bless.

  121. I have had the privilege and honor to serve side by side with Bobby Fong as fellow trustees of the Lingnan Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to strengthening higher education in South China and Hong Kong. Bobby won the respect and hearts of the university leaders, as they try to learn about the value of liberal education and service-learning. Beyond being extraordinarily influential in promoting the importance of liberal education, Bobby shared a great deal of his knowledge and leadership in the work of the Lingnan Foundation. He was so gracious and modest in relating to his colleagues, always sharing and contributing. He will be greatly missed. My condolences go Suzanne and his family. What Bobby has left behind will never be forgotten.

  122. For my job on campus I was fortunate enough to meet Bobby a few times. Every single time we spoke he was always warm and very grateful for all of the work that myself and my coworkers have done for different events. Feeling important even in the eyes of the President of the College is a truly wonderful feeling and I really believe that his successor is going to have very large shoes to fill.

  123. I met and spoke with Dr. Bobby Fong very briefly in the summer of 2013. Since then, I had only seen him around campus a few times. Despite the minimal contact I’ve had with him, I feel heartbroken over his loss. Bobby Fong had such great school spirit; he embodied what it meant to be a member of the Ursinus community. Whatever the event, he expressed enthusiasm and honest delight at such a magnitude that one could easily detect it in his smile and voice. I speak genuinely when I say that I shall miss Dr. Fong. My condolences to his family and friends.

  124. When I met him in his office in 2008 I dId not think I would ever see him again. I was wrong. Around Jan 2009 I received a call from him from his office in Indianapolis. I live in San Francisco, Ca. and he asked if I would accept the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts at the May 2009 Graduation Ceremony . I was asked to speak before the Governor of Indiana addressed the Graduates. I learned many things about Dr. Fong since then and I came to respect and love he and his family. I was sorry to see him leave Butler University. Now ai understand why. He caused me to change my opinion of Butler University during the Three days I spent with he and his Wife during that Graduation Ceremony and I thank him greatly for that. Bobby will be missed. Love to Suzanne and the boys. Willis F. kirk Jr.

  125. Bobby Fong readily supported the Council of Independent Colleges’ Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). Since 2009 he has served as a member of the national NetVUE Advisory Council. This past March he gave a stunning address at a NetVUE conference to strengthen college and university chaplaincy, a presentation that will be published in the journal “Liberal Education” within the next few weeks. Bobby Fong believed that education should be woven with the exploration of meaning, purpose, and values while retaining respect for the variety of intellectual and religious voices that cultivate “the sparks of divinity” in every learner. He provided wise words for NetVUE’s vocational vocabulary. We will miss Bobby Fong as a thoughtful, yet humble leader who viewed his own life as a calling. May his wife Suzanne, his sons, and all in the educational communities that he touched find comfort and hope in the days ahead.

  126. I met Bobby Fong only briefly, and in a completely non-academic setting. I am a cycling teammate of his son, Colin, who joined our group in an MS charity ride this June. Our route took us near the Fong’s summer home on Cape Cod, and Bobby and Suzanne created an impromtu rest stop at their home for our motley crew. I could tell, in a very brief conversation with him, that he was an incredibly accepting and engaging man who did not wear his “college president” status writ large, but rather would engage with you on a very personal 1-to-1 basis. I am so sorry to learn of his premature passing.

  127. With deep sadness I celebrate the good life of Bobby Fong. He was a man of wisdom, joy, kindness, and insatiable curiosity. He understood deeply the ways that a liberal arts education opens minds and strengthens communities. He was a mentor, role model, and friend. My condolences to his family and to the thousands whose lives he touched.

  128. The first time I met Bobby Fong, I was selling him a sport coat at Nordstrom, a place I landed after leaving my master’s degree program at Butler University. You can imagine my surprise when I found out he was the new president at Butler, about to begin his first week. We discussed both our stories, and he encouraged me to go back and finish my MM. I eventually did, in great part because of his encouragement, and my life and career was an open door after that. I’ll never forget him- his genuine heart and depth of character. More than anything, he made me want to be a better man. That is rare these days. My deepest condolences to the Fong family. My guess is, you are grateful to have had the chance to spend your lives alongside him while he was here. I had about an hour with him that night, and it changed my path, and my perspective, forever. Thanks for the chance to grieve.

  129. I was a student at Hamilton College and my freshman and sophomore years overlapped with Dr. Fong’s last two years as Dean of the Faculty. Though my interactions with Dr. Fong were sporadic, I do recall our initial meeting and he remarking on our shared connection as Chinese Americans from the West Coast. Dr. Fong’s life story was remarkably similar to my Father’s and, tragically, even more so now with his passing at a relatively young age. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Fong’s family, friends and the Ursinus community.

  130. Bobby’s decision to lead Ursinus College was such a gift. The enthusiasm, experience, and vision he brought would guide Ursinus into a healthy 21st century future. We will miss all that he and Suzanne had hoped to accomplish. But even in the short time he was with us, Ursinus became an even better place.

  131. I have sent all of my children through college with our daughter, a senior at Ursinus, being our last. My husband and I have always been impressed by Bobby Fong and his wife. They seemed to be at every event we were sharing with our daughter no matter what day or time. They were always genuinely enthusiastic and visibly compassionate about whatever was happening at the time. They also always took time to talk with you if you needed and when you’re a parent sending your child away it gives you comfort to know that they made Ursinus your child’s home too. I was very saddened by the news of Bobby’s passing yet feel extremely lucky to have known him at all. Our families thoughts and prayers go out to his. They will always remain in our memories and our hearts.

  132. I never got to meet Bobby Fong. My son just began as a freshman this year. I know my husband met with/saw Dr. Fong on a few occasions and was positively impressed with him. My husband is a professor at a much larger university and he was so pleased with Dr. Fong and Ursinus. I think we will soon be learning more about the impact he had on the campus.

  133. Polly and I had met Bobby Fong at our 60th class reunion and were much impressed by him as the new president. This summer we were in Sweden visiting our grand daughter when we received word of his sudden death, and immediately thought, “what a terrible loss and shock” this was for all and ever so much for the family. Upon return to Gainesville, Florida where we live, we reviewed the dozens of telephone messages left on our machine and were stunned to hear Bobby generously thanking us for a donation we had just made to Ursinus! His personal touch and sincerity came through in a way we will always remember.

  134. I had the honor of representing the Class of 1972 when Dr. Fong was installed as the President of Ursinus College. I was impressed by his remarks at that ceremony and knew that the college was in good hands. He was passionate about the merits of a liberal arts education and the importance of creating well rounded citizens. I appreciated his updates from the college and often responded to them. While he was at the helm for only a short time, his leadership will have a long lasting impact. I hope that his vision for the college will become reality.

  135. I live in Houston, TX. It was 2011 and Dr. Fong was President of Butler University, but had recently announced that he would be moving over to Ursinus. It was March Madness and the title game between Butler and Virginia Commonwealth was in Houston on Monday night. Sunday morning, coffee in hand, I headed to the NCAA booth at a local hotel and asked where Butler Univ. was staying. I walked over to that hotel, and walked in the door to meet Dr. Fong. It was 8:30 in Sunday morning and I was unannounced – and there he was, alone, in a suit, in a chair, reading the New York Time. I walked up and introduced myself and said Ursinus College!! He let out a big laugh!. I knew we had a great incoming President.

  136. “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.”
    – Oscar Wilde (Dr. Fong’s idol)

    May his family and friends be at peace with the knowledge that he made this world a better place, despite being taken away from it too soon. Dr. Fong advanced Ursinus in immeasurable ways and the plans he crafted will continue to do so long into the future. We as a class are thankful to have gotten to know him, to grow with him, and to leave Ursinus with a big ole bear hug from him.

    In the words of a great man, “Go Bears”.

  137. I met Bobby once during UC open house. I wanted my daughter to go to UC from the 1st few minutes I spent with a man that was meant to be in Higher Education. Without any input or “threats” (LOL) from me, she decided to go to UC. I could not wait to see Bobby again. As fate would have it, God had better plans for Bobby. God was preparing something in Heaven that needed someone like Bobby. I will miss Bobby. I will consider myself blessed to have met/talked to him. He was a class act. He goes to a better place to do good things and will have no trouble do them.
    God Bless Bobby.
    To quote one of his “original quotes”; GO BEARS!!.

  138. I met Dr. Fong during a Homecoming Event and he was very nice to speak with on behalf of the College. I enjoyed reading his events and success with School activities. He will be deeply missed and I feel so bad for Suzanne, and their two sons to have to go through this so early in his life. God Bless him for all the good he has brought to Ursinus College, the Administration, Staff, and our Students! Sincere sympathy, Cliff Reinert

  139. Although I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Fong face to face, I did e-mail my congratulations to him on his joining Ursinus as President. He was quick to respond and thank me for my comments. Subsequently, we spoke via telephone of his plans to not only sustain Ursinus as a major educational institution, but to expand its profile.
    Dr. Fong’s wisdom, warmth, and cordiality, were assets many aspire to, but few have.
    Dr. Fong will be missed.

  140. Bobby Fong was a truly gifted educator. His heartfelt love and compassion for all of “his” students was evident in all that he did. We met Dr. Fong during our daughter’s freshman orientation and immediately felt that we were leaving her in good hands. My heart breaks for Dr. Fong’s family and all of the Ursinus family.

  141. Ever since the shocking news came, many thoughts swirl through my mind! Sadness, loss, grief – shared with Suzanne, sons, campus, community, and the “church across the street.”
    It is we who cling to a special blessing: to play the CD of the service of worship on Feb. 12, 2012 when Dr. Fong shared his faith story.
    It happened in the setting of remembering Ursinus’ original time to celebrate Founder’s D, ( Later changed by Dr. McClure to the first Sunday in November).
    His message is like a touchstone to his deep commitment to turn his faith into his calling to be a devoted husband, father, professor, writer, and President. For us Ursinus alums, staff, faculty, and community his three years with us are a treasure which we cherish.
    Prayers of sympathy for his family and all who grieve, and prayers of thanks for his gifts – may we in cherishing them embody them.
    Thanks be to God for His faithful servant, Bobby!

  142. When I visited Ursinus during the summer of 2013, my 40th, anniversary year, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Dr. Fong. The announcement of his death was quite a shock to me here on St. Thomas, VI. However, I am traveling to Maryland on Friday, September 19, and I do plan, with another alumnus of Ursinus, to attend the memorial ceremony on Saturday. My sincere sympathy is extended to his immediate family and to the students, women, and men with whom he worked so effectively and well!

  143. An amazingly engaged and personable man – with great foresight and enthusiasm. He was one of the best and Ursinus was lucky to have him for three years.
    Ed Dawkins, class of 1955

  144. How many parents can actually say that they have met the president of their child’s college? Not only did I have the privilege of meeting Dr. Fong simply walking around the Ursinus Campus, I got to have a conversation with him about his dedication to the college and the students. My son is a junior and part of the X-Country and Track and Field team.
    Dr. Fong spoke about his sons and how one of them is a runner in college and how supportive he was of student athletes. I was so impressed with how personable he was and shocked to hear of his passing. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and the Ursinus community.

  145. Ursinus College was blessed to have a President who cared so deeply for everyone involved in the Ursinus community. His devotion to creating a community of care is something that I will take with me to any community I am a part of for the rest of my life.
    He practiced what he preached every time he gave students his time, which he did so frequently. I had the pleasure of eating breakfast with him a few times as a member of student government and it was always very clear how interested he was in what we were doing as students.
    His vision for Ursinus carries on.

  146. I am relatively new to the Ursinus Community but never have I felt so warmly welcomed as here. I would arrive on campus in the early morning hours to teach and often see Bobby walking. He always had a smile and a cheerful Good Morning! May the Lord comfort his family and embrace a special person to join the heavenly souls. This community grieves the loss of a special Bear.

  147. I was shaken when I learned of Bobby’s’ passing. We try and recall all the good things when someone leaves us and in this case there are so many good things to remember. My favorite story happened while walking through campus one morning which I often do. When we crossed paths I introduced myself and said how good it was to meet you Dr. Fong. It’s Bobby he said. From then on whenever we would meet during one of those morning walks and I would say good morning Bobby, he would give me that great smile that meant so much. He will be genuinely missed by many people and each morning during my walk, I will think of him and smile..

  148. I would usually see Bobby in the gym working out in the morning and trying to stay fit. He was a man that I admired when I had a CPR class he was in attendance always willing to learn. The school was lacking some AED’s in a few of the buildings and when he heard of this he wanted us to look into filling that void. He was a man that was always proud of his family and was willing to share his life with you and by far was a president that I got to talk more as time went on. I know from our Dept. and hearing all the good things around the school he will be missed and never forgotten.

  149. I loved Bobby’s enthusiasm for education and life. He inspired everyone who met him. He was a born leader and had great ideas for the future of ursinus. It is a tragedy that we lost him!

  150. We were privileged to hear Bobby speak during parents weekend three years ago when our son first arrived at Ursinus as a freshman. Bobby’s intelligence, passion for the value of a liberal arts education, knowledge of all things Ursinus, and humor were evidenced in all he shared with us. We feel truly blessed that our son was fortunate to have known Bobby as he continues to thrive in the rich academic and socially conscious environment that Bobby valued and fostered.

  151. So saddened to hear of the loss of a great man. We’re new to Ursinus this year and only heard Dr. Fong speak twice. The first time at an Ursinus visit where he not only inspired our son, but both parents, too. The second, at orientation where his smile and enthusiasm were felt by all. It seems that Dr. Fong, throughout his lifetime, inspired so many people with his humility, service and vision. We regret not having the opportunity to have personally known him. Prayers for the family.

  152. God Rest your soul. My son Dr Philip Mandato graduated from Ursinus College and went onto medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic School of Medicine in Erie Pa.and then to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. I am so happy that you came to Ursinus College to be an inspiration to all of us. What a wonderful place for you to be . Thank you Dr Bobby Fong for being a great man. Your family and so many people will miss you dearly.

  153. Bobby’s passing occurred in the same week as my father’s, and its impact on me is more significant than I thought at first. As an Ursinus 2012 parent, I met and spoke with him merely a handful of times, each more delightful than the last. I found him impressive, his vision for the College compelling and motivating, and his personal attention to each of us and all of us amazing. I was looking forward to getting to know him better and better over the coming years, and perhaps it’s that lost opportunity that resonates the most in me. We shall all miss him!

  154. Bobby Fong was a wonderful man and a great leader of Ursinus College. He began his post as president the same year my son began college at
    Ursinus. Dr Fong and his wife, Suzanne, were always welcoming and kind . We met on several occasions and he truly made me feel welcome and cared about. My son is on the football team and Bobby and Suzanne very often sat in the stands among the loud and enthusiastic fans. My son sadly informed of Dr. Fong’s passing and spoke of how he just saw Bobby a few days prior on campus. His persence will surly be missed. Sincere condolences to his family and the Ursinus community.

  155. This sad news was received here with the greatest shock and sorrow.
    Dr. Fong loved baseball games and showed me the ball which was autographed by Chinese-Japanese baseball player.
    He was warm-hearted. He gave me kind words with a warm smile, when I visited Ursinus College with TGU students in 2011, the summer after 3.11..
    I was saddened to hear of the death of him.
    Please convey my deepest condolences to his bereaved family.

  156. For many years, I was a fan of Dr. Fong from afar. His dedication to education and the Liberal Arts was admired nationally. As an Ursinus graduate, I was very excited when he became President of Ursinus. It permitted me the privilege to finally meet him face to face. Bobby exceeded all expectations I had prior to meeting him. Though his tenure was few too short, the legacy he leaves Ursinus and Liberal Arts Colleges in general, is deep and strong. Thank you, Bobby!

  157. I have started to write something several times, but it has been hard to accept the fact that Bobby is gone, and it still does not seem real to me. It is difficult to find the words to convey how much respect and admiration I had for Bobby. He was a good friend to not only me, but also to many other faculty, staff, and students at Butler. Before he officially became President of Butler, he was on campus talking with people and touring the facilities. I’m sure he had a very hectic schedule, but he graciously accepted an invitation from me to join my wife and me, along with a group of students, for dinner in my apartment on campus where I live as a Faculty-in-Residence, a program that Bobby supported wholeheartedly throughout his Presidency. The students were honored and thrilled to be some of the first to meet with the new President, and he warmly and sincerely related to them that evening. Some of them maintained a friendship with him to this day. Bobby and Suzanne lived across the street from my residence hall apartment, and every fall he and Suzanne, along with Colin, would come across the street to join my unit for a fall cook-out, bringing a salad and the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had with them. Once, when I was overwhelmed by a sudden rush of students, Bobby grabbed a spatula and helped me flip burgers and dogs. The students loved the fact that the President of the University cared enough about their lives to be there. We also had the privilege of traveling with Bobby and Suzanne on Butler trips to New York City (twice), and then to Ireland. Jonathan drove a very excited group of us to the airport as we headed out on our adventure. What a treat to be able to see “The Importance of Being Earnest” with Bobby at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, since Oscar Wilde was one of Bobby’s passions. I am truly blessed to have known and worked with Bobby Fong. He was a consummate gentleman and loved working with and supporting students. He was my President, but he was also my good friend, and I will treasure his friendship always. Suzanne, Colin, and Jonathan, you are in my thoughts and heart at this difficult time.

  158. The sun shines a little dimmer, the stars not as bright, for one loved soul has extinguished its earthly light.
    Bobby Fong brought light to Ursinus – the light of a vision of greatness: of academic success, of purpose for the faculty, staff and of graduates making a positive impact on our world. His light underscored the value of liberal arts study, of global exposure, of rigor and research to help forge leaders. We have lost a leader, friend, and remarkable person; but his imprint on the UC community and future will surely continue for years to come. Now it is our turn as the Ursinus Community to keep that light burning bright.

  159. I am the mother of a Butler University student, who graduated in May this year. Four years ago, we came across an unusual financial situation that fell beyond the bailiwick of the Office of Financial Aid or the Admission Office. At my wit’s end, I sent an e-mail message to Butler University President Dr. Bobby Fong asking for help. To my surprise, he responded to my message early next morning! He informed me that he had forwarded my message to the person in charge, who would report back to Dr. Fong, and would reply to me. The problem was later solved satisfactorily. My husband and I couldn’t believe this, and couldn’t imagine how many university presidents would take the time to respond to parents.

    My husband and I met Dr. Fong and Mrs. Fong when our daughter moved in. We had the privilege to talk to both of them. He even took the time to talk to our ten-year-old son. He was so accessible, easy-going, so genuinely welcoming, warm, and friendly. He inspired people around him with his great charisma and personable charm.

    It was so sad that he’s gone. My family love him. Our thoughts are with Mrs. Fong, their sons and their extended families.

  160. While I am no longer a member of the Ursinus community, I will never forget the hope and humaneness of Bobby Fong’s presidency. I will never forget the support and generosity that he and Suzanne showed to the staff of the Berman Museum, and to the students who worked with us. Bobby and Suzanne were immensely dedicated and ardent in demonstrating time and again their commitment to the role the arts could (and can) play as part of a rigorous academic education. Bobby’s genuine interest in the work of students within the Museum’s walls will always be exemplified in my mind by the images I have of him listening intently to a student curator, eyes on her eyes, a smile on his face as he conversed with her enthusiastically and respectfully about the work she had done to research and bring to fruition her impressive exhibition. _That_, to my mind, exemplifies Bobby Fong. My heart goes out to Suzanne and her family for this terrible, tragic loss.

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