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Ursinus College

Ursinus College is a private, independent, coeducational, liberal arts college located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1869, Ursinus sits on a 170-acre wooded campus approximately 30 miles from Center City Philadelphia.


601 E. Main St


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Additional Information

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Mission Statement
The mission of Ursinus College is to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education. That education prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their society in an interdependent world.
Ursinus Grizzly Bear
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College History


1867: Members of the German Reformed Church begin plans to establish a college where "young men could be liberally educated under the benign influence of Christianity." These founders were hoping to establish an alternative to the seminary at Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, a school they believed was increasingly heretical to traditional Reformed faith. 1869: The college is granted a charter by the Legislature of Pennsylvania to begin operations in its current location on the grounds of Todd�s School (founded 1832) and the adjacent Freeland Seminary (founded 1848). Dr. John Henry Augustus Bomberger, for whom the campus' signature Romanesque building is named (see Gallery, below), served as the college�s first president until his death in 1890. Bomberger proposed naming the college after Zacharias Ursinus, a 16th-century German theologian and an important figure in the Protestant Reformation. 1870: Instruction begins at the college in September; on October 4, the Zwinglian Literary Society was founded. For many years the annual opening meetings of "Zwing" and its rival society, Schaff, were the major events of the student year. 1881: Women first admitted, as a direct consequence of the closing of the Pennsylvania Female College in 1880, and a separate literary society for women, The Olevian, is formed. Like Zwingli and Schaff, Olevian Hall on campus is named in honor of its respective historical society. 1893: The first meeting of the college's alumni association is held at the Colonnade Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1896: In 1896, the town of Freeland officially incorporated as the Borough of Collegeville, the name the Pennsylvania Railroad had given the place in 1869�because of the Pennsylvania Female College; and not, as many believe, because of the then brand-new Ursinus. However, in years since, the �college� in Collegeville has come to mean Ursinus. 1897: The Ruby, Ursinus' yearbook is first published by the Class of 1897 as a tribute to Professor Samuel Vernon Ruby, who collapsed as he was entering Bomberger Hall in 1896 and died in its chapel, surrounded by students and teachers who had gathered there for morning prayers. 20th Century 1921: The first aerial photograph of Ursinus is taken, by future college president D.L. Helfferich, and is published in the 1921 Ruby. 1938: J.D. Salinger enrolls at Ursinus for the fall semester. As quoted from the Ursinus website, "The late 30�s also saw the arrival of someone who was perhaps Ursinus� most famous student ever: Jerome D. Salinger. Gallant and slim, he swooped in from New York City for a few months in 1938, wrote a zany column for the student newspaper called �The Skipped Diploma,� dated a few of the coeds, then dropped out at Thanksgiving. He went on to great fame as author of The Catcher in the Rye and short stories appearing in The New Yorker."[6] Berman Museum of Art 1942: Ursinus sees its male enrollment drop in half due to the start of World War II, falling from 535 to 350. During the war, Ursinus made a concerted effort to bring in military students from across the country, even acquiring a Naval V-12 unit. 1972: Dr. Gerald Edelman '50, wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Rodney Robert Porter on the immune system, becoming the college's first Nobel laureate.[7] 1989: The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art opens on the Ursinus campus. 1990: Phi Beta Kappa invites Ursinus into its ranks. Also in 1990, the F.W. Olin Foundation awarded a $5.6 million grant to Ursinus to construct a humanities building. 1993: Ursinus joins the Centennial Conference at its inception, a regional athletic conference, consisting of Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Franklin & Marshall College and others. 1995: The college appoints Dr. John Strassburger as its 12th president, the first president from outside the Ursinus alumni group. Dr. Strassburger was an American Historian, a graduate of Bates College, Oxford University, and Princeton University. Under President Strassburger, Ursinus initiated the Summer Fellows program in which selected students worked on individualized research projects with faculty advisors. During President Strassburger's tenure as president Ursinus became affiliated with numerous prestigious groups such as the Annapolis Group, the Watson Foundation, the Kemper Scholars group and Project Pericles.[6] 21st Century 2006: Ursinus College is profiled among only 40 colleges in former New York Times education editor Loren Pope's popular guidebook, Colleges That Change Lives. 2010: Aakash Shah '10 of Harvard Medical School is named Ursinus' first Rhodes Scholar. 2011: Dr. Bobby Fong, a graduate of Harvard and UCLA and former president of Butler University, began his tenure as the 13th president of Ursinus on July 1, 2011.[8][9] For the third year in a row Ursinus is designated as a Top Ten Up and Coming College by U.S. News & World Report. Ursinus College is now independent in character with historical but no longer any operational ties to its church past, and currently operates on a growing $120,000,000 endowment.

College Specialty


The mission of Ursinus College is to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education. That education prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their society in an interdependent world.



Kristen Bone (Class of 2010): television and film actress [4] Barrie Ciliberti (Class of 1957): Maryland House of Delegates legislator and Reagan administration appointee Larry Crabb (Class of 1965): Author and psychologist; founder and director of New Way Ministries Joseph DeSimone (Class of 1986): American chemical engineer, 2008 recipient of the Lemelson�MIT Prize J. William Ditter Jr. (Class of 1943): United States Federal Judge Steve Donahue (Class of 1984): Head men's basketball coach at Boston College Gerald Edelman (Class of 1950): Winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in medicine Hermann Eilts (Class of 1943): Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Egypt who assisted Henry Kissinger's Mideast shuttle diplomacy effort, worked with Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat throughout the Camp David Accords, and dodged a Libyan hit team Jacob G. Francis (Class of 1891): Author, historian, Church of the Brethren pastor, and founder of Elizabethtown College Norman E. Gibbs (Class of 1964): was an American software engineer, scholar and educational leader. Kim Guadagno (Class of 1980), Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey[31] Eric Hoffman (Class of 2007): Professional lacrosse player for the Philadelphia Wings[32] in the National Lacrosse League and formerly for the Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse.[33] Russell Conwell Johnson (Class of 1916): Major League Baseball pitcher (Philadelphia Athletics, 1916�1928) Sam Keen (Class of 1953): Author, professor of philosophy and religion, and former contributing editor of Psychology Today Michael Marcon (Class of 1986): Founder and CEO of Equity Risk Partners[34] Joseph Melrose (Class of 1966): Former U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone Dan Mullen (Class of 1994): Head Coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs football team Alan Novak (Class of 1971): Attorney and former chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania. J.D. Salinger (attended 1937-38): American author, most known for The Catcher in the Rye, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories, a collection of short stories. Ismar Schorsch (Class of 1957): Former Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America Bob Shoudt (Class of 1988): Professional Competitive Eater w/multiple World Records aka Notorious B.O.B.[5] Linda M. Springer (Class of 1979): Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management Dennis Stanton (Class of 2004): Professional basketball player.[35] Jeff Trinkle (Class of 1979): Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; known for his work in robotic manipulation, multibody dynamics, and automated manufacturing Robert Yerkes (Class of 1897): Psychologist, ethologist and primatologist best known for his work in intelligence testing and in the field of comparative psychology; co-developer of the Yerkes-Dodson law relating arousal to performance



Suburban 170 Acres (0.69 Km2)