Commencement 2015



Ursinus College is proud to be celebrating its 142nd Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 15th at 10 a.m..

Ursinus College | 610-409-3000



Thursday May 14, 2015

6:00 p.m.
Bomberger Memorial Hall

Baccalaureate Reception
7:00 p.m.
Olin Plaza

Friday May 15, 2015

10:00 a.m.
Lawn in front of Berman Museum

Commencement Reception
Immediately Following Commencement

Hours of Operation


Bookstore: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Berman Museum: 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Switchboard: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Bookstore: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berman Museum: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Switchboard: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



When is Baccalaureate?

Thursday May 14, 2015
6:00 p.m.

What is Baccalaureate?

Four years ago, the Class of 2015 gathered in Bomberger Memorial Hall for the first time to celebrate Convocation and the beginning of their journey together at Ursinus College. As part of a long and treasured tradition, graduates will gather as a class for one last time in Bomberger Hall on the evening before Commencement for songs and readings that represent the many faith traditions of our student body.

Families are warmly welcomed to join in the celebration; however seating within Bomberger Auditorium is very limited. Families who are unable to obtain seats within Bomberger Auditorium are invited to view the ceremony through a simulcast in Olin Auditorium. We have installed new state of the art audiovisual equipment in the space to make the experience a pleasant one for all of our guests.

Seating for the Baccalaureate Service

Bomberger Auditorium

Graduates will sit in the lower level of Bomberger Auditorium. Seats in the balcony will be available to the immediate families of graduates on a first-come, first-served basis . Doors open at 5 p.m. Guests may stand in the back of the hall for the ceremony, and some stand-by seats might become available just prior to the start of the ceremony. When the seats in the balcony are full, ushers will direct guests to Olin Auditorium.

Olin Auditorium

A live stream of the ceremony will be broadcast into Olin Auditorium, where families of graduates can view the ceremony and enjoy the inspirational speakers and music that are a part of this treasured Ursinus tradition.

Seating for Disabled Guests

Guests with mobility issues or those who require special accommodations should email Maureen Cawley at to reserve seats for the ceremony. A limited number of seats will be available in Bomberger for a disabled guest and one companion. Seating for disabled guests and their companions is also available in Olin Auditorium.

Is Baccalaureate a religious service?

It is an inspirational, interfaith celebration with readings and music that represent the many faith traditions of our student body.


Graduates who plan on attending the Baccalaureate Service should RSVP on the form to the left so that we can reserve adequate seating for them. Students can also register at the Bear Necessities for Grads on Friday, May 1 at the Commencement table.

How long is Baccalaureate?

Generally just under an hour. There will be a reception after the service on the Olin Plaza. Rain location is Wismer Center.

How should I dress?

Often guests ask what is appropriate to wear to Baccalaureate; the following are simply suggestions intending to help our guests. Parents, friends and family are recommended to wear casual business attire. Many men wear a dress slacks, a button-up shirt and a tie; women often wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress.

Students should dress in appropriate attire under their academic regalia. We suggest that graduating men wear a dress slacks, a button-up shirt and tie; graduating women may wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress. Neither hoods nor mortarboards are worn at Baccalaureate.


When is graduation?

Friday, May 15 at 10:00 a.m. (it is generally two hours long.)

Where is graduation?

Under a large tent on the front lawn of campus adjacent to the Berman Museum of Art

How many tickets will I get and when?

No tickets are necessary. Ursinus College sets up a tent on the front lawn with seating for approximately 3,000 people. All family and friends are welcome.

Is there reserved seating?

The tent seating is first come, first served. Parents and guests may sit in any area not marked as reserved, please ask an usher if you are unsure. The only seating that is reserved is for the graduation class, distinguished guests, and the first row of seating is left open for those who need to be able to see the American Sign Language interpreter.

What happens if it rains?

Historically, spring in Collegeville is beautiful and pleasant. We occasionally experience rain, but we are still able to hold the ceremony under the tent on the lawn. The area is tented but you may want to bring an umbrella! In rare cases, where extreme weather threaten the safety and comfort of our guests, we will shift the main Commencement ceremony indoors to the Floy Lewis Bakes Field House. In the event that the ceremony is moved indoors, we will post all pertinent information about parking, robing, regalia return and the Commencement reception on this website. In addition, we will email all graduates and their parents with the information they need. Please email with any questions.The reception following would also be held indoors.

What if I cannot attend the ceremony?

For families and friends unable to attend the ceremony, the 142nd Commencement of Ursinus College will be streamed live on the day of the event. Please visit the Ursinus College website on the day of the event for instructions.

Can I take pictures?

Yes, you may bring a camera; however, you will not be able to get up close to the stage once the ceremony has begun. If you wish to take pictures of the procession in and out of the tent, that is fine. Ursinus College hires a professional company, Legacy Photographics, to take each student's picture with President Terry Winegar. Legacy Photographics will contact all graduating students directly with order information following Commencement.

Can I take video?

We also hire a professional video company. The multi-cam video will include close-ups of all graduates processing and receiving their diplomas as well as speeches and honorary degrees. Order forms will be mailed approximately mid March or you can order directly on the web site at

Legacy Families

Alumni parents and alumni relatives are invited to a special photography session, with their graduating senior, for display on the Ursinus College web site and in publications. The photographer will be stationed near the sundial in front of Bomberger Memorial Hall (facing Main Street). In the event of rain, the photographer will be stationed in the covered area of the new entrance to the Bomberger lobby, facing Olin Plaza.

What time do people usually get there?

It is up to the individual family members to decide when to arrive on the campus, however, many people arrive around 9:00 a.m. Main Street from Fifth Avenue in Collegeville closes at 10 a.m., but the parking lot entrances off of 5th Avenue and 9th Avenue will still be accessible.

Where do we park?

You can park in the West Parking lot off of 9th Avenue behind the Kaleidoscope or in the East parking lots accessed from 5th Avenue. Please do not park in reserved spaces.

What if I have a handicapped person with me?

Please arrive at Corson Hall located off of the Main Campus Drive early (before 9:15 a.m. is best). The visitor's parking lot will be reserved to meet the needs of the handicapped. Ambassadors will be driving golf carts back and forth from the parking lot to the tent. You may also drive up to the pathway by the tent, assist your guest to wait there with an ambassador, and then proceed to parking.

How should I dress?

Often guests ask what is appropriate to wear to Commencement is planned for the outdoors, so dress comfortably and wear shoes suitable for walking on grass.

Men often wear a lightweight dress slacks, a button-up and tie; women often wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress.

Students should dress in appropriate attire under their academic regalia. We suggest that men wear a dress slacks, a button- up shirt and tie; women may wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress. Hoods and mortar boards are worn at Commencement convocation. Mortarboards are to be worn squared, not tilted, with the tassel on the right side. Men remove caps for the invocation and benediction. Women normally do not.

After the ceremony suggestion:

It is a good idea to choose a specific location to meet your graduate after the ceremony. Otherwise, with all of the black caps and gowns, it will be very difficult to find him/her.

Ursinus has a very long and revered tradition of what is affectionately known as “the gauntlet.” At the conclusion of the ceremony, the faculty marshals will direct the recessional. The faculty, staff and guests of honor will exit the platform first and march down the center aisle. Once they reach the end of the tent, faculty and staff members will form two columns, one for each side, marking the pathway for graduates to follow. As graduates file past, faculty and staff will bid them congratulations and farewell. Families and other guests are requested not to break the gauntlet and instead to await their graduates at the end of the line or in another predetermined location.

Speakers and Honorary Degrees

Suzanne Dunham Fong

Commencement Speaker, Honorary Baccalaureate Degree Recipient

Suzanne Dunham Fong is an attorney and civic volunteer who has enriched Ursinus, Collegeville, and the communities in which she has lived.

Suzanne Fong

She spent her youth in Easton, Md. and graduated from Wellesley College as an English major. At Wellesley, serving as an officer in the Wellesley Christian Fellowship, she met Bobby Fong on a joint retreat with Harvard's Christian Fellowship. They married and moved to Los Angeles, where she earned a master's degree in English and a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language from UCLA, the first UCLA graduate to earn these degrees simultaneously. She taught ESL and later served as a teaching credential counselor at UCLA while Bobby completed his doctorate in English literature. After their move to Berea, Ky., she enrolled in the University of Kentucky College of Law. In 1982 she earned her Juris Doctorate with high honors and was elected a member of the Order of the Coif .

After passing the Kentucky Bar, Suzanne served for two years as a law clerk for the Hon. Paul Gudgel with the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She became a research associate for the University of Kentucky College of Law, where she edited a two-volume treatise on mineral law in Kentucky and advised the mineral law journal. She later taught legal research and writing at the law school and served as an adjunct professor of economics at Berea College. When Bobby became a dean at Hope College in Michigan, she served there as adjunct professor in English and political science. During these years she chaired her church outreach committee and served on the church vestry. She also chaired the board of a non-profit community organization that provided homes for developmentally disabled adults.

While Bobby served as Dean at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., she twice was elected to the Clinton Central School Board, and volunteered for Canine Working Companions, a non-profit organization which trained and placed service dogs for people with limited mobility.

At Butler University in Indiana, where Bobby became President in June of 2001, despite the responsibilities of a university president's spouse, Suzanne served as a parent representative at her son's school and on her church's vestry, on the boards of the Episcopal-Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Immigrant Welcome Center of Indianapolis, and on the organizing committee for the biennial American Pianists competition in Indianapolis.

At Ursinus, she has proved a champion of the liberal arts, and a passionate supporter of the Collegeville campus and greater community. Like Bobby Fong, she holds a special place in the hearts of the Class of 2015.

Bobby Fong

Posthumous Honorary Baccalaureate Degree Recipient

Bobby Fong became the 15th President of Ursinus College on July 1, 2011, starting the academic year with the Class of 2015. During the time he was President of Ursinus, he reinvigorated the College's commitment to the liberal arts and emphasized a personalized education that leads to lifelong success.

Bobby Fong

The son of Chinese immigrants, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in English. Dr. Fong earned a doctorate in English Literature from the University of California-Los Angeles, where his dissertation research led to lifelong scholarship in the works of Oscar Wilde. He is the editor of Poems and Poems in Prose, volume one in the Oxford English Texts edition of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.

His academic career began teaching at Berea College in Kentucky. He then served as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and Dean of the Faculty at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. From 2001 to 2011 he served as President of Butler University in Indianapolis, a decade marked by highly successful financial management, strategic planning and emphasis on academics.

At Ursinus, he led the campus in creating a seven-year strategic plan, and the establishment of two interdisciplinary centers: the Center for Science and the Common Good and the U-Imagine! Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies. He believed in giving students the skills to not only make a living, but to make a life of purpose. His vision for the transformative power of an Ursinus education included preparing students for the world through experiential education.

Passionate about the liberal arts, Dr. Fong was past Chair of the Board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and served on the Presidents' Council of the Association of Governing Boards. He also served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the Council for Independent Colleges/Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, the Lingnan University Foundation, Project Pericles, the Annapolis Group, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Bobby Fong died Sept. 8, 2014. He is missed by all, and is truly an honorary member of the Class of 2015.

Bishop C. Hopeton Clennon

Baccalaureate Speaker, Honorary Degree Recipient

Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon was installed as Senior Pastor at the Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. in January 2013.

Bishop C. Hopeton Clennon

Born in Jamaica, he is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the United Theological College of the West Indies. His graduate work is in Pastoral Counseling. After ordination in 1983, he served the Jamaica Province of the Moravian Church before migrating to the United States in 1989. In the Northern Province, he served as pastor of Faith Moravian Church in Washington, D.C., Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth, Pa, and the Moravian Church of Downey, near Los Angeles, Calif. In 1998, Rev. Clennon was consecrated as the 320th bishop of the worldwide Moravian Unity.  He became the youngest person ever to be consecrated a bishop in the United States at the age of 38, and the third-youngest in the 557-year history of the worldwide Moravian Church.  Immediately before joining the pastoral staff at Central, he was Chaplain of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary.

Ursinus College will bestow upon Rt. Rev. Clennon an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.