Commencement 2014



Ursinus College is proud to be celebrating its 141st Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 16th at 10 a.m..

Location Change: because of the weather forecast, Friday's ceremony has been moved indoors to the Floy Lewis Bakes Center Field House. The information on this website has been updated to reflect any changes.

Ursinus College | 610-409-3000



Thursday May 15, 2014

6:00 p.m.
Bomberger Memorial Hall

Baccalaureate Reception
7:00 p.m.
Wismer Dining Hall

Friday May 16, 2014

10:00 a.m.
Floy Lewis Bakes Center Field House

Commencement Reception
Immediately Following Commencement
Helfferich Gymnasium

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 15 at 6:00 p.m.

What is Baccalaureate?

The Baccalaureate Service is a ritual that dates back to the 15th century and is considered an important rite of passage in academia. The Baccalaureate celebrates the accomplishment of an academic degree and provides an occasion for memorializing the graduates' hard work and reminding the graduates of their responsibilities as educated citizens.

The Ursinus College Baccalaureate Service is an interfaith celebration with songs and readings that represents the many faith traditions of our student body. All graduating students and their families and guests are invited to join in this meaningful and joyous observance held at Bomberger Memorial Hall on the evening preceding the commencement ceremony. The Baccalaureate Service lasts approximately one hour and is followed by a reception for graduates.

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.

How do I obtain tickets?

Tickets for Family and Friends:  A limited number of first-come, first-served tickets for guests to attend the Baccalaureate in Bomberger will be available at beginning 8 a.m. on April 1, 2014. Only two tickets for can be reserved per family until the tickets are gone. Additional seating for simulcast viewing of the ceremony will be available in Olin Auditorium for any guests without tickets. A limited number of stand-by seats may be available just prior to the start of the ceremony.

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 business attire. We suggest that men wear a dress slacks, a button up and tie; women may 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 and tie; 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 16 at 10:00 a.m. (it is generally two hours long.)

Where is graduation?

Because Friday's weather forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds, the commencement ceremony has been moved indoors to Floy Lewis Bakes Center Field House.

How many tickets will I get and when?

No tickets are necessary. All family and friends are welcome.

Is there reserved seating?

The seating is first come, first served. Parents and guests may sit in any area not marked as reserved, please ask an ushers 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 if I cannot attend the ceremony?

For families and friends unable to attend the ceremony, the 141st 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, that is fine. Ursinus College hires a professional company, Legacy Photographics, to take each student’s picture with President Fong. Legacy Photographics will contact all graduating students directly with order information following Commencement.

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 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 specially reserved spaces.

What if I have a handicapped person with me?

Please arrive at the West Parking lot off of 9th Avenue early (before 9:15 a.m. is best). Spaces 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 field house.

How should I dress?

Often guests ask what is appropriate to wear to Commencement; the following are simply suggestions intending to help our guests.

Parents, friends and family are recommended to wear business attire. We suggest that men wear a dress slacks, a button up and tie; women may 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 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.



Appalachian Brewing Co.
50 W. Third Avenue,
(484) 973-6064

Bonjung Japanese Restaurant
50 W. 3rd Ave Collegeville
(610) 489-7022

51 Town Center Dr,
(610) 454-1003

Collegeville Diner
290 E Main Street,

Davinci’s Pub
215 E. Main Street,

Firebirds Restaurant
Providence Town Center
51 Town Center
Collegeville, PA 19426

Olive Garden
One Town Center Drive
(610) 831-8814

Kumo Japanese Restaurant
Providence Town Center
99 Market St., Suite 1
Collegeville, PA 19426

P.F. Chang’s
Providence Town Center
10 Town Center Dr.

Trappe Tavern
416 Main Street


Black Lab Bistro
248 Bridge Street

Columbia Bar and Grill
148 Bridge Street

Iron Hill Brewery
130 East Bridge,

Molly Maguire’s
197 Bridge Street


Basta Pasta
4052 Skippack Pike

Bella Rossa at Hotel Fiesole
4046 Skippack Pike

Fat Cat Café
4042 Skippack Pike

Parc Bistro
4067 Skippack Pike


Zainab Hawa Bangura

2014 Commencement Speaker, Honorary Doctorate of Laws

Zainab Hawa Bangura of Sierra Leone assumed her position as Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict at the level of the Under-Secretary General in 2012, and serves as Chair of the interagency network, U.N. Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Zainab Hawa Bangura

Ms. Bangura has more than 20 years of policy, diplomatic and practical experience in the fields of governance, conflict resolution and reconciliation in Africa. She served recently as Minister of Health and Sanitation for the Government of Sierra Leone, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. She was the second woman in Sierra Leone to occupy this position. She was also Chief Adviser and Spokesperson of the President on bilateral and international issues, and has been instrumental in developing national programs on affordable health and has experience engaging with peacekeeping operations from within the United Nations Mission in Liberia, where she managed the largest civilian component of the Mission, promoting capacity-building of government institutions and community reconciliation. 

She has received numerous honors including the Africa International Award for Merit for Leadership, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship, the Bayard Rustin Humanitarian Award, and several other human rights awards. She is a former Fellow of the Chartered  Insurance Institute of London, with diplomas in Insurance Management for the City University Business School of London and Nottingham University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

Rev. Gail E. Bowman

2014 Baccalaureate Speaker, honorary Doctor of Divinity degree

Rev. Gail E. Bowman, J. D. is a second-career minister having spent her "first life" practicing law in Washington, D.C.

Rev. Gail E. Bowman

descendant of African Americans, who were enslaved in Kentucky prior to emancipation, she was born in West Virginia and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa.  She earned the B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1974 and was admitted to Harvard Law School where she earned the J.D. in 1977. She found employment at a small Washington, D.C. law firm, but soon moved on to positions on Capitol Hill, where she worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Carter Administration and later for the House Judiciary Committee. 

After the death of her mother and with the encouragement of her pastor and others, she attended the Howard University School of Divinity, where she was captivated by the study of theology.  Following the receipt of her Master of Divinity degree in 1987 and her ordination, she did historical research for Howard, and worked in youth ministry, and seminary administration before finding her professional home in college chaplaincy, first for five years at Spelman College in Atlanta and then at Dillard University in New Orleans. 

In June of 2012, Rev. Bowman moved from Dillard to Berea College in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, where she now serves as Chaplain and Director of the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr. Campus Christian Center.  Rev. Bowman is a writer as well, with several articles and a book to her credit: Praying the Sacred in Secular Settings.