It has been a
busy month for the Ursinus College Advancement Office — the college
received nearly $10 million in donations, including $5 million to honor a
teacher, an art exhibit, a pending purchase of farm property, and an
“This extraordinary spate of recent philanthropy was sparked by the personalized education we have long offered at Ursinus College,” according to a letter from Ursinus President Bobby Fong. “Alumni and donors want to honor this tradition and to further enhance that experience for future students.”
A $5 million gift from Phoenixville resident John F. (Jack) Rodenbaugh, Class of 1955, and his wife, Patricia, honors Professor James L. Boswell, former Chair of the Economics Department, now known as the Business and Economic Department.
Rodenbaugh, who served as the vice president of banking, finance and economics for Merrill Lynch, said he never got to thank Boswell for his influence in his life, and this gift serves as a “thank you.”
The gift will be used for the Discover and Innovation Center, an interdisciplinary curriculum to connect multifaceted science programs to the campus.
The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation converted the Berman art collection that has been on loan to the College to a permanent gift. The art is valued at several million dollars, and will be featured in “A to Z: Highlighting the Berman Collection” exhibit, which will open Oct. 20.
The school also plans to purchase acreage from the Northern Star Farm and Dairy in Collegeville with help from a $225,000 grant from Donald Whittaker, Class of 1977, and his family. The land will be dedicated to field research in biological and environmental science, as well as interdisciplinary courses from other majors.
Whittaker proposed an additional gift of renovating the on-site barn in memory of his late partner, Juan E. Molina.
An entrepreneurial program, U-Innovate, is also sponsoring a business plan competition to inspire future entrepreneurs; the competition is supported by a six-figure gift from Will Abele, Class of 1961.