Annual Report and Year in Review

year

Dear Ursinus Community,

It was a year we’ll never forget. At Ursinus College, the 2020-21 academic year tested our limits. It forced us to plan for the unforeseen. It pushed us to innovate even faster than we ever could have imagined. We had to be creative, we had to be resilient, and we had to collectively confront adversity.

In a year of social distancing and self-isolation, we somehow managed to come together, be together, and learn together, safely and effectively. It was a year when our Bears—near and far—united to ensure the success of this college, our students, and even one another. I’ve never seen a greater display of compassion, generosity, and empathy. Read Full Letter

It was—in so many ways—a year of inspiration!

Year in Review

 

Annual Report & Year in Review | Annual Report & Year in Review | Ursinus College

July 6, 2020

After announcing in June that Ursinus College would return to a residential experience for the 2020-21 academic year, President Brock Blomberg announces guidelines for living and learning on campus to mitigate COVID-19 and its impact on the residential community.

July 27, 2020

The Office of Career and Post-Graduate Development teams up with the alumni relations team to provide mentorship to recent Ursinus graduates facing an uncertain job market in light of the pandemic.

August 20, 2020

The semester begins—much earlier than is customary—during a phased re-opening that allows first-year students to get acclimated to campus and participate in a unique “block” Common Intellectual Experience. All other students returned to campus on September 7.

August 24, 2020

The college launches its online COVID-19 dashboard to provide a weekly snapshot of the health of the campus and to inform the community of weekly testing results.

September 20, 2020

Brooklyn artist Katie Merz transforms the Ursinus smokestack located outside of the facilities building into a dynamic mural that tells our students’ stories through unique iconography. 

September 24, 2020

Ursinus marks the end of the Keep the Promise comprehensive campaign—which closed on June 30, 2020 after raising $107 million—with a virtual celebration.

November 30, 2020

Ursinus students return home for virtual instruction and online exams to close out the fall semester. 

December 1, 2020

A record number of Ursinus Bears—2,045 to be exact—donated more than $500,000 on #Giving2UCday, the largest day of giving in Ursinus history.

January 18, 2021

The Ursinus community celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of special in-persona and virtual programming, including the dedication of a free speech wall in Lower Wismer.

January 20, 2021

Students return to campus and the spring semester begins, again with a hybrid in-person and virtual learning experience. Instead of a traditional weeklong spring break, five separate “break days” are scheduled from February 18 through April 13.

March 27, 2021

Centennial Conference play resumes as the baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s golf teams are in action for the first time in more than a year.

April 15, 2021

During a fully virtual Bear2Bear Benefit & Bash, the Ursinus community raises $190,000 for the Bear2Bear Student Emergency Fund, which supports students facing financial hardship.

April 15, 2021

Ursinus—which was approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a vaccine provider—hosts the first of two on-campus vaccination clinics in the Floy Lewis Bakes Field House.

May 15-16, 2021

The Classes of 2020 and 2021 graduate from Ursinus during two separate, in-person commencement ceremonies on Patterson Field. For the Class of 2020, it marked their first return to campus since COVID-19 interrupted their senor year in March 2020.

May 27, 2021

Ursinus joins hundreds of other colleges and universities nationwide in requiring vaccinations for all students.

June 23, 2021

President Brock Blomberg announces that he is stepping down as president after six years leading Ursinus. Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, P’18 is appointed interim president on July 30, 2021.

 

The Game Changers

Our Bears stand out. In a year where nothing was ordinary, they managed to be extraordinary. They’ve demonstrated resolve and an innate ability to find creative solutions to problems. And while 2020-21 may always be overshadowed by a global pandemic, social unrest, and political divide, the Ursinus community proved that when it works together, it can rise above adversity and give us reason to be filled with optimism and hope. Every Bear played a role. This past year has reaffirmed what we always knew about them: they bleed red, old gold, and black, and they always go above and beyond for the college they love. For those reasons— and despite the most unpredictable circumstances—Ursinus has endured. These are just some of our game changers—our scholars, innovators, and leaders; Bears who represent the very best of the Ursinus community.

Inventing the Wheel: The Virus Task Force

Amid Uncertainty, a Calm and Influential Force

A Leader for the Next Generation

What Matters to Us: An Inclusive Community

History in 280 Characters

A Home Away from Home

At the Heart of Research

Opening the Door for Innovation

Community Service Reimagined in the Age of a Pandemic

A Bear at Heart, A Bear in Soul


DEFENDING THE DEN

Ursinus faculty, staff, and student volunteers were instrumental in ensuring the testing and
contact-tracing process was a success. Many Bears took on additional roles to coordinate on-site
testing in the field house and case management when someone tested positive—a real boots-onthe-ground approach to mitigating the virus.

of classes were taught fully virtually throughout the academic year.
The overall positivity rate on campus— far below county and state averages.
of Ursinus students chose to live and learn on campus for the 2020-21 academic year.
The number of COVID-19 tests conducted on-campus for students, faculty, and staff.

The pandemic became a unique opportunity to have these education-based discussions, but then also show students what they could do to bridge what they’re learning in the classroom with professional experience.”

– NICOLE IVASKA,
LECTURER IN HEALTH AND EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY,
on leading a student contact-tracing team

First Year Class

WE VALUE AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

inclusive community projects shepherded by faculty, staff, and students were funded and supported by the President’s Office.
Students in our first-year class who are Pell-eligible.
The National Science Foundation awarded $989,000 to Ursinus to support underrepresented students in STEM through the Supporting Inclusive Excellence program.

While words certainly matter, our actions have meaning. Ursinus College is committed to inclusion, and equity, and promoting a more just world.

–Heather Lobban-Viravong, Vice President For College And Community Engagement
  • The Institute for Inclusion and Equity (IIE) expanded and welcomed two full-time staff members in addition to Director Ashley Henderson. Diana Deoki serves as assistant director, student leadership and transition, and Jasmine Soriano ’20 is assistant director, intercultural and community engagement.

  • Radiance trains and employs six students as staff and volunteers to connect other students to resources within the Ursinus LGBTQ+ community.
  • The IIE created virtual and in-person leadership opportunities for 74 students to serve as IIE ambassadors, Recharge Community Study coordinators, Radiance ambassadors, and peer mentors.

  • Monthly healing and equity circles served as a community of care, truth, and reconciliation around understanding oppression (such as racism, sexism, class, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia) and combating hate.

AN ADVANTAGE IN THE CLASSROOM…AND BEYOND

5000
  • Quick Facts

    $11.3M

    is the combined amount of funding applied for and awarded in 2020-21.

  • Quick Facts

    20

    different projects were awarded grant funding in 2020-21.

  • Quick Facts

    60

    students participated in independent research as Summer Fellows in 2021, and 11 of them earned outside funding for their projects.

  • Ursinus is one of 40 national institutions awarded funding from the Institute of International Education to help Pell-eligible students obtain a passport and begin their study abroad journeys.
  • Three faculty members collaborated with alumna Winnifred Cutler ’73 on a comprehensive breast cancer study published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal.
  • The Teagle Foundation awarded Ursinus $65,000 to bolster its Quest core curriculum.
  • Top Funding Institutions: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Project Pericles, Inc.

ranking stat

COMMUNITY SERVICE & INTERNSHIPS

A central component of Ursinus’s partnership with the Perkiomen Valley School District is the Middle School Mentoring Program. During its first year in operation, the program grew from 18 to 30 Ursinus mentors, and we have engaged more than 40 middle schoolers each semester. The program’s research-informed focus is on holistic student development, mentoring, and relationship building, which opens up opportunities for mentors and mentees to build meaningful connections with one another; to expand students’ worldview; to discuss possibilities for vocation, career readiness, and college education; and to ask the big, open-ended questions inspired by the Ursinus Quest.

MENTORING STATS

8000
  • Quick Facts

    140

    students participated in stewardship opportunities at the campus farm.

  • Quick Annual Report & Year in Review Facts

    20

    of active ongoing partnerships with nonprofit or community organizations.

  • Quick Annual Report & Year in Review Facts

    65%

    of Ursinus students were involved in community service in 2020-21.

  • Quick Annual Report & Year in Review Facts

    91%

    Over the past three years, 91% of Ursinus graduates were employed, attending graduate/professional school, or were participating in service opportunities within six months of graduation.

  • Quick Facts

    98%

    of students who held an internship reported that they feel better prepared to enter the world of work after their experience.

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 610-409-3585
ucalumni@ursinus.edu

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