Founders Day

February 5, 1869 marks the founding of Ursinus College by John Henry Augustus Bomberger (1817-1890).

The new college was founded in the village of Freeland (current day Collegeville) on what had been Todd’s School, a one-room schoolhouse, and then had been Freeland Seminary, a Mennonite preparatory school for boys that closed because of the Civil War. 

The new institution was named for Zacharias Ursinus, a 16th Century academic and theologian from Heidelberg, Germany, whose Heidelberg Catechism defined for Bomberger and his friends a spirit that was egalitarian, unpretentious, humble and frugal — a spirit that survives to this day on the Ursinus campus.