January 23, 2017
Robert C. Wonderling, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, has been appointed chair of the Ursinus College Board of Trustees.
“I’m passionate and extremely optimistic about the future of Ursinus College and I am honored to be appointed chair of its board,” Wonderling says. “As president of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, I understand how transformative a liberal arts education can be in building a creative, entrepreneurial workforce. Ursinus has a proud history of doing just that.”
“I am truly excited about the college’s next chapter and look forward to serving as a steward in support of our emerging strategic plan, including our physical and financial capital efforts, our upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary, and our revised core curriculum. Furthermore, I am fully committed to working with the entire Ursinus community to continue to create a campus culture of transparency, open communication and accountability,” he says.
Wonderling, who joined the Ursinus Board of Trustees in 2014, assumes board leadership from Nina Stryker, who had been serving as interim chair since September. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the college’s planned Innovation and Discovery Center, which broke ground in October 2016, and has also championed the college’s new Philadelphia Experience program.
“Rob is a fierce advocate for Ursinus College and the liberal arts and is a well-respected leader throughout the Philadelphia region,” Ursinus College President Brock Blomberg says. “He is uniquely qualified to help us fulfill a vision for Ursinus that is both entrepreneurial and innovative.”
As president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Wonderling leads a business advocacy organization of member companies that promotes growth and economic development in the 11-county Greater Philadelphia region. He leads the chamber’s College and University Presidents’ Alliance, and serves as Chairman of the CEO Council for Growth, which aims to position the Greater Philadelphia area as one of the nation’s top business regions.
“Rob Wonderling is a strong leader who understands the importance of equipping today’s students with skills that stress innovation and entrepreneurship, while also providing them immersive learning experiences, especially in diverse urban and international settings,” says John A. Fry, Drexel University president and chamber chairman.
From 2002-09, Wonderling served in the Pennsylvania State Senate. He chaired the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education in 2012 and earned accolades for community service and civic and business leadership, including the 2011 Service to Humanity Award at the March of Dimes Transportation, Building and Construction luncheon.
In 2014, he was honored by the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia during their annual Celebrate Hope event for his commitment to helping those in need. In 2016, he received the Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the protection and enhancement to the park and forest system in Pennsylvania.
Wonderling is the 2017 recipient of the Anti-Defamation Leagues’ Americanism Award for his work as chamber president on matters related to diversity, inclusion and intolerance.
A Montgomery County resident and the parent of a 2016 Ursinus College graduate, Wonderling earned his bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. –by Ed Moorhouse