HomepageNewsMuralist Merz, Former Eagle Sikahema to Address Ursinus Grads

Muralist Merz, Former Eagle Sikahema to Address Ursinus Grads

Ursinus’s 149th commencement is Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10 a.m. on the lawn outside of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art on the Ursinus College campus.

Prominent artist Katie Merz and Vai Sikahema, a former Philadelphia Eagle and longtime Philadelphia broadcaster, will address the class of 2022 during Ursinus College’s commencement and baccalaureate ceremonies, respectively, in May.

Ursinus’s 149th commencement is Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10 a.m. on the lawn outside of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art on the Ursinus College campus.

Merz, an internationally known muralist who was born and raised in Brooklyn, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Her unique style includes the use of various symbols, shapes, iconography, and rebus to tell stories and she has elevated simple, cartoon-like line-art to a level of social documentation and commentary that transcends the best street artists of the past 35 years. Her most recent project was a 12-story, 120-foot smokestack tower mural on the Ursinus campus entitled “Live the Questions,” a provocative narrative of life experiences—as told to Merz by Ursinus students—that illustrate the impacts of the global pandemic, racial injustice, and other life-defining moments.

A baccalaureate ceremony precedes commencement on Friday, May 13, at 4 p.m. It is part of a treasured Ursinus tradition where graduates gather as a class for one last time for songs and readings that represent the many faith traditions of the student body. Sikahema will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity. A graduate of Brigham Young University, he currently serves as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sikahema played in the NFL for eight seasons, including two with the Philadelphia Eagles, and was a sports and news broadcaster for NBC 10 Philadelphia until his retirement in 2020. He has served in several church callings, including full-time missionary in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission, ward Young Men president, bishop, counselor in a mission presidency, and stake president.

“We’re honored to welcome Katie Merz and Vai Sikahema 2022 commencement and baccalaureate speakers,” said Mark Schneider, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “The core values that inform their life’s work are essential to an Ursinus liberal arts education and both embody the very spirit of our inquiry-based core curriculum.”

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