Welcome to Ursinus, Class of 2026!
One day after arriving on campus, the newest members of the Bear family—380 students strong—participated in Ursinus Day Academic Convocation on the lawn outside the Berman Museum of Art.
Erin Stroble ’02 fondly recalls her time as an Ursinus student.
“I have a vivid memory of listening to Third Eye Blind on repeat in my dorm room and giving myself a pep talk: ‘It’s only four years. You can do it. It won’t be that long.’”
“It’s hard to believe—now that I’ve been here for 23 years—that’s how I felt on my second night here,” said Stroble, Ursinus’s director of athletics. “Change isn’t easy, and adjustment takes time. So don’t be discouraged. If it doesn’t feel smooth right away. Give yourself that pep talk. Find that song that works for you.”
The 380 first-year students who now call Ursinus home participated in the college’s traditional convocation ceremony on Friday, August 26, prior to their first Common Intellectual Experience and a day of service on Saturday. As is tradition, they were welcomed by a “gauntlet” of cheering faculty and staff, who shared well wishes as the class begins their Ursinus quest, together.
“I understand what it means to begin a new journey, surrounded by new people,” President Robyn Hannigan told the class. “That’s why you and me—we’ve already got this unique bond. Like you, I’m beginning my first year here and I have to admit, I’m a bit anxious too.”
Hannigan stressed the importance of community, saying that what makes Ursinus special is its authenticity. She said, “Convocation is, at is simplest, the act of calling an assembly of people to a meeting. Notably for Ursinus, this gathering of community, particularly for our first-year students, is a rite of passage that celebrates the values of our college. You are now Ursinus Bears, after all. And though humility was a founding characteristic, I want each of you to always exclaim with pride about your time here at Ursinus. Be loud! Roar like a Bear! Let everyone know how incredible this ‘home’ is.”
The ceremony also included remarks from Ursinus College Student Government President Arthur Artene ’23; Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Physiology Stephen Kolwicz; and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Mark Schneider, who invoked the importance of the four questions of the Quest core curriculum.
Hannigan closed with a poem by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins called Marginalia, challenging the students to “write in the margins of your next chapter and fill those pages with idea and memories.”