Honoring the Fongs at 142nd Commencement

Ursinus’s late President Bobby Fong, and Suzanne Fong, will “graduate” with the Class of 2015 at the 142nd commencement ceremony.The Fongs will be honored with baccalaureate degrees at the May 15 ceremony, Bobby Fong posthumously. Suzanne Fong will deliver the commencement address.

Some 355 graduating seniors will process across campus beginning at 9:20 a.m., led by a bagpiper and then accompanied by the college’s wind ensemble. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. under a large tent on the front lawn of the campus, facing Main Street.  Main Street is closed to traffic during the two-hour ceremony.

President Bobby Fong  took office at Ursinus July 1, 2011, right before the Class of 2015 entered as freshmen. He died unexpectedly Sept. 8, 2014. Following his death, Mrs. Fong was a source of strength for the campus.

“These seniors started as students at Ursinus College the same year Bobby started as President,” said Interim President Lucien “Terry” Winegar. “He was the only president they knew, they all had personal stories about him and they assumed he would hand them their diplomas. We are all pleased that we have found an appropriate way to include Bobby and Suzanne in their graduation ceremony.”

Mrs. Fong is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned a master’s degree in English and a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language from UCLA, the first UCLA graduate to earn these degrees simultaneously. She earned her Juris Doctorate with high honors from the University of Kentucky College  of Law and was elected a member of the Order of the Coif. She served for two years as a law clerk with the Kentucky Court of Appeals and became a research associate for the University of Kentucky College  of Law, taught legal research and writing at the law school and served as an adjunct professor of economics at Berea College. She has served as a civic volunteer in a number of capacities, including serving on the Clinton N.Y. Central School Board.

The student speaker is Quinn Gilman-Forlini of Lake Peeksill, N.Y., an English major minoring in creative writing and French. The valedictorian is Meghan Hamilton Strong of Penfield, N.Y., a French major; and salutatorians are Gilman-Forlini, and Aubrey Rose Paris of Delran, N.J., who is both a Biology and a Chemistry major.

A Baccalaureate service will be held  May 14 at 6 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium. The Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon, senior pastor at the Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. will speak. Born in Jamaica, he is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the United Theological College of the West Indies. Clennon was consecrated as the 320th bishop of the worldwide Moravian Unity, the youngest person ever to be consecrated a bishop in the United States, and the third-youngest in the 557-year history of the worldwide Moravian Church. Ursinus College will bestow upon Rt. Rev. Clennon an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.