In this special season finale, host Johnny Myers ’19 sits down with the 17th President of Ursinus College, Brock Blomberg. An accomplished economist whose career spans academia, government, and global and national economic policy, President Blomberg’s scholarly work focuses on the political economy and, particularly, the economic impacts of terrorism. Prior to coming to Ursinusm Blomberg was dean of the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College in California. President Blomberg also spent eight years in the military prior to graduating magna cum laude from the University of Tampa and receiving his masters and doctorate degrees in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
At Ursinus, Blomberg has championed strategic change, sparking innovation and entrepreneurship through projects like the Innovation and Discovery Center, the Philadelphia Experience, the Institute for Student Success, and the completion of our Keep the Promise $100 million comprehensive campaign.
About this Episode
- President Blomberg reflects on the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campus and details the pivot UC leadership took in response to COVID-19: creating and launching a virus task force, tailoring the student experience to ensure the safety and welfare of our campus, and investing in comprehensive weekly testing for students, faculty, and staff.
- Blomberg applauds our students for following social distancing guidelines and maintaining a low campus positivity rate through COVID-19 testing, even with over 80% of students residing on campus. The Philadelphia Inquirer featured Ursinus as an institution that has taken the necessary precautions to allow close faculty-student interactions to thrive.
- Blomberg details the successful $100M campaign, Keep the Promise, which concluded just prior to COVID-19. He shares the importance of support of the campaign, which was pivotal in the building of the Innovation and Discovery Center, the Schellhase Commons (which Blomberg points out is home to our campus’s first Starbucks), and the launch of the Philadelphia Experience Blomberg also highlights support that came at the conclusion at the campaign: Ursinus’s largest gift to date from Will ’61 and Joan Abele which was critical in providing financial support to students.
- Blomberg details how financial support from alumni, parents, and friends of the college over the past year has been critical to budget relief, and how Ursinus is closing in on our annual fund goal in 2021.
- Blomberg elaborates on his plan to elevate Collegeville and the surrounding campus as a destination location, and shares what alumni returning to campus can expect now and in the future.
- Blomberg discusses strides Ursinus College has made with regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the goal of affecting cultural change. Blomberg details some areas the college has invested in to support inclusion, such as the Institute for Inclusion and Equity, the work of the Institute for Student Success, and some important policy changes and strategic planning.
- On a personal note, Blomberg shares his experience as a college president leading through a global pandemic, and commends faculty, staff, and students for collaborating and working together through the obstacles of this year.
- On another personal note, Blomberg delights in sharing the news about Ursinus College’s future First Lady, his recent engagement, and planning his wedding.
- President Blomberg puts host Johnny Myers ’19 back on the “hot seat,” asking him about his life after Ursinus and how he’s carried his experiences from UC to graduate school and beyond.