Founders Day marks Connecticut College's 105th birthday
On April 5, Connecticut College celebrated our 105th birthday with a Founders Day Tea in the Charles E. Shain Library. President Katherine Bergeron led the festivities and was joined by members of the College and New London communities, including New London mayor Michael Passero ’79 M’89.
Founders Day recognizes the date in 1911 on which the College's original charter was signed by the Connecticut Secretary of State. The Connecticut State Assembly originally approved the charter on April 4 to Thames College; the named was changed months later to Connecticut College for Women.
This year's celebration also included the culmination of the Founders Day Challenge, a fundraising effort to secure 1,000 donors to the College by April 5 to earn a $100,000 challenge gift from former trustee Tim Armstrong ’93. Due to the overwhelming generosity of the College community, the goal was surpassed! The final results will be shared this week.
On Friday, February 5, more than 300 students donned their party beads, sipped on sparkling cider and joined the UC Bear in a toast to 147 years of Ursinus! The special Founders Day birthday celebration was hosted by Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, a student group under the office of advancement.
147 long years ago, a charter was granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a college called Ursinus. Seven years ago, I first heard about this school. Three years ago, I was accepted and I cried tears of joy. Fifteen months from now, I will be receiving my diploma and walking across the stage, no doubt with tears of joy and sadness in my eyes as I leave the school that I have been so blessed to call my home away from home.
It has been twenty years since Ursinus last celebrated Founders Day in 1995. This year marked its return thanks to the efforts of the office of advancement. While it is easy to reflect on what Ursinus truly means to us in fleeting moments, it is important to sit down and reflect on all those years, those moments that lead us to right now. So, as students came into Wismer Dining Hall on February 5, 2016 to enjoy great food and sparkling cider in flutes, we took the time to reflect on Founders Day. I saw my peers reflect in the way we laughed with one another and the way we discussed our accomplishments and failures. I saw it when I looked down at my shirt with the logo of Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow staring back at me. A representation of the group I am so proud to be a part of. I am proud because of the amazing people around me, and because STAT also allows connections between alumni and students while also promoting philanthropy and education about the school I so adore. Watching others enjoy the festivities made me thankful that we again have this tradition of reflection. All of those years, led to the Ursinus that I know and love. The past few years especially, play a large part in my “right now.”
But this moment is fleeting. Three years from now, Ursinus will be 150 and I will be an alumna. I know that I will still be reflecting and laughing and smiling. I know that I will carry Ursinus with me always. And in three years, I will no doubt be raising a glass to Ursinus. To my home. To my family.
View the Founders Day 2016 Photo Gallery