Ursinus celebrates its 150th birthday

Kim Corona


Ursinus College celebrated its sesquicentennial, or 150th, anniversary with a campus-wide open party for the whole community on the Berman lawn September 1.

An estimated 1,800 to 2,000 people attended the event. The Berman Museum alone had 600 guests. Forty-eight vendors circled around the lawn, with products ranging from succulents to tie-dye shirts, homemade marmalade, and more. Seven food trucks and beer, wine and cold brew coffee served by Brothers Kershner of Skippack and Steel City Coffeehouse and Brewery of Phoenixville were present as well. 

Throughout the day, several bands hit the main stage. The musicians included alumnus Brian Thomas ’17 and current student Casey Lear ’20. 

According to Maureen Cawley, Director of Conferences and Special Events, the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee formed two years ago. 

“CASE [Conferences and Special Events] staff have been planning 150 Fest for over a year. I won’t lie, it was a big lift, not only for us during our busy summer, but also for all of the professional staff in communications and event technology and catering and especially in facilities,” she said. 

More than 30 students and event staff and over a dozen Ursinus volunteers helped with the festival. Collegeville Mayor Aidsand Wright-Riggins joined along with Senator Katie Muth, who presented a citation to student body present, Haley Sturla ‘20.

“As Student Government, we are honored to be a part of the dedication to the intersection of campus and community life and are earnestly grateful for the college’s recognition. Katie Muth is a wonderful human being who is taking steps to better the Ursinus community as well as the Collegeville community,” Sturla said. 

As for the future, the CASE office has several events planned to further connect Ursinus to other residents.

Cawley stated,“The Berman will collaborate across campus and community on its ‘Music on 150 Carpenters’ exhibition to be unveiled on November 7, and the College has partnered with Historic Trappe on an off-campus exhibition, ‘ROOTS: Ursinus College and the Pennsylvania Germans,’ which tells the story of the College’s history through its collection of art and artifacts and runs from September 20 through December 31.”

Tom Yencho, Chief Communications Officer for the college, explained how hard the staff works to welcome visitors in events like these.

“Next year’s grand opening of the Commons is just one example, but we’ve intentionally built our anniversary calendar to showcase the arts, athletic, and academic programming,” he said.

For more information regarding the school’s events, visit the event calendar at Ursinus.edu/events.