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Digital History at Ursinus

John H. A. Bomberger: 1869-1890

Ursinus College was primarily founded on the basis of religion, but there were other factors that led to its establishment as well. The following is an  excerpt from John HA  Bomberger: The Centenary Volume written in 1917 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bomberger's birth describing three reasons why Ursinus College was founded. Besides the theological reasons for the foundation of the college, historical and personal factors also led to its establishment. 

John Bomberger played a pivitol role in the foundation of Ursinus and was active in laying the groundwork of the college both economically and academically. The first document is an excerpt from Ursinus College the first 100 years written by Calvin Yost describing Bomberger's role in the financial affairs and organization of the college at its beginning. In his inaugural address in 1870, Bomberger laid out his views of liberal education that has been a hallmark of the college since its foundation. The second document, also from Ursinus College the first 100 years, summarizes key ideas from Bombergers address regarding liberal education. 

Daily life was far different at Ursinus during Bombergers administration than it is today. The following document, also from the Centenary Volume, is a schedule of a typical day written by Bomberger discussing daily occurrences such as campus wide prayer and mandatory study hour. 

One of the most significant developments during Bombergers presidency was the admission of women into the college, the first of whom enrolled in 1881. The first document includes small poems written by Bomberger and Minerva Weinberger, one of the first woman to attend Ursinus. The second document is an excerpt from Ursinus College The First 100 years written by Calvin Yost, and discusses the reasons why Ursinus became coeducational.

John Bomberger was an avid preacher in Philadelphia and Trappe both before the foundation of Ursinus and while he was president. This document includes the front pages of sermons he gave between 1866 and 1872.