Blomberg, Dean of Claremont McKenna College’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, will be leaving the college to become the 17th president of
Ursinus College, a 146-year old liberal arts college located 30 miles northwest
of Philadelphia. He will begin July 1.
Ursinus, which has a student
body of 1,650, had been looking for a permanent president after its 15th
president Bobby Fong died unexpectedly September 8, 2014. Since then, Executive
Vice President of Academic Affairs Lucien “Terry” Winegar, considered the 16th president, had been serving as Interim President.
Blomberg said that the past
week since the announcement has been “surreal.”
“It’s been crazy but everybody
has been so generous,” Blomberg said. “I just received so much affirmation from people in social
media sending me emails: alums here, the students here, the faculty, staff
here, the people over there at Ursinus too. It really warms me.”
Ursinus Trustee Michael Marcon, who served as the chair of the search committee, wrote in an email to TSL that the committee looked for a
candidate who had “an appreciation of the liberal arts; an appreciation
of the ‘Ursinus DNA’—we are not a school of privilege and have many first
time college attendees as well as a very ‘blue collar’ student body; someone who could work within our existing initiatives of a strategic plan and
a capital campaign; someone with outside experiences; someone with energy.”
Blomberg said that he feels that he can
personally relate to the Ursinus students, many of whom are first-generation
college students or Pell grant recipients, because, according to the Ursinus press release, he didn’t attend a premier
Ivy League college and his foster, later adopted, parents “weren’t trained in
the intricacies of college counseling.” But his undergraduate experience at the University of Tampa “changed [his]
“I think when people are
typically looking for leaders of institutions, they want to make sure you
understand who they are so you can articulate the values associated with the
institution,” Blomberg said. “And what better way to know who you are than by
being the same person?”
Blomberg visited Ursinus last
week to participate in its celebration of a new president and met with members
of the community from the students to the trustees. Marcon wrote that he hopes
Blomberg will continue to drive the college forward.
“The college has a great
trajectory,” Marcon wrote. “We need a pilot with energy and a ‘long runway.’ We are
thrilled with the very positive impact Brock has already had on campus. He is
CMC President Hiram Chodosh
wrote in an email to TSL that Ursinus
is “extremely fortunate to have him.”
“As Dean of the Robert Day
School of Economics and Finance, and as an economics professor in our PPE
program, Brock has made many important contributions to the College,”
Chodosh wrote. “We wish him all the very best in his new exciting role.”
Blomberg first came to CMC in
2003 as an associate professor for the college’s Philosophy, Politics and
Economics (PPE) track and became the interim dean of Robert Day School in July
2010, soon becoming the permanent dean of the school, which had been founded
in 2007 with a grant from Robert Day CM ’65.
During his time as dean, Blomberg
successfully launched a master’s degree program at the Robert Day School, developed
the Global Economic and Leadership Program in Asia, started the Economic and
Entrepreneurial Leadership Program in Silicon Valley, and helped grow the Robert
Day Scholars program.
Faculty Chair of Robert Day
School and Professor of Economics Heather
Antecol noted Blomberg’s extensive work for students.
“I have worked closely with
Dean Brock Blomberg over the last four years,” Antecol wrote in an email to TSL. “His focus has been on
student outcomes and satisfaction with the programming in the Robert Day School
… both during their tenure at CMC and after graduation.”
Blomberg said that he is very “proud”
of the work he has done at the Robert Day School and has learned a lot from having
been in the roles of both a professor and an administrator as well as from
working with “fantastic faculty [and] fantastic students” and from observing various
administrators at CMC.
“The mission of the Claremont Colleges was always to add a new college
to where they are, and it’s not like I’m adding a new college because Ursinus
has been here a long time, but I’d like to think that there is going to be some
kind of adoption because I’m adopted. I think there is a little relationship
there; a partnership that people here should feel like it’s also a little piece
of CMC that’ll be over there,” Blomberg said.
As per his new job, Blomberg said that he hopes to continue to uphold and further the mission of Ursinus and help “lead them where they’re destined to go.”
all things go well, I’ll be there during their 150th anniversary in
2019,” Blomberg said.