Butler University will celebrate the life of former President Bobby Fong with a public ceremony September 28 at 1:00 p.m. in Clowes Memorial Hall. Fong died September 8 in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where he was president of Ursinus College.
Butler President James M. Danko and representatives of the Butler and Indianapolis communities will speak. Suzanne Fong and the Fongs’ sons Jonathan and Colin will be in attendance.
Those who cannot attend can watch a live stream of the memorial at www.butler.edu/live.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bobby and Suzanne Fong Scholarship established at Butler in 2005.
When he became president of Butler on June 1, 2001, Bobby Fong was one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents in the country. A Harvard-educated Oscar Wilde scholar from Oakland, California, he taught English and served in academic administration at Berea College (Kentucky), Hope College (Michigan), and Hamilton College (New York) before joining Butler.
During his tenure, Butler achieved successive balanced budgets and record years for endowment growth, freshman enrollment, and fundraising, including $154 million in the ButlerRising Human Capital Campaign. Several campus structures and renovations were completed, including The Apartment Village student housing, the Health and Recreation Complex, the Efroymson Diversity Center, a new Butler Bowl press box, and a 40,000-square-foot lab and classroom addition to the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building.
Fong championed improved campus-community relationships, more experiential-learning opportunities, equitable employee compensation, and active recruitment of minority students and faculty. He considered Butler’s invitation to establish a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 2010, and the increase in the University’s graduation rate from 62 percent to 73 percent over the decade, as two significant highlights of his term. He left Butler in 2011 to become president of Ursinus College.