Current Issue

Mar.2, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 8


John R. Strassburger *76

Published in the Mar.2, 2011, issue

John Strassburger, president emeritus of Ursinus College who retired June 30 after 15 years as president, died Sept. 22, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. He was 68.

Strassburger received a bachelor’s degree from Bates College in 1964, and a master’s degree from Cambridge University in 1966. He then came to Princeton and received a second master’s degree in history in 1968. While teaching history at Hiram College (from 1970 to 1982), he completed his Princeton Ph.D. in 1976.

From 1984 to 1994, Strassburger was professor of history, dean of the college, and then executive vice president at Knox College. In 1995, he became president of Ursinus. While he was president, Ursinus grew from 1,100 to 1,700 students, and added majors in art, theater, and dance. Accommodating these changes, the college expanded its science, arts, athletic, and residence facilities.

Strassburger was a tireless advocate for liberal education. He proposed abolishing the SAT exams because he believed they were obsolete. He wrote: “Those contemplating college need to work hard at writing and math and history and biology, not SAT-type analogy problems.”

He is survived by his wife, Gertrude; two daughters; and two grandchildren.

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