Ursinus College President Bobby Fong, one of few Asian-American college presidents, dies at 64

Associated Press

Ursinus College President Bobby Fong, a son of Chinese immigrants who rose to become one of the few Asian-Americans at the helm of U.S. colleges, died Monday. He was 64.

Ursinus announced his death on its website, saying it was from natural causes. His previous employer, Butler University, said in a statement that Fong died of an apparent heart attack. An Ursinus spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Fong had led Ursinus for the past three years. The small liberal arts school in the Philadelphia suburb of Collegeville serves about 1,700 students.

Before that, Fong served for a decade as president of Butler University in Indiana. When he became president of Butler in 2001, he was one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents in the United States.

Fong grew up in the Chinatown section of Oakland, California. He attended Harvard University on a scholarship and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in 1973.

Fong became a scholar of author Oscar Wilde and later taught English at Berea University in Kentucky. He then held administrative posts at Hope College in Michigan and Hamilton College in New York.

Fong had two sons with his wife, Suzanne Dunham Fong. Services have not been announced.