FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Julia Ferrante, 717-291-4062, firstname.lastname@example.org
LANCASTER, Pa. — Franklin & Marshall College President Daniel R. Porterfield, who has been recognized by The White House and other organizations for his national leadership in improving college access for high-achieving students from underserved populations, will receive the Eugene M. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award from the "I Have A Dream" Foundation at its annual Spring Gala on Tuesday, June 10, in New York City.
The national "I Have A Dream" Foundation aims to motivate and empower children from lower-income communities to reach their education and career goals by providing a long-term program of mentoring, tutoring, and enrichment along with tuition assistance for higher education. The organization was founded in 1986 by Lang, a successful New York businessman who drew national acclaim for his promise five years earlier to a group of then-sixth-graders in East Harlem to pay their college tuition if they graduated from high school.
Porterfield has worked on expanding college opportunity his entire career, and during his tenure at F&M, the College has enrolled three of the most talented and diverse classes in its history. The College has increased need-based financial aid for the first-year class by 95 percent over six years, and has formed partnerships with K-12 organizations to create pipelines to higher education for lower-income and first-generation college students.
"It's gratifying that Franklin & Marshall is being recognized among all other institutions of higher learning in the country for the value of our initiatives," Porterfield said. "Investing in opportunity for bright and talented students from every economic background is critically important for our country and for the differencetomorrow's leaders can make in their communities and the world. This honor from the 'I Have a Dream' Foundation helps us celebrate all of the colleges that commit to this important work."
Among the Colleges many initiatives, F&M in 2011 launched F&M College Prep, a three-week summer program for rising high school seniors that offers a true-to-life experience of college by combining substantive courses taught by F&M professors with communal life in the College's residence and dining halls. Since its inception, more than 90 percent of students participating in F&M College Prep have gone on to matriculate at leading four-year institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, Brown, Georgetown, and Bucknell universities, the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Pomona College, Spelman College, Lafayette College and F&M.
Also in 2011, F&M became the first liberal arts college in the nation, and only the third higher education institution overall, to partner with the Posse Foundation to enroll annually 10 full-scholarship students planning to major in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) disciplines. While representing the College at the White House Higher Education Summit in January, Porterfield pledged to extend F&M's commitment to sustaining its cohorts of Posse Foundation students interested in STEM fields though at least 2019.
Before joining F&M, Porterfield served as senior vice president for strategic development at Georgetown University, where he developed education programs for public school students, immigrant students, and low-income students throughout Washington, D.C. He continues to sit on the board of the Cristo Rey Network of Catholic high schools, which has established a goal of changing the lives of students in many lower-income communities. In addition, Porterfield serves as a board member of the Lenfest Foundation, as a university champions board member for Teach for America, on the advisory board of the national College Advising Corps, and as a trustee of the College Board.
The "I Have a Dream" Foundation's chairman emeritus, Lang, said the organization is "thrilled" to honor Porterfield at this year's Spirit of the Dream Spring Gala.
"His determination to provide students with the opportunities, support and other resources needed to get to and through college captures the essence of the 'I Have A Dream' Foundation's vision," Lang said.
Previous recipients of the foundation's lifetime achievement award include Cesar Conde, president and COO of Univision Networks; Sheila Johnson, education philanthropist and co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET); Thomas H. Kean, former New Jersey governor and president of Drew University; Dr. John King Jr., New York State Education Commissioner; Lang; and Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks.