In Normandy, the World War II Foundation memorialized the leadership of one of Franklin & Marshall's most distinguished alumni. In South Africa, F&M students extended the College's global reach through civic-engagement initiatives. And in Lancaster, F&M embarked on a yearlong celebration of its 225th anniversary with a series of events highlighting the College's academic excellence, scholarship and service.
These stories and others are just a few reasons why 2012 will remain etched in the minds of members of the F&M community. The year also included national awards for students and professors, major gifts to the College and numerous events surrounding the presidential election.
The following are just a few items that appeared on the F&M News website in 2012 -- a year that will require a few extra pages in future F&M history books. Visit the archives of F&M News to read more about students, faculty members and professional staff whose stories help to shape the F&M community.
With the help of a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kate Plass continued her project to create less-expensive solar cell technology. Representatives from F&M traveled to Miami to select 10 students who would become F&M's first Science Posse. Meanwhile, F&M's Catastrophic Relief Alliance helped assisted in recovery efforts following one of America's worst tornado outbreaks. And the College announced that Laurence Shadek '72 and the Shadek Family Foundation would give $5 million to the College to help build Shadek Stadium on F&M's North Campus.
Eight students curated a bilingual exhibition titled "Napoléon représente/Napoleon Represents" in the Phillips Museum of Art. Hundreds of exceptional juniors from Pennsylvania high schools visited F&M during F&M College Summit, a daylong introduction to college life. And F&M's Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment started its Urban Wildlife Research Program.
The F&M faculty approved the creation of a new academic major in computer science. Hundreds of students, professors and professional staff gathered for F&M's sixth annual Relay for Life, celebrating the lives of cancer survivors, remembering loved ones and uniting to fight against the disease. Professor of Sociology Carol Auster delivered the 2011-12 Lindback Lecture at Common Hour. And three students launched a program designed to empower refugees in Lancaster through craft workshops. In athletics, standout point guard Georgio Milligan '12 earned national player of the year honors from DIII News after leading the men's basketball team to the Elite Eight.
Akbar Hossain '13 became F&M's first recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. A video featured the impact of F&M's Chris Campbell Field and Education Center in the poverty-stricken community of Khayelitsha, South Africa. Professor of Philosophy Bennett Helm and an international team of philosophers received a $640,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to explore the role of love in decision-making. And Will Hancock-Cerutti '12 received good news in the weeks before his graduation, earning a Fulbright Full-Grant Scholarship for a year of medical research in Paris.
During a visit to campus May 2, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. gave a candid talk on topics ranging from early childhood education to the partisan split on Capitol Hill. At Commencement, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urged F&M's Class of 2012 to live up to the spirit of independence and service embodied by the school’s namesakes: Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall. After an undergraduate career highlighted by international adventure and imaginative research, Judith Stapleton '12 won F&M's Williamson Medal. And just days after Commencement, F&M received a $1.4 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support innovative research with the Clinic for Special Children.
In early June, generations of F&M alumni returned to campus to reconnect with classmates and learn about present-day life at F&M during Reunion Weekend 2012. Later that week, the World War II Foundation memorialized the leadership of one of Franklin & Marshall's most distinguished alumni, the late Maj. Richard Winters '41, with the unveiling of the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy. Closer to home, Melissa Sandoval '13 and Maribel Vasquez '09 received 2012 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships to help them prepare academically and professionally to enter the U.S. Foreign Service.
The summer of 2012 also saw the return of F&M College Prep, a three-week, pre-college immersion program designed to transform rising seniors into college-ready students. More than 60 students from across the country took part in the program, nearly three times the number who participated in 2011.
Approximately 600 members of the Class of 2016 joined the F&M community at Convocation, kicking off the academic year and also helping the College launch a yearlong celebration of the 225th anniversary. As students got back to work in classrooms, some of them also began working on social issues in Lancaster through F&M Works in Lancaster, a pilot program made possible by a grant from the Steinman Foundation. And a new office launched to enhance the services dedicated to preparing students and alumni for their lives and careers beyond college: the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development.
The academic year also began with big news for professors and students. Associate Professor of Anthropology Mary Ann Levine won the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology Award, while astrophysics major Jack Madden '14 discovered a rare extragalactic pulsar.
The College's 225th anniversary was not the only milestone in 2012, as F&M's Alice Drum Women's Center celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special event in Steinman College Center Oct. 11. Later in the month, thousands of alumni and parents of current students visited campus on a brisk and sunny Homecoming & Family Weekend. Gregory Adkins, the William G. and Elizabeth R. Simeral Professor of Physics, delivered a wide-ranging presentation on his research with F&M students at the Oct. 18 Common Hour. And to help families confront the challenges of college affordability and rising student loan debt, F&M launched the Student Loan Relief Program.
In advance of the presidential election, the student-faculty-staff coalition F&M Votes broke records for voter registration at F&M. The election was also the topic of forums attended by alumni in New York and Washington, D.C. Later in the month, the College celebrated its 225th anniversary with an event in downtown Lancaster -- just blocks from the site on Mifflin Street where Franklin College held its first classes more than two centuries ago. The College also marked the milestone with a 225th Anniversary Gala in New York on Nov. 29, where generations of alumni joined F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield, trustees, members of the faculty and professional staff, students and friends of the College for an evening of celebration.
The College reported the adoption of a comprehensive Sustainability Master Plan, affirming the College's commitment to fostering a sustainable environment for current and future generations of students, alumni, faculty and professional staff. And continuing a longstanding tradition, members of the F&M community helped to brighten the holiday season for hundreds of Lancaster residents in need through the annual holiday gift drive.