Franklin & Marshall College will celebrate 225 years of academic excellence, scholarship and service with a yearlong celebration beginning later this month.
A series of events carrying the theme "Beyond 225: Inspired for Life" will begin with Convocation Aug. 28 and culminate with Reunion Weekend in June. The celebration coincides with the academic year to mark the 225 years since Franklin College began with a class of 114 students who assembled July 16, 1787, in a brew house on Mifflin Street in the borough of Lancaster. The institution merged with Marshall College in 1853 and took its current name.
In announcing the anniversary celebration in a message to the College community, President Daniel R. Porterfield emphasized F&M's legacy of perseverance through its early years, pointing out that today, Franklin & Marshall College is a well-known liberal arts college with a national reputation for excellence in educating students from around the world.
"During this year, we will celebrate 225 years of academic excellence and scholarship, service to the community, building enduring networks of support among our many constituencies, and a commitment to propel our students to lifetimes of meaning and achievement beyond their years at F&M," Porterfield said.
The "Beyond 225" theme, selected by a committee of faculty, professional staff and students, "truly reflects the imperative that drives us to grow F&M's greatness beyond what we can even imagine today, and to contribute to the lifelong success of generations of F&M students and alumni to come," Porterfield added.
Director of Special Events and Assistant Secretary of the College Debbie Martin '72, who co-chairs the anniversary planning committee with Lisa Wolfe, associate director of F&M's Ware Institute of Civic Engagement, said the celebration is intended to bring together all of F&M's alumni, students, faculty, professional staff and friends.
"This yearlong celebration gives the entire College community an opportunity to reflect on the rich history of F&M as one of the earliest institutions of higher learning in this country and to be proud of how the College has evolved over the years to meet the needs of students in the 21st century," Martin said.
Events to commemorate the anniversary will include a Barnstormers baseball game with fireworks on Sept. 14, special gatherings during Homecoming and Family Weekend in Oct. 18-21, a 225th Celebration for alumni and parents in downtown Lancaster and an alumni event in New York City in November, and a variety of academic and arts-related programs throughout the year.
John Carbon, the Richard S. and Ann B. Barshinger Professor of Music, has written a special musical score for "Beyond 225," which will premiere at Convocation, the official start of the academic year. Brian Norcross, the conductor of instrumental ensembles, will conduct the performance.
A 225th anniversary website lists the schedule of events and information about the celebration.