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President Porterfield to Participate in Live Streamed White House Summit

For the third time this academic year, Franklin & Marshall College President Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., will present the College’s perspective on important issues in higher education before a national audience when he participates in a Higher Education Summit at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 16.

At the invitation of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Porterfield will be one of four panelists leading off the daylong summit event at 9 a.m. Thursday with a discussion about what colleges can do to attract and retain lower-income students and ensure their success once on campus. Joining him for the exchange will be David Coleman, co-founder of Student Achievement Partners and current president of the College Board; Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona and secretary of homeland security who now heads the University of California System; and Salman Khan, portfolio manager at Khan Capital Management and founder of the online Khan Academy.

The White House is providing a live stream of the Higher Education Summit beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The video is accessible here.

  • White House Summit

President Porterfield is one of only a select few college and university presidents chosen for leading roles during the summit, which will bring together scores of higher education leaders from across the country to devise and launch a plan of action for increasing college opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged students. Both President Obama and the First Lady are expected to address the gathering.

In October, Porterfield was picked by producers at NBC News for a panel discussion of "What It Takes: A Path to Higher Ed," a segment of the network’s annual, nationally broadcast Education Nation Summit in New York City. A month later, he was in the nation's capital for a meeting of education leaders -- "The Next America: Pathways to Success" -- convened by the National Journal.

In recent days, he also has been quoted by the Washington Post in a story about White House efforts to advance Obama administration economic and social policies absent legislation by a gridlocked Congress.

Anticipating his upcoming visit to the White House, Porterfield said, "As the country discusses the aims and aspirations of higher education as a whole, it’s necessary that very strong colleges do their part to find, fund, and educate more high-talent students from the full American mosaic.

"At Franklin & Marshall, we’ve prioritized closing the opportunity gap by enhancing access for high-achievers through partnerships with schools, networks, communities, and K-12 programs that prepare students in ways predictive of academic success, and by increasing significantly the resources we provide toward need-based financial aid. I look forward to demonstrating again at the White House these innovative methods that other colleges can emulate."