Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

F&M History and Tradition

The 1905 and 1906 Student's Handbook of F&M College states, "Don't imagine that college life consists of 'digging' at books all the time. You come here to develop in the broadest sense of the word. Take exercise. Read good books. Cultivate college spirit."  

Here's a brief summary of key years in the history of F&M:

  • 1787: Franklin College formed
  • 1836: Marshall College formed
  • 1853: Franklin College and Marshall College merged because Franklin College had the money and Marshall College had the students
  • 1883: Franklin & Marshall's first yearbook, the Oriflamme, was created.
  • 1918: Old Main closed down on account of a coal shortage. Classes were held in the old science building and in the library.
  • 1920: Plays on the college's name became an annual activity. Names such as "Fast and Mushy," "Frank and Marsha," and "Fumble and Mumble" were all popular take-offs of Franklin & Marshall.
  • 1930: Freshmen had to wear green neckties and black socks without clocks (clocks were lines woven up socks with an arrow at the top). In the late 1930s, the sock color changed to white and the freshmen were required to roll up their pants legs to show off the socks.
  • 1943: During late spring, Franklin & Marshall was visited by a Naval Examining Board and was approved for a Navy college program. In the First World War, 13 Franklin & Marshall men gave up their lives for their country.
  • 1950: Marshall-Buchanan Hall was built and included a dining hall, lounge, and study.
  • 1962: Duke Ellington and Fats Domino perform at Sno-Ball weekend.
  • 1969: The first women students were admitted and enrolled into Franklin & Marshall in 1969.
  • 1971: Grateful Dead perform a concert in Mayser Gymnasium.
  • 1973: WFNM went FM and could be heard on 88.7 within a 10-15 mile radius. Previously, students had broadcast from WLAN and then from WWFM-AM.
  • 1984: Ben's Underground opened in the basement of Ben Franklin Dining Hall.
  • 1988: Richard Kneedler became President.
  • 2001: The largest fund-raising campaign ($145 million) in the College's history successfully concludes.
  • 2002: John Anderson Fry becomes Franklin & Marshall's 14th president.
  • 2004: Ben's Underground celebrates their 20th anniversary.
  • 2005: Introduction of the College House System.
  • 2006 (spring): House constitutions ratified by the House Members.
  • 2014: Franklin & Marshall welcomes the class of 2018!