Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Parents Newsletter, March 2012

Dear Parents

Dear Parents,

Parents have been well represented at the "Conversations with President Porterfield," where members of the Franklin & Marshall family have gathered in multiple cities to meet each other and hear about the College's next steps. I've received terrific feedback about these events from all constituents.

Whether or not you've attended one of these programs, we invite you to watch some short videos that highlight the great work the College is doing to broaden access, further faculty-student collaboration and enhance the student-athlete experience.

All the best,

Maura Condon Umble ‘83
Director of Parent Relations
Franklin & Marshall College

1,000 Thanks

1,000 Thanks

On Saturday, Feb. 25, there was a wonderful "thankathon" at F&M, encouraging all in the campus community to write quick notes of thanks to other members of the F&M community. The goal was to share 1,000 notes of appreciation. Happily, our grateful community surpassed that goal with almost 1,600 expressions of thanks. Check out the 1,000 Thanks Facebook Event for pictures and highlights of the event! The next one will be held in November 2012.

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Summer Classes

Summer Classes

F&M offers two summer sessions:

  • Session I -- June 4 through July 3 (registration deadline May 21)
  • Session II -- July 9 through August 7 (registration deadline June 25)

Complete information, including the necessary course, room and board plan applications, is available on the Registrar’s Office’s website.

Idea Groups

Idea Groups Update

Last fall, President Porterfield encouraged a campus-wide atmosphere of innovation by initiating four Idea Groups. As a result of the thoughtful participation of students, faculty, professional staff, alumni and parents, our Idea Groups yielded a wealth of constructive suggestions.

The Idea Group Steering Committee has now recommended several dozen of these ideas for action that are outlined on the Idea Group website. Check this site for updates on the development and implementation on these initiatives.

Mark Your Calendar

Mark Your Calendar

A friendly reminder to save the date for Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 19-21, 2012. You’ll be hearing lots more about it in the coming months!

Lancaster and F&M

Lancaster and F&M -- A Great Place

In case you needed additional confirmation that your student has landed in a great community, the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index was released this month. Residents of Lancaster had the highest rate of satisfaction in the nation in 2011, beating out other cities such as Honolulu, San Francisco, Boston and Boulder. Read the Lancaster newspaper’s take on this feel-good ranking. And, in another report that may provide reassurance for parents of shy kids, Franklin & Marshall College is on a Huffington Post list of colleges that "just have a better atmosphere for making friends." Check it out here. (Image courtesy of LancasterARTS.).

Question of the Month

Question of the Month:
What is the purpose of F&M’s Language Requirement?

Franklin & Marshall offers instruction in nine modern languages (Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, and Arabic) as well as Latin and Greek. Liberal arts colleges have proven especially effective in language instruction, since the smaller class sizes give each student ample opportunity to practice new skills and new vocabulary supervised by the instructor.

How does the requirement work?
F&M requires a modest three semesters of language instruction through the beginning-intermediate level. When students arrive with several years of high school language instruction, they take a test to place them in the proper level course. Many who demonstrate a proficiency that places them beyond the required third semester choose to continue to a higher level and use the language as a minor or a major. Others, regardless of placement level, seize the opportunity to explore languages their high schools may not have offered. We find that other students, reluctant to undergo the rigors of language instruction, nevertheless receive positive encouragement from parents who recognize the importance of language facility in today’s world.

What are the benefits of language study in college?
We see three immediate benefits. The first is the competitive edge language study gives our alums in the workforce and in post-graduate study. Often combined with another major, language study adds distinctiveness to their resumés. Students from our language programs (both modern and classical) have gone on to work in such diverse fields as government and diplomacy, international business and law, journalism, art and architecture, museum work, and, of course, teaching at all levels.

A second benefit is the College’s internationalization campaign, manifest in the increasing success of our graduates in prestigious international programs and fellowships after college. This year, the College has a record eight students among the finalists for the international Fulbright English Teaching program. Of these, three are for Germany, for which proficiency in the language is required. Last year, one of our Spanish-speaking graduates was chosen for the one-year Princeton in Latin America program, for which one of our current seniors is an alternate. This year we also have finalists for the Princeton in Africa  and the Princeton in Asia Programs.

The 2012 senior class also has a George J. Mitchell Scholarship winner, whose undergraduate experience in South Africa greatly enhanced her application. Last year, one of our students received a U.S. State Department Critical Language Study grant for study of Arabic in Jordan. The class of 2012 also had a finalist for the Gates Cambridge Fellowship (100 out of 1000 applicants, with 40 finally chosen to pursue an MA at Cambridge University).

A third benefit to college language study is the acquisition of transferable skills, including a general awareness of language (including one’s native tongue), an ability to think on one’s feet and a resiliency and flexibility when encountering other cultures. Most of our language majors and minors take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in a non-English-speaking environment, whether in a summer program, on a travel course, in a full- semester or full-year academic program, or in a work internship in another country. Recent examples of the latter include students of Italian who worked for a semester in a biology lab at the University of Padua or on an organic farm in Piedmont (the latter through WWOOF: and one who worked during the summer in a wildlife sanctuary in Tuscany. One of our faculty serves on the Board of a program providing one-semester internships in French-speaking countries in Europe (IFE). A recent participant in that program, a student of Government and International Studies, worked with a Paris-based human rights watchdog group. The insight that students gain from these experiences enriches our own campus life once they return.

Upcoming Events

March 15, 2012
Philadelphia Regional Phonathon
Philadelphia, Pa.
Event Details

March 29, 2012
New Jersey Regional Parent Gathering
Franklin Lakes, N.J.

April 14, 2012
F&M and CTCTen Day at the Philadelphia Union
Chester, Pa.