Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Message from John F. Burness '67

Interim President (2010-2011)

Welcome to Franklin & Marshall College.

Little did I dream when I was graduated from Franklin & Marshall more than 40 years ago that my future would include being elected interim president of this wonderful college. One of the great things about a liberal arts education is how it prepares you for both the expected and unexpected in life. For 223 years this community has been nurturing young men, and blessedly since 1969, young women, offering them a liberal arts education and experience that readies them for fulfilling and productive lives. I know firsthand the power of a Franklin & Marshall education and the degree to which the remarkable faculty assembled here embodies a passion for teaching and scholarship. It is part of the ethos of this place for faculty members to share their passion with our gifted students and encourage them to explore and find their own passions. That was true when I was a student, and it is equally true today.

As one walks our lovely campus with its evident commitment to green space, the vistas provide constant reminders of this college’s historic tradition of excellence. From the majestic tower of Old Main to the new Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building, from the new College Houses to the developing athletics campus, one can feel the energy of this place. Frankly, when I was a student here, the College was pretty dumpy. Today, one sees modern teaching, research, cultural and residential facilities in every direction. The true test of these new and renovated buildings, as remarkable as they are, is not the structures themselves, but the adventures in knowledge and discovery they make possible for our students and faculty.

What a gift for our students who benefit not only from close personal engagement with a faculty of true distinction, but whose lives are transformed by the intellectual and personal growth they experience here. Whether playing on the new athletics fields, studying abroad in more than 40 countries, or serving those in need from Johannesburg to New Orleans and in our vibrant home city of Lancaster, Franklin & Marshall students learn the skills that complement what they learn in classrooms and laboratories and apply their knowledge to the great and changing issues of our day. It is no accident that Franklin & Marshall's 22,000 alumni are leaders in virtually every area of human endeavor.

I invite you to visit Franklin & Marshall in person or virtually by exploring our website, to see for yourself why this historic college has earned a reputation for excellence. This truly is a place where great teaching and great learning go hand-in-hand, where the liberal arts educate for a lifetime.

All best,

John F. Burness '67

  • Common Hour Remarks by Interim President John Burness '67
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  • Convocation 2010
  • Remarks by Interim President John Burness