In addition to authoring articles and opinion pieces for a variety of publications, Franklin & Marshall College President Daniel R. Porterfield is an invited regular contributor to Huffington Post College, among the news organization's other blog platforms. An archive of those essays and opinion pieces appears here.
June 19, 2013
Still, for all the differences among the generations, the testimonials also showed the commonalities among the classes. Whatever their age, at F&M they all blended political, historical, social, intellectual and personal growth in a formative campus culture that privileges reason and free speech...A college education is not just an individual experience; it's also communal and generational. Wouldn't it be a shame to lose that tradition of generations of students learning and living together, experiencing and interpreting defining historical events, and emerging ready to take on the world's challenges?
June 5, 2013
We who are older know that it's rare to have it all, in any job. We know that entry-level positions are harder to find in today's constrained labor market. And we know that today's young graduates have a great deal to bring to the table and will benefit from formative early professional experiences.
April 14, 2013
Commencement season will soon be upon us, which means that more than two million black-robed graduates will conclude their college years hearing the sage advice of all manner of speakers, from peers to politicians to celebrities. However, my 16 years of college teaching tell me that seniors need to hear more personal words of wisdom right now from friends, mentors and loved ones as they deal with the strong emotions attendant on closing this distinct chapter in their lives.
March 12, 2013
...Today's students are navigating a much longer transition to the traditional markers of adulthood -- marriage, family, and stable employment -- than their parents and grandparents. ... Great colleges will respond to the evolving needs of 20-something searchers and help them launch well into opportunity and growth. Liberal arts colleges are especially well positioned to do so, because our students feel personally known, valued, challenged and supported by the educators who work here.
Feb. 7, 2013
In our 21st-century global economy, which is knowledge-based, technology-driven and constantly changing, students need to develop their minds for lifetimes of higher-level thinking and learning. Those individuals who can best reason, write, research, analyze, compute, create and communicate will thrive. The societies that develop the most advanced thinkers will outcompete the others.
Jan. 18, 2013
I'm deeply gratified that America has a designated day when we recognize Dr. King. As an educator, I share Dr. King's belief that providing all with equal access to an empowering education is the essential investment a democracy makes in its people and its future. "Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education," Dr. King wrote in the Morehouse College newspaper 56 years ago when he was a junior. That's no less true in 2013.
Sept. 11, 2012
We should find inspiration in strong models of public service that speak to the better angels of our nature. This past summer I witnessed the actions of three sets of change-makers giving themselves over completely to education as the best way to empower young people, break cycles of poverty and create a brighter future for America.