Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

2011-12 Messages from the President

Invitation for Alumni Engagement

President Porterfield sent this message on June 11, 2012

Dear Alumni of Franklin & Marshall College,

At the end of a deeply enjoyable first year at F&M, I write to invite you to join a broad conversation about how we can help our diverse alumni community engage still more meaningfully in the life of the College.

Thank you for welcoming me so warmly into the F&M family. Over the past 15 months, it has been inspiring for me to host a dozen alumni conversations in cities across the country, from Boston, New York and Washington, to Houston, Milwaukee and San Francisco. I have enjoyed meeting graduates in all walks of life and of all ages and backgrounds. I have been consistently struck by how fervently alumni believe in the College’s educational quality and by the deep affection you have for the F&M community of faculty, professional staff, fellow graduates and, of course, students.

F&M enjoyed many signature achievements in the 2011–2012 academic year. For example, the College won a highly competitive $1.4 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for our path-breaking research and teaching associated with Lancaster County’s Clinic for Special Children. This collaboration blends genetics research, clinical care and public health work in service of the Amish and Mennonite communities. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation also recognized the aspirations of our faculty to investigate broadly and systematically the most effective ways to support faculty research, scholarship, and innovations in pedagogy with a major planning grant.

Highly effective work in student recruitment, combined with several years of enhancing the financial-aid budget, have enabled F&M to enroll consecutively some of the strongest classes in our history. We are proud that five students or recent graduates competed successfully to become F&M’s first recipients of prestigious national fellowships, including the Fulbright Research Fellowship, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for leadership and public service, and the George Mitchell Scholarship in peace studies.

As we prepare to celebrate F&M’s 225th Anniversary in 2012–2013, I have consistently heard members of our community express a shared vision for the College: we must make a still greater impact as a national liberal arts institution in ways that are deeply authentic to F&M’s rich and distinctive history of excellence. A vibrant and engaged alumni community is crucial to realizing that vision, and there are many ways in which we have begun working toward that goal.

For example, we invite you to join us as:

  • Ambassadors for the College, helping to recruit high-achieving students across the country. In fall 2012, we will launch a new alumni admission volunteer program that will create a network of graduates who represent F&M at local college fairs and are trained to interview prospective students. I would like to thank Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Daniel Lugo and colleagues across the College for developing this program.

  • Mentors to our students, sharing your professional experiences and insights or identifying valuable internships in your workplace or in a nonprofit you support. We also welcome volunteers who can serve as regional contacts for students and recent graduates visiting or moving to your area. I am grateful for the work of new Associate Vice President for Student and Post-Graduate Development Beth Glenn Throne ’95. Please watch for a survey from Beth in the coming weeks about these opportunities to engage with students and young alumni.

I am also very pleased that we created this year a new Council for Women of Franklin & Marshall, led by Elizabeth Mackey ’75, which has already taken strong steps in mentoring, supporting and recognizing the leadership of women students.

On June 1, we were delighted to welcome alumni of all generations back to campus
for one of the biggest Reunions in F&M’s history, and we will continue to enhance this and other alumni programming in response to your feedback. The Alumni Association Board has developed a strategic plan to invigorate the experience of your local alumni chapters. We now provide for our graduates their F&M email addresses for life, and
we are making service available to all alumni so that you can more easily stay connected to the professors who helped you see the world in new ways and to all the friends you made here. We will also make it easier for you to follow events on campus by redesigning our website and enhancing our use of video and social media, including access to high-quality videos of our weekly Common Hour programs.

Our goal is for you to feel the continued embrace of the College in ways you want to throughout your life. I invite you to share your thoughts about all of these initiatives, along with any suggestions about how you would like to engage with F&M, by emailing me at

I look forward to hearing from you, and to continuing our important dialogue in the months ahead. Thank you once again for all you do for — and mean to — Franklin & Marshall College.


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

Building Awareness Around Hazing

President Porterfield sent this message on April 20, 2012

Dear Members of the Franklin & Marshall Community:

This week, Dean of the College Kent Trachte decided to remove our women's lacrosse coach and suspend from the team a number of upperclass student-athletes after completing an investigation into a hazing event that occurred last spring.

I strongly support this decision as part of the College's commitment to safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of our students. Hazing, which occurs in many forms, is dangerous and can create serious physical and emotional harm to all parties. It can sweep up students into thoughtless behaviors that may be incompatible with their own deeply-held values as well as those of the College.

I understand that this situation is not easy for the students on the team and, indeed, for all associated with Franklin & Marshall. Given that there are many reactions to this unfortunate situation, this is an opportune moment for reflection. I would like to offer a few thoughts, not about the particular case but about some of the larger principles related to our educational mission.

First, our highest priority must always be to work together to promote the physical and emotional well-being of all. Doing so is necessary for the College to achieve our full promise as a learning community. F&M can and will act expeditiously to safeguard our students and meet our responsibilities to protect one another.

Second, to prevent and address high-risk behavior, it is essential for educators to work in partnership with students, listening and learning in respectful dialogue. I’m struck by examples of how F&M has done just that in the work of groups like .08, One in Four, and Take Back the Night, just to name a few. This type of collaboration can be a source of extraordinary, lifelong pride.

Third, in all aspects of college life, we organize ourselves to respond to students as individuals. Every person counts. This is one of the most meaningful values we espouse.

Finally, great colleges help students learn and grow holistically. Some of the most formative lessons along the way come from mistakes and setbacks, from moments that require humility, from the recognition that we should extend or accept an apology.

I offer these thoughts today, as our campus community engages the difficult issue of hazing, out of a deep respect for all who study, teach and work here, and with gratitude for each effort you make to help others and the College as a whole.

In the months and years ahead, we will create opportunities to promote greater awareness of the risks and dangers of hazing. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about how we might best do so. Please feel free to respond to this email with ideas, or to be in contact after the semester ends.

Working together, in a spirit of partnership, we can and will create a still more extraordinary learning community.

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.


Ideas in Action

President Porterfield sent this message on February 9, 2012

Dear Members of the F&M Community:

Last fall, we explored a new way of engaging together as a community to share our ideas for innovation in our collective work of fulfilling the College’s mission. I am gratified to see how many students, faculty and professional staff from all across campus joined in this collaborative process. As a result of everyone’s thoughtful participation, our four Idea Groups yielded a wealth of constructive suggestions.

The Idea Group Steering Committee has now recommended several dozen of these ideas for action, and has created a website that briefly outlines them and provides regular updates on the status of their ongoing development and implementation.

We have already implemented one idea by extending campus wireless service to the College Hill and College Row student residences over the Winter Break. Warm thanks are due to ITS colleagues for completing the project so quickly and especially to our residential partners Campus Apartments (College Row) and Liberman-Early (College Hill) for their cooperation and financial support that made this expansion of the F&M wireless network possible.

Please join me in thanking all those who chaired or served on the four Idea Groups for their creativity, hard work and dedication to the College. I would also especially like to recognize the members of the Idea Group Steering Committee, who facilitated the whole effort: Shawn Jenkins ’10, Special Assistant to the Dean of the College; Barbara Nimershiem, Associate Professor of Mathematics; and Lisa Stillwell, Information Literacy Librarian.

I look forward to seeing many of these great ideas—and others—take flight in the months ahead as we continue our commitment to innovation and community.

All the best,
Dan Porterfield

Expansion of College Wireless Service

President Porterfield sent this message on December 7, 2011

Dear Members of the Franklin & Marshall Community:

Thank you all for your thoughtful participation in the important work of our four Idea Groups this fall. The process has yielded many excellent suggestions for our community, and we are choosing to act on one of them immediately. One group recommended that F&M should extend campus wireless internet service to the College Row and College Hill student residences. This welcome development will improve the quality of life for many of our students, enhance their ability to engage in coursework and research, and ensure that we can all stay connected as a community.

I am pleased to announce that the installation of wireless service will begin in College Row on December 9th, and in College Hill early in the new year. We anticipate that F&M wireless service will be available to all College Row and College Hill residents by the first day of classes in the spring semester.

Warm thanks to our colleagues in ITS for getting this project underway so quickly. I look forward to the implementation of even more good ideas next spring. In the meantime, enjoy these last few days of the fall semester.

All the best,
Dan Porterfield

Mona Lotfipour '12 wins Mitchell Scholarship

President Porterfield sent this message on November 30, 2011

Dear Members of the Faculty and Professional Staff,

I write to share the exciting news that Mona Lotfipour ’12 has won a prestigious and highly competitive George J. Mitchell Scholarship for a year of postgraduate study in Ireland during the 2012-13 academic year. Mona is one of only 12 Mitchell Scholars selected from a pool of 300 applicants, joining recipients from Harvard University, Stanford University, Amherst College and other outstanding institutions across the country. One of only three current undergraduates nationally to receive a Mitchell, Mona will study Equality Studies at University College Dublin.

The Mitchell Scholars program honors Senator George Mitchell’s important contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. The program introduces and connects generations of young American leaders to Ireland while fostering intellectual achievement and leadership development, as well as a commitment to public service. Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars are chosen annually for postgraduate study in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland through a highly competitive process that selects applicants for their academic and scholarly promise, and their capacity to deepen their capacity to lead.

Mona has made remarkable contributions to the F&M community during her three-plus years on campus, including a growing list of community service initiatives she has either introduced or helped to develop. As a sophomore, she founded the F&M Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), in which 75 students helped more than 320 low-income families last spring realize nearly $600,000 in tax credits. She also launched the ONE Goal initiative, a program that uses soccer as a tool for public health education in Khayelitsha Township, South Africa. Mona, who moved to the U.S. with her family from Iran when she was 7, is completing a double major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Health and Human Rights. She is a recipient of the prestigious Rouse Scholarship, which is awarded to Franklin & Marshall students who have achieved academic excellence while demonstrating unusual leadership. Her academic success and her remarkable citizenship were nurtured by members of the faculty who recognized her unusual promise early and mentored her with great care throughout her years at F&M.

I would like to thank Monica Cable, Director of Postgraduate Fellowships and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology, for helping Mona to secure this prestigious award. Dr. Cable has encouraged and assisted students in their pursuits of international fellowships since taking her post, which was created by the College in 2010.

In addition to Mona, several other F&M students have received international postgraduate awards in 2011: Valeri Harteg ’11 and Melissa Ostroff ’11 won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships for work in Guatemala and Spain, respectively, while Alex Lessin ’11 received a French Government Teaching Assistantship. In addition, Alejandro Alfaro Aco ’11 won a Princeton in Latin America fellowship to support a year of development work in Lima, Peru.

Please join me in congratulating Mona on her richly-deserved Mitchell Scholarship as she prepares for her year of study in Ireland.


Daniel Porterfield, Ph.D.

College Policies on Reporting Possible Wrongdoing

President Porterfield sent this message on November 15, 2011

Dear Members of the Faculty and Professional Staff:

Given the serious allegations involving Penn State University, I am writing to remind you of our shared responsibility to make good faith reports of possible wrongdoing and to ensure that all allegations of criminal activity are properly reported to authorities. We have strong pre-existing policies on these matters. I ask that you take a moment to re-familiarize yourselves with them.

The College's Whistle-blower Policy can be downloaded from:

The College's Problem Resolution Policy can be downloaded from:

Please feel free to contact Nancy Eshleman, Director of Human Resources, at 291-4353 if you have any questions about these policies. Human Resources will be monitoring any new legislation that results from recent events involving Penn State University. If necessary, the College’s policies will be revised as appropriate to ensure they remain in compliance with the law.


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

Thanks for Promoting Safety This Weekend

President Porterfield sent this message on November 14, 2011

Dear Students,

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to help keep our campus community safe. I went out on patrol with our campus police and Allied Barton security officers this past weekend and was heartened to see most students walking in groups, using the campus shuttles, and looking out for one another. Many students also took the time to thank the expanded teams of officers who work so hard to keep us safe.

I would like to extend special thanks to three groups of students who showed great leadership over the weekend: those in the College Hill apartments who refused to buzz in people they didn't know, the Kappa Sigma brothers who reported some suspicious activity to the campus police, and the .08 group who arranged for Sugar Bowl pizza and other “l8 night bites” to be available in the Wohlsen Center from 1-3 a.m. on Sunday.

I am proud to be part of a close community in which we all take care of one another. In that spirit, I want to emphasize again that, as in any city, we must contend with people actively looking for easy opportunities to commit crimes. This is especially true at night and on weekends, when so many students are out socializing. That is why it is so important for you to continue these smart habits and encourage your friends and classmates to do the same:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Walk in groups at night
  • Use the campus shuttle or ask Public Safety for an escort by calling 717-358-6999
  • Lock your doors and windows
  • Report suspicious activity to Public Safety
  • Only provide access to your residence to people known to you

See you soon,
Dr. Porterfield

Meningococcal Disease and Public Safety Updates

President Porterfield sent this message on November 3, 2011

Dear Members of the Franklin & Marshall Community:

I am writing to update you on the meningococcal disease case diagnosed last week and provide additional information about Franklin & Marshall’s response to last weekend’s public safety incidents.

Meningococcal Disease Update

I am very pleased to let you know that our student being treated for meningococcal disease is recovering rapidly and looking forward to being discharged today. The patient’s family and I thank all who have so kindly and generously offered your thoughts, prayers and good wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

Thankfully, Franklin & Marshall’s Appel Health Services has not seen anyone else with symptoms of meningococcal disease. Please be assured that Appel Health Services will continue to watch for new cases.

Public Safety Update

I would like to supplement the information Dean of the College Kent Trachte sent to the community this week about additional security measures taken after the weekend’s public safety incidents. In addition to normal patrols, the following security details will be in place this evening (Thursday) through Sunday morning and will continue on subsequent weekends until further notice:

  • An additional Public Safety officer will be assigned to foot patrol on the 600-400 blocks of West James Street. A second officer will patrol the neighborhood and be available to escort students and respond to calls. Public Safety is also stationing a patrol car in the neighborhood.
  • We have hired a Lancaster City Police officer to patrol the campus and surrounding neighborhoods, including areas students travel most often and where last week’s incidents occurred.
  • One Allied Security officer will be stationed at College Hill apartments and a second Allied officer will be stationed at College Row. They will monitor these buildings, as well as adjacent parts of the properties.
  • Security assessments described in Dean Trachte’s email are already taking place and will conclude with recommendations for improved building and campus security.

Last night, Dean Trachte, Dean Steven O’Day and Public Safety Director Mike Rossano convened a community meeting for students to discuss public safety. Several attendees had excellent suggestions about where Public Safety patrols would be most effective. In response, Public Safety will pay special attention to the area between Kappa Sigma fraternity and campus. We are collecting information about shuttle ridership that will help us determine quickly if another vehicle is warranted. And this morning Mike Rossano and the Public Safety Advisory Committee met to discuss last weekend’s incidents and the institution’s response. Thanks to those who attended and participated in last night’s meeting and in the Advisory Committee’s meeting this morning.

I am grateful to all who have responded with such care and expertise to the case of meningococcal disease and to last weekend’s incidents. Our response shows the strength of our community.


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D. President

Cass Cliatt Named Vice President for College Communications

President Porterfield sent this message on October 31, 2011

Dear Members of the Faculty and Professional Staff:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Cass Cliatt to serve as Vice President for College Communications at Franklin & Marshall College, effective Jan. 3, 2012. Currently Director of News and Editorial Services at Princeton University, Cass possesses a record of leadership in strategic communications, institutional messaging, and project coordination and management. Her collaborative style, expertise in leading institutional communications and success in reaching a wide range of constituencies make her ideally suited to lead our efforts in Communications.

Cass has led essential communications at Princeton for more than six years, first as the university’s chief spokesperson and director of media relations before assuming leadership of news and editorial services in March 2010. In her current position, she oversees media relations; news and editorial content on the Princeton University homepage and core website; social media; editorial content in key campus electronic and print publications; and the coordination of news operations with offices across campus. She also manages crisis communications and media planning for major initiatives and events.

Among numerous accomplishments at Princeton, Cass played a central role in communications and outreach campaigns surrounding construction and redevelopment under the university’s 10-year campus plan and the launch of the university’s $1.75 billion Aspire fundraising campaign. She has also played a key role in communications of the institution’s sustainability efforts, the establishment of a social media policy and strategy, and ongoing efforts surrounding the financial aid program.

Cass graduated from Princeton with a bachelor’s degree in English and a certificate in Spanish before earning her M.S. in journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Prior to joining the communications staff at her alma mater, she served as deputy director of communications and policy for the Clerk’s Office of Cook County, Ill.—a jurisdiction serving more than five million residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs—after an earlier career as a newspaper journalist.

I would like to thank the Search Committee, led by Senior Associate Dean of the College Steven O’Day and Chief of Staff Sam Houser ’89, for its outstanding work in recruiting Cass from an exceptionally strong pool of candidates.

Please join me in welcoming Cass to Franklin & Marshall when she arrives in the new year.


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

Information about Idea Groups

President Porterfield sent this message on October 19, 2011

Dear F&M Community,

During the first Common Hour I introduced “idea groups,” a new initiative Franklin & Marshall College will pilot this fall. Idea groups are small groups of faculty, professional staff, students and alumni whose members will canvass the community—students, faculty, alumni and professional staff—for promising ideas that Franklin & Marshall can act upon expeditiously. The groups will invite suggestions on these four topics:

  1. What are ways to strengthen and support academic distinction?
  2. In what other ways can we respond to the holistic needs of students?
  3. In what new ways might we build durable and rewarding relationships with alumni?
  4. What ideas can help us sustain an empowered, collaborative work community?

A steering committee comprised of Shawn Jenkins ’10 (Office of the Dean of the College), Barbara Nimershiem (Mathematics), and Lisa Stillwell (Shadek-Fackenthal Library) has been formed to shepherd this initiative.

Idea groups are a new structure for institutional collaboration and creativity that we are exploring this fall. Each group will collect ideas from the College community, review and distill them, and make recommendations about which ideas are promising for immediate implementation or future development. The idea groups will not duplicate the work of existing committees but will channel ideas to appropriate entities for evaluation or follow up, including College officers, working groups and administrative offices.

Each group’s work will be focused and will end before the fall semester draws to a close. Each group will hold at least one open meeting to solicit ideas from members of our community in person. In addition, each group will collect submissions through a specially designed web portal devoted to the group’s theme.

This is a great opportunity for our community to engage in a dialogue around topics of importance to all of us.

You will shorty receive an email from the steering committee explaining next steps and asking you to take part.

With thanks for your interest and ideas,

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

New Vice President for Finance and Administration

President Porterfield sent this message on August 29, 2011

Dear Members of the Franklin & Marshall Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of David R. Proulx to serve as Vice President for Finance and Administration at Franklin & Marshall College, effective December 5, 2011. Currently Associate Vice President for Finance and Interim Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at the University of New Hampshire, David possesses a record of leadership in financial planning, management, budgeting and strategic planning. His knowledge and experience make him ideally suited to lead the College’s efforts in Finance and Administration.

David oversees a $550 million operating budget and a $40 million capital budget at UNH, where he earned both his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He has led numerous initiatives at the university, including the implementation of decentralized budgeting, a human resources information system, and electronic and paperless billing. David has served on steering committees and management teams for projects totaling more than $200 million, including the development of the EcoLine, an innovative and award-winning energy project. He was also the point person for an affiliation agreement between the university and Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the UNH School of Law. Before joining his alma mater, David served as a senior auditor in the University System of New Hampshire.

David’s collaborative style and strong leadership have helped UNH meet the challenges of the current financial environment and made him stand out during our search process. I would like to thank the Search Committee, led by Chief of Staff Sam Houser, for its outstanding work in recruiting David from a very strong pool of candidates. I also want to thank Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Tom Kingston for his tremendous commitment and leadership during this transition and for his willingness to stay on in the interim role until David begins.

David’s wife, Rachel, is a graduate of Dickinson College. They have three children: Madeleine (12), Evan (10) and Maxwell (7). An active member of the Durham community, David coaches and coordinates several youth sports programs; served as a member of the Durham Parks and Recreation Committee; and is currently chair of his school district’s advisory budget committee. He also co-teaches a business course at UNH. We are very fortunate that David and his family will soon become part of our F&M family.

Please join me in welcoming David to campus when he arrives.


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

Daniel G. Lugo to Lead Admission and Financial Aid

President Porterfield sent this message on April 18, 2011

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel G. Lugo, Associate Dean of Admissions at Carleton College, as Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Franklin & Marshall College. Daniel’s record of leadership in student recruitment, management, fundraising and law make him ideally suited to lead our Admission and Financial Aid efforts.

Most recently Daniel has directed the admissions and enrollment process for Carleton College, one of the nation’s most selective liberal arts colleges, and also his alma mater. Among other achievements, he developed a data-driven recruiting strategy, played a leading role in recruiting a diverse student body, and managed recruiting communications with particular attention to social media and other e-recruiting tools. Before that he served as a development officer during Carleton’s capital campaign, cultivating donor prospects and soliciting major and planned gifts, and as an assistant dean of admissions. Daniel also worked for 10 years in New York as an attorney in the music and television industries, having earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

Daniel stood out in the search process because he possesses a thorough understanding of F&M’s competitive context; a lived appreciation for liberal arts education; a record of collaboration with faculty; and the ability to sustain strong relationships with established and emerging feeder schools. He has been a terrific team member and leader at Carleton, universally praised by colleagues. I would like to thank the Search Committee, led by Chief of Staff Sam Houser, for its outstanding work in recruiting Daniel from a very strong pool of candidates.

During a period of transition, F&M has enjoyed a strong year in recruiting and yielding competitive applicants and has increased resources for student aid. I would like to thank every member of the Admission and Financial Aid teams for their tremendous commitment, and Rit Fuller, Julie Kerich, Clark Paine and John Burness for outstanding leadership. Our future in these and all areas is very bright indeed.

Daniel is married and has two children. His wife, Tina, is assistant director of TRIO/Student Support Services at Carleton. Please join me in welcoming the Lugo family to F&M and Lancaster. I look forward to a long and productive partnership with Daniel, who will join us July 1. You may reach him at .


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.

First Day at F&M

President Porterfield sent this message on March 1, 2011

It is a great honor to officially join the College.  My day started bright and early at 7:15 a.m., when I met with the officers of the Diplomatic Congress. After a set of meetings with students and with faculty in the English and Sociology Departments, I attended an event at Brooks College House this evening.

I look forward to many opportunities to get to know Franklin & Marshall and to hear about the values and commitments that define our community. I am eager to meet the faculty in each of our academic departments and programs, to get to know our student community in its many groups and forms, to sit in on classes, to attend campus events and to become better acquainted with our professional staff. An enormous advantage of assuming my role mid-semester is that I will have the chance to see everyone in action and to take part in what I know will be the successful completion of a terrific academic year.

When I’m not on campus, I’ll be visiting alumni, parents, friends and community partners near and far to learn their views of the College and to begin what I hope will be long and meaningful relationships.

I would like to thank Interim President John Burness for his dedicated leadership and service since July. President Burness has led wisely and well and has set in motion projects, events and internal reviews that are strengthening our community. I also would like to thank President John Fry for his years of distinctive leadership. When President Fry and I met not long ago, he conveyed to me his great respect and love for Franklin & Marshall and for all who work and study here.

Thank you for the warm welcome you have extended to me and to my wife Karen Herrling and our daughters, who will join our community in July after our children’s school year ends. We are excited about the remarkable opportunity to become Franklin & Marshall Diplomats. It’s an honor to join this community with its 224-year tradition of academic excellence, civic engagement, student well-being and respect for diversity. We eagerly look forward to working together with you.

Warm regards,

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.