Franklin & Marshall College: A Good Neighbor

Franklin & Marshall College understands that its welfare is inextricably linked to the well-being of the larger community. Lancaster’s strengths and challenges profoundly affect the campus and its students, while the College enhances its surrounding neighborhoods and the city.

The College has worked with our many community partners to create attractive, safe neighborhoods where students, faculty and staff now live. The result has been a more stable community that affords residents and students a higher quality of life.


Amenities for Community Members 

Community members are welcome to attend any of the hundred-plus public lectures, art exhibitions, dances, musical performances and theater productions the College sponsors every academic year. The full list is on our online cultural calendar.

  • Shadek-Fackenthal Library holds a collection of more than 500,000 volumes and 400,000 government documents. It also has subscriptions to 1,600 newspapers, journals and magazines. Community members are eligible for library cards.
  • The Phillips Museum of Art, housed in the Steinman College Center, is home to three galleries. The Dana Gallery features solo and group exhibitions by contemporary artists, as well as traveling exhibits. The Rothman Gallery showcases textiles, fraktur, ceramics, metals and glass from the College’s outstanding collection of Pennsylvania folk art. And the Sally Mather Gibson Curriculum Gallery hosts student and faculty exhibitions.
  • The Barshinger Center for Musical Arts in Hensel Hall was designed by one of the world’s pre-eminent acousticians, Lawrence Kierkegaard, and is renowned for its acoustics. It is home to the College Chorus, Chamber Singers, Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Philharmonia and Jazz Ensemble.
  • Students and professional performers alike animate the stage at Roschel Performing Arts Center throughout the academic year. The performance space contains two dance studios and a drama rehearsal stage.
  • The Philadelphia Alumni Writers House (603 College Ave.) is the nexus of the College’s writing community, drawing writers and readers from every corner of campus and the community. It has hosted talks by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and intimate conversations with emerging writers.
  • The Klehr Center for Jewish Life (645 College Ave.) is the place to explore the academic, religious and social dimensions of Jewish culture. It enriches Jewish life on campus and in the Lancaster community, supports the College’s growing Judaic studies program and offers a place for groups of all faiths and backgrounds to gather for discussions, reading groups and classes.
  • The John Joseph International Center (701 College Ave.) is the focal point for international activities on campus and abroad. The center hosts speakers, foreign film festivals and ethnic meals, all with the intention of exposing the community to international cultures, religions, languages, history and politics.
  • The Keith and Dorothy Spalding Conservancy will be an urban conservancy tucked beyond the athletic fields of Baker Campus. The College has owned the 44-acre site at the end of Vermont Avenue since 1981, but recently decided to convert it into outdoor lab areas for faculty and student research, public-education stations and a small trail system for recreation. Plans also call for expanding the wetlands near the Little Conestoga Creek and building boardwalks within the wetlands. Design work is under way.
  • Community members are welcome to use the College’s outdoor track at Harrisburg and College avenues and Brooks Tennis Center, a lighted, eight-court square adjacent to the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center on Harrisburg Avenue.