Dear Franklin & Marshall Community and Friends of the College,

An iconic American institution that has served students and society well for more than 225 years, Franklin & Marshall College has always embraced both the highest standards of academic excellence and the need to adapt purposefully to major developments in society, knowledge and higher education.

Those commitments will advantage F&M in a future defined by vast and unpredictable change, from globalization to emerging technologies and the information revolution. As we enter the most competitive era in American higher education history—with every institution competing harder for students, faculty, investment, impact and prestige—it is clearly a time in which educational quality will triumph.

Colleges that stand apart by educating students for lifelong intellectual power and by creating new knowledge of real import will develop the strongest reputations and support.

This report expresses our core strategic vision to claim our future: We seek to elevate F&M as a leading national liberal arts college in ways that are empowering for students, authentic to the College, relevant for tomorrow and sustainable for generations to come.

F&M’s many assets will help us achieve that vision—our outstanding faculty, rich curriculum, research opportunities and small class sizes represent distinct competitive advantages. Our beautiful campus, College House System and supportive community—allowing each student to be known and valued as an individual—provide an ideal setting for growth. These qualities enable F&M to attract a deep pool of high-achieving, driven students from the entire country and around the world.

To claim our future, F&M does not need to reinvent itself. Quite the opposite. Our calling is to raise our aspirations, deepen our impacts, and cultivate our many assets, recognizing that our core endeavor of developing strong minds for lives of meaning is needed more, not less, in a future defined by the explosion of knowledge and a flattening world.

With gratitude, I’d like to acknowledge that this document, “Franklin & Marshall College: Claiming our Future,” emerged from an inclusive process of strategic planning conducted during the 2012-13 academic year. Coordinated by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the College’s faculty, students, professional staff, alumni, trustees and friends developed a set of strategic priorities for sustained national excellence. Those priorities were then endorsed by the faculty and approved by the Board of Trustees in the spring of 2013.

Each individual who believes in F&M has the opportunity to support the College with your actions and your advocacy. Let’s claim our future together.

Thank you for all that you do for Franklin & Marshall,


Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.