Empowering Connections

Richard Camuccio '16

Our 2014-2015 supporters elevated the liberal arts, ennobled the College and shaped the future. They empowered connections—interdisciplinary, interpersonal, intercommunity, international and more—that define a great liberal arts education. 

By empowering these connections in our students, our contributors empower our world’s vital intellectual circuitry—the liberal arts themselves. Thank you.  

To navigate between sections on this page, scroll down or hover over the thin gray bar on the left side of your screen in order to select a particular section. We also invite you to view our complete Donor Lists.

All figures on this page represent giving totals as of June 30, 2015.

A Message from President Porterfield


I’m pleased to share with you Franklin & Marshall College’s Annual Report of Giving. Thank you for making this fiscal year such a successful one.

Your philanthropic support—as well as your time, energy, and expertise—is essential to our work and mission. It enables us to provide an extraordinary, transformative education to generation after generation of students, propelling them into lives of meaning.

Three outstanding students—Shawn Hines, Taylor Mateja and Richard Camuccio—are profiled in this report. Your support empowers them, and thousands of others like them, to have a disproportionate impact on our world. All of our students have unique stories to share, whether they are conducting groundbreaking genetic research, learning through service in Lancaster or London, or mapping the universe. Yet, like the alumni they will soon join, they are united by a shared experience in the liberal arts—its joys, challenges, revelations, and the habits of mind it inspires.

Your gifts of time, talent, and financial resources are multipliers; they give life to the liberal arts and empower thousands to make our world a better place. Thank you.

All the best,

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.                                                                                                                                                  


Potential Empowered

Only once before in the College’s history has Franklin & Marshall’s community committed so much to F&M’s future. Your financial support, your valuable time, your energy and advocacy—these make possible extraordinary opportunity. They light the way to brilliant futures.

Thank you. 


 Empowering Faculty and Students

  • Empowering Excellence: Shawn Hines 2016

    Empowering Excellence: Shawn Hines 2016 Image

    Tradition runs strong at Franklin & Marshall College, as do some families. Derek Hines, Esq., ’08 is a lawyer practicing in Philadelphia. Kevin Hines ’13 is finishing medical school at Temple University. The third Hines brother, Shawn ’16, is a busy, pre-med senior majoring in biochemistry, minoring in Spanish and playing varsity basketball.
    Of his sport, he says, “I love the tradition of excellence. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the game from Coach Robinson. Some of my best friends are members of the team.” Hines recently earned a spot on the 2014-15 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court—his second.
    Hines approaches academics with the same intensity he brings to the court. President of the Benjamin Rush Pre-Health Honor Society and inducted into the Black Pyramid Honor Society last year, he enjoys classroom and laboratory challenges.
    “All the students here are talented,” he says. “It could be cutthroat, but it’s just not like that. What I appreciate is that F&M students are able to build support systems. Professors are supportive, too... if you express interest, they will help you and offer further opportunities.”
    Hines has made good on those opportunities, conducting chemistry research last summer with Dr. Scott H. Brewer (as a Hackman Scholar), and this past summer with Dr. Ken Hess (as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar).
    “Throughout the summer of 2015, I participated in research to synthesize GM3 in a cost efficient manner,” he says. “The theory is that, for patients who are deficient in the GM3 synthase enzyme, we may be able to alleviate their symptoms (often recurrent seizures and problems with brain development) by injecting them with GM3 on an annual basis through GM3 replacement therapy.
    “After a long five years of research leading up to it, we ended up synthesizing the GM3 ganglioside this summer with a novel synthetic route. Now we hope to scale up and continue to explore whether or not GM3 replacement therapy will actually work.”
    In addition to the research, Hines spent his summer taking the MCAT, submitting applications to medical schools throughout the mid-Atlantic region and volunteering at Lancaster Regional Medical Center in the emergency department.
    He looks forward to what the future will hold, and he appreciates the many experiences he’s had, from sophisticated research to casual bagel breakfasts. He understands that his financial aid helps make it all possible.
    “F&M has been extremely rewarding for me so far,” he says. “I have met many new people, have become immersed in an independent lifestyle, and have had the opportunity to realize what I want to do for the rest of my life.” 

  • Empowering Performance: Taylor Mateja 2016

    Empowering Performance: Taylor Mateja 2016 Image

    Taylor Mateja ’16 is immersed in her senior year at Franklin & Marshall College. The King of Prussia, Pa., native, government and environmental studies major, and varsity swimmer continues to seek challenges in the classroom, in the pool and beyond.

    A swimmer in each of her years at F&M, she has been named First-Team All CC (Centennial Conference) and was a member of the gold-medal-winning and school-record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay team at the 2014 CC Championships. In 2015, the team missed finishing first in the conference by a narrow margin.

    “We were only 20 points out of first,” she recalls. “I never felt energy like that before with this team. It was amazing. We were so close... I’m really looking forward to this year.” She brings the same intensity to her studies.

    Mateja interned last summer in the political action department of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in Washington, D.C.

    “AFSCME is the largest public sector labor union, representing about 1.6 million workers,” she says. “In the political action department, we focused primarily on the political issues at the state and local level, in particular elections and any legislative decisions that would affect the members we represent.”

    Mateja says she appreciates the liberal arts atmosphere she’s found at F&M and has learned more than she knew she could with the help of her professors and other students, engaging in class discussions and enjoying her small classes.

    “I’ve never had a bad experience with a professor,” she says. “They’re willing to put out the extra effort to make sure we understand concepts and can expand on them.”

    Last fall, she took a community-based learning class called “Lead and Asthma,” and then taught what she learned about asthma triggers and where lead is found to students at a local middle school. One of her favorite classes in the spring was a required class for her environmental studies major, “Global Environmental Politics” with Assistant Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies Elizabeth De Santo. There were eight students in that class.

    “We were able to discuss how global environmental problems were addressed in the international treaties,” she says. “And we did a simulation of a U.N. conference on the Nagoya protocol from 2010, an international agreement about sharing access to genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. It was fascinating.” 


  • Empowering Exploration: Richard Camuccio 2016

    Empowering Exploration: Richard Camuccio 2016 Image

    Astronomer and NASA hopeful Richard Camuccio ’16 first remembers noticing the stars and looking through a telescope at the moon when he was 6 years old in Telford, Pa. He’s come a long way since then.

    Among his current projects: “Grundy 2.0—it involves restoring and improving Grundy Observatory,” he says. The observatory serves students, faculty and the community as they peer across the final frontier. Camuccio’s efforts are helping to bring this vital resource into the digital era.

    He has created an improved “warm room”—a space separate from the telescope—that literally stays warm; with the roof open, the telescope and its operators are exposed to the elements. Essential for long-running, year-round sessions at Grundy, the room now has wireless Internet access and includes a kitchen, library and computer station.

    “Next on the list is adding computer stations in the classroom for community visitors to learn about various astronomy subjects with an interactive approach,” Camuccio says. “I’m hoping to get it all accomplished before I graduate.”

    After that?

    “I hope to pursue my doctorate in astronomy in order to become an astronaut,” he says. “I’d like to complete research involving planets and solar systems, and I intend to place my application in the queue for future NASA missions into space.”

    Camuccio contributed to a paper and worked with Associate Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Grundy Observatory Andrea Lommen on researching the timing of pulsars, rapidly spinning neutron stars. He worked with Visiting Professor Kassie Martin-Wells on a project to determine the range of sizes an asteroid could be so that any life on the asteroid would survive impact. He spent a week with other F&M students at the National Undergraduate Research Observatory near Flagstaff, Ariz., examining orbiting brown dwarfs in other star systems.

    Most recently, as a Hackman Scholar this past summer, Camuccio worked with Assistant Professor of Physics Amy Lytle, researching laser light.

    “We were, and are still this semester, studying an optical phenomenon known as ‘second harmonic generation,’ where laser light is converted from one color to another,” he explains. “Our experiment involves using backward-propagating ultrafast pulses to probe and control this process. We are learning more about how to achieve SHG more efficiently. Among several other applications, SHG microscopy is used to analyze biological tissue like tendons and muscle fibers.”

    Whichever way he turns, Camuccio’s experience at Franklin & Marshall College has him headed for the stars. 


  • Michael Anderson, Associate Professor

    Michael Anderson, Associate Professor Image

    Associate Professor of Psychology Michael Anderson remembers a time when his research on cognitive function was rejected for its non- traditional approach. Just a few years later, he is at the forefront of a sea change in neuroscience pushed by big data.

    Anderson’s work centers on neural reuse, a theory that explains cognitive function as the result of regions of the brain interacting in multiple coalitions. The idea runs against traditional thinking that regions of the brain are specialized for specific tasks. “We typically think of the brain as a computer, a collection of organs with specialized tasks,” Anderson says. “Instead, we should think of the brain acting—dynamically reconfiguring itself.”

    MIT Press published Anderson’s latest book, “After Phrenology,” in 2014. Andy Clark, a professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh, calls the work a “groundbreaking treatment” of cognitive function. Behavioral and Brain Sciences—the top journal in Anderson’s field—will devote an entire upcoming issue to a discussion of the book, commissioning at least 15 reviews of the professor’s work.

    Attracting and supporting outstanding faculty such as Anderson is a crucial priority for the College, President Daniel R. Porterfield says. “A central part of our mission has always been to create knowledge of all types across disciplines, and we have been recognized for our scholarship in many areas for many decades.”

    Anderson’s creation of new knowledge landed him a prestigious fellowship in 2012 at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and F&M’s 2015 Bradley R. Dewey Award for Outstanding Scholarship.

    “There have always been countercurrents in cognitive science, and in that sense, my work is not unique,” says Anderson, “But the kind of analysis I was able to do, and part of the reason my data work, is that it’s based on integrating all of the evidence. We’ve long known that cells that fire together, wire together. But what we’ve discovered is a different mechanism for learning that puts the pieces of the brain into different functional configurations. We’re seeing large-scale dynamic cooperation between regions of the brain.”

    The professor is fascinated by the ways in which humans develop skills and abilities as a result of the brain’s ability to reuse parts for multiple purposes. “We can’t be born with bigger heads—there’s only so much room to grow our brains,” he says. “Neural reuse makes it possible to make really efficient use of the neurons we have to extend our capacities in unique ways.” 


  • Alison Kibler, Professor

    Alison Kibler, Professor Image

    Professor of American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Alison Kibler’s 2015 work, “Censoring Racial Ridicule: Irish, Jewish, and African American Struggles Over Race and Representation, 1890-1930,” explores how racial and ethnic groups rose up against stereotypes. Supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Rockefeller Foundation, Kibler’s research also informed an editorial for History News Network titled “The Long History of Hate Speech.”

    “These issues go back at least a hundred years, when Irish, Jewish and African-American civil rights censors argued that images and words hurt people and they needed to be regulated to enhance equality, regardless of individual free speech rights,” she says.

    What’s next on the agenda? Certainly not rest. Kibler is already on to her next research project, “Media Rights,” focusing on second-wave feminism and television reform. 

Empowering Stability and Success

A college’s permanently endowed funds not only denote institutional eminence—they make a concrete and meaningful difference in our students’ lives, prospects and opportunities.

Endowed funds are the foundation on which the College was built— Benjamin Franklin’s £200 gift remains in the College’s endowment and has produced revenue many, many times its original value. Investment returns from his gift and from each of the College’s endowed funds support F&M’s operations each and every day in a myriad of forms.

These investments reach far beyond what is visible year-to-year: Endowed financial aid funds put F&M in the position to recruit the most talented students regardless of their means; academic and programmatic gifts allow us to enhance the student experience continually, from funding vital upgrades in technology to recruiting and supporting faculty who lead in their disciplines.

Directing giving to the endowment isn’t just an investment in the College today; it’s an investment in tomorrow’s F&M, ensuring that future Diplomats will have all of the same resources and opportunities that today’s students have, and many more as well. 

Empowering Tomorrow 

A Future Well-Planned

In the short span of time that we have, we want to ensure that what we contribute has a lasting impact. Though it is impossible to know what the needs and concerns of the future may be, it is important to leave behind a legacy that keeps forthcoming generations in mind. Members of the Schnader Society, through their deferred giving, invest in Franklin & Marshall’s future, guaranteeing that the needs of our students and the College will be met for years to come. 


Anna Sparks P'66 

The best ideas often start with a spark. In the case of the recent renovation of Shadek-Fackenthal Library, it began with a generous bequest from Anna Sparks P’66. Anna was one to think forward: When she set up a charitable remainder trust, she wasn’t only thinking about an investment that would create a line of income for her son, George H. Sparks ’66; she was also thinking of the legacy that her family would leave behind. 

“Planned giving is permanent—you’re leaving a legacy,” said Mary Ann Cooke, J.D., ’90, director of gift planning for the College. “It’s about what your values are and what’s important to you. The impact of this legacy, which Anna has left for our students, will live forever as they take what they learn here, in her space, and live meaningful, productive lives.” Her thoughtfulness surely inspired her son, who, following his mother’s footsteps, also thought of the College in his estate. 

Anna could not have known what resources would kindle knowledge in today’s students, but she trusted that the College would know the best recourse when the time came. 

Almost 50 years after her son was a student, there is a stunning new development in the front northeast corner of the first floor of the library: the SparkSpace, a multifunctional learning area. The technology may be new, but the idea behind it is as important now as it was at the time of the College’s founding: to create great work, there must be great spaces and equipment to facilitate innovation and collaboration. 

The SparkSpace will play a vital role for many years to come, and it will ensure that students have a place to go to expand their knowledge.