IT’S ABOUT TIME 

  • Franklin & Marshall College has received the largest gift for endowed financial aid in its history from Faye Gelhard, a Lancaster County native and late widow of F&M alumnus Richard Gelhard '57.

Faye Gelhard and Richard Gelhard ’57

Lifelong achievement, perfect timing

In 1976, Richard and Faye Gelhard purchased a bowling alley -- Blue Ball Lanes -- and moved back to Lancaster County. Their timing was good. 

Dick, a graduate of Lancaster’s McCaskey High School, had served in the 101st Airborne Division, 49th Airborne Engineering Battalion, during the Korean War, earning the Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars. After majoring in government at F&M and graduating in 1957, he began his professional career with Hamilton Watch Co., where he had worked prior to the war.

The Hamilton complex, located on Columbia Avenue in Lancaster, had seen the genesis and manufacture of some of the nation’s most iconic chronographs. Renowned for precision, the company’s “hack” watches enabled the user to set time to the second, and Hamilton marine chronometers were indispensable naval navigational equipment.  After World War II, the company had pivoted successfully to peacetime production, and Richard joined a Hamilton company in full mid-century swing. 

Faye graduated from Ephrata High School and, in 1952, the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing. She worked for Planned Parenthood for more than a quarter century, including as Planned Parenthood of Luzerne County’s executive director. 

She also was one of the six incorporators and the first president of Maternal Health Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

By the time Faye and Richard moved back to Lancaster County, bowling’s popularity had reached its zenith, and bowling alleys were good investments. Together, they would manage their business for nearly two decades, while involving themselves deeply in their professions and their community. 

Their life’s work added up. After Richard’s passing in 1993, Faye retained her characteristic frugality, good sense, and faith. When she died, in January 2015, she left F&M a significant bequest -- the value of which is estimated to be nearly $6.3 million, the largest in the College’s history. 

The gift was timely. Since 2008, when Franklin & Marshall’s Board of Trustees voted to increase need-based financial aid dramatically, the College has aimed to join the nation’s most elite colleges and universities in providing “need-blind” admissions. Since 2012, supporters have bolstered the effort with more than $30 million in gifts directed to student aid. 

The Gelhards’ generosity adds significantly to that total -- and makes a difference for all time.

RESULTS, REALIZED

  • Photo of Susan Kline Klehr ’73, P’12

Leonard Klehr ’72, P’12 and Susan Kline Klehr ’73, P’12

For decades, the Klehrs have supported students through their volunteer service and generous philanthropy. Recently, they increased their already considerable financial support with a $1 million gift for financial aid.

  • Susan and Leonard Klehr are generous supporters of Franklin & Marshall, providing significant gifts for buildings such as the Klehr Center for Jewish Life, programs and scholarships.

“I was fortunate enough to attend F&M on a full scholarship, as did my older brother . . . I benefited from someone else’s generosity and it’s very rewarding for me that we can give that opportunity to future students of the College. It’s also true that F&M has a long history of producing tremendous graduates -- people who make a difference in their professions and communities. Our gift is not just for students’ benefit, but also for everyone those students affect and influence over decades.” - Lenny Klehr ’72, P’12 

THE POWER OF GRIT

  • Image of Ken Mehlman ’88

 Ken Mehlman ’88

Does striving to excel amidst difficulties equip people with grit, persistence, and a higher emotional quotient (EQ)? Can it enhance success in school, work and business?

A gift of $1 million from Ken Mehlman ’88 addresses those questions, establishing The Mehlman Talent Initiative at Franklin & Marshall. The initiative will provide funds to cultivate greatness among high-achieving, low-income students, empowering their achievement and encouraging them to make disproportionately positive contributions. His gift supports two funds. The Mehlman Scholars Program Fund establishes the Mehlman Scholars. 

A specially trained cadre of student, faculty and professional staff mentors will support the academic success and social integration of these 10 high-striving/low-income first-year students for the next four academic years. It also supports a lecture and workshop series, bringing prominent thought leaders to F&M to discuss “beating the odds for breakthrough success.” The Mehlman Scholars Financial Aid Fund offsets a portion of the College’s need-based financial aid grants to Mehlman Scholars in their first year, supporting the College’s commitment to meeting 100 percent of every student’s institutionally determined need. 

GREAT ART, GOOD CHEMISTRY 

  • Art Clark Jr and daughter Courtenay Weller at the 2015 Tribute Dinner Art Clark Jr and daughter Courtenay Weller at the 2015 Tribute Dinner
  • Arthur R. Clark Sr.'s Yearbook Photo Arthur R. Clark Sr.'s Yearbook Photo

Art Clark Jr.

Eight decades later, Art Clark continues to repay generosity

Art Clark’s father, Arthur R. Clark, Ph.D., graduated from F&M in 1934. The same year, Lou Gehrig won the Triple Crown, doctors in Rochester, N.Y., completed the first full-body X-ray, and John Dillinger achieved Public Enemy Number One status -- old news. 

But memories of that year remain vital in the Clark family. Arthur Clark Sr.’s graduation was not preordained. When his father passed away during Clark Sr.’s sophomore year, and it became impossible for the family to pay tuition, the College found the resources that allowed him to finish. After earning master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Penn State, he founded the chemical manufacturing company Foxlyn Inc., and, later, made a point of telling his son that without F&M’s assistance, his successes might not have been possible. Art Clark Jr. has been saying thank you to F&M through a series of gifts since shortly after his father’s death in 2005.

Through generous philanthropy over more than a decade, Clark has memorialized his father by creating powerful, endowed financial-aid resources at the College, assuring great opportunity for future F&M students and helping advance a critical institutional priority. His latest gifts -- $4.2 million over the past year, providing substantial financial aid for high-achieving F&M students -- brings his total lifetime giving to F&M to $6.2 million and makes him the second-largest contributor of financial-aid-designated funding in the College’s history.

“My reason for giving back is what F&M did for my dad,” said Clark. “My dad didn’t have any recourse when he lost his father his sophomore year. F&M helped him through.”

The College also gave the senior Clark “the foundation in chemistry and all-around education” that eventually allowed him to launch his own business, added his son. At Foxlyn, Arthur Sr. would invent Pinolene, a polymer that significantly reduces agricultural pesticide loss from evaporation.

His father’s triumph in the laboratory meant that he could pay for all of Art’s education, from prep school through his own graduation from Wesleyan University -- all made possible, again, because of F&M.

“F&M is the reason that my father got his start, and that followed through to him educating me,” said Clark, who worked at Foxlyn prior to the family selling the company in 1996.  F&M President Dan Porterfield said, “Art once came here, met the students and said, ‘I’m going to take care of you.’ And that’s what he’s doing. We appreciate that this is Art’s way of expressing gratitude to the College for what it did to help his dad all those years ago, but we also want to thank him on behalf of all the F&M students who will benefit from his generosity in the future.”