History and Mission
The Benjamin Rush Society for Healing Arts Professionals - named for charter member of the college's board of trustees, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and preeminent physician of the Revolutionary War Dr. Benjamin Rush - was founded in 1989 by Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick ’57 in order to connect alumni in the healing arts professions, and to raise funds for the construction of the Martin Library of the Sciences.
The first healing arts honor society on campus was established in 1994, when Franklin and Marshall created a local chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Pre-Medical Honor Society. The mission of this society is to “encourage and recognize excellence in premedical scholarship; to stimulate an appreciation of the importance of premedical education; to promote communication between medical and premedical students and educators; to provide a forum for students with common interests; and to use its resources to benefit health organizations, charities, and the community.” This society provided many opportunities to pre-healing arts students, was recognized for its contributions to the public service, and received awards at the College’s Annual Awards Ceremony on three occasions. Despite the vitality of the National AED society and the Franklin and Marshall chapter, it was strongly perceived by members that the goals of the national organization did not agree with those for the most beneficial pre-healing arts experience at Franklin and Marshall.
In 1998, a new Franklin and Marshall healing arts honor society was created through a revitalized and expanded Benjamin Rush Society of Healing Arts Professionals. The society currently exists as a partnership between alumni, students, and faculty with a connection to the health sciences and an interest in matters related to the vitality of the pre-healing arts program at Franklin and Marshall.