Early in 2019, trustees of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, announced the appointment of Dr. Michael J. Murray, '85, as the organization's sixth president. Effective April 1, 2019, he will assume leadership of the Foundations from Interim President Dr. Dale Knobel, President Emeritus of Denison University. The Foundations' fifth president, Dr. Nancy Cable, left the position to become Chancellor of UNC Asheville last year.
Dr. Murray is a Franklin & Marshall College alumnus, the College's former Arthur and Katherine Shadek Chair in Philosophy and the Humanities, and a current Senior Visiting Scholar at F&M. He serves as the Senior Vice President of Programs at the John Templeton Foundation. This Inside Philanthropy guide outlines his research interests, which reside at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology, as well as on seventeenth century Continental philosophy.
Like Dr. Murray, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have had significant impact on Franklin & Marshall faculty and, through them, a tremendous number of students. Most recently, the Foundations created and endowed the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation's Fund for Curricular Innovation. F&M's Faculty Center competitively awards the annual draw from this fund to faculty pursuing innovative improvements, revisions, or additions to the College's curriculum, adding new pedagogical approaches to their toolboxes and new topics and perspectives to their courses and departmental majors.
In the two years since its activation, the Fund has supported the efforts of over 30 different F&M faculty members to explore innovative pedagogical approaches and revisions within nearly a dozen courses spanning seven departments and the general education program. And, yes, Philosophy is among the departments that have benefited from this high-impact AVDF grant. The Office of College Grants at F&M is happy to add our collective voice to the numerous others extending congratulations to Dr. Murray and best wishes as he anticipates his next leadership role.