It was a familiar scene in what some regard as a golden age of protest at F&M: students huddled around the stately white ash tree near Distler Hall, nudging closer to read the latest announcements on the wrinkled trunk. From the Vietnam draft to administrative decisions about faculty tenure, the Protest Tree is where conversations started, debate gained steam and student activism took flight.
The public protests waned through the years. And sadly for many alumni—especially of the 1960s and '70s—the Protest Tree now has been reduced to a six-foot stump, as we feature on page 26. However, the culture of engagement the tree represents remains alive for those in the F&M family.
With this newly redesigned issue of Franklin & Marshall Magazine, we hope to carry on and deepen this distinctive culture of rigorous, critical inquiry. Although the magazine has evolved over a period of decades in content, look and feel, its central goals have remained the same: to tell the F&M story, and to engage, inspire and educate alumni of every generation. We aim to do that more fully while contributing to the conversation about our common future.
With the help of your feedback through our recent survey, we've created more opportunities in these pages for readers to participate in the life of the College and to continue their F&M experience. To create a new visual framework, we partnered with Landesberg Design, which has developed a look and feel representative of the rich history and timeless vibrancy of our College.
The most important part of the redesign, however, is you. As the magazine continues to evolve, please send us your feedback. Help us tell thought-provoking stories by sharing your ideas for compelling features. And continue to send class notes and letters. Quite simply, keep the conversation going.
Chris Karlesky '01