The story of Franklin & Marshall College travels with each of its alumni, near and far. From Lancaster to Shanghai, and Boston to El Paso, F&M graduates carry with them the pursuit of knowledge and critical thought they developed in the liberal arts tradition.
For three consecutive nights in March, members of the F&M family in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., celebrated that story and looked to the future as the College continued to kick off the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in its history, “Now to Next.” Hundreds of alumni, parents and friends joined President Barbara K. Altmann and members of the Board of Trustees in each city to learn about the goals of the campaign, which formally launched last fall during TRUE BLUE Weekend on campus.
“Now to Next” will raise $200 million by the end of 2021. The leadership phase of the campaign and the early part of the public phase already has raised more than 70 percent of the goal.
The largest campaign in F&M history seeks to raise $130 million to advance academic excellence, including expanding student aid and recruitment, investing more in faculty research, scholarship, innovation and creativity, and completing construction of the Winter Visual Arts Center. It aims to raise $50 million to strengthen the student experience, including increasing career-preparation services, creating new partnerships with the Lancaster community, improving student health and wellness programs, and providing an exemplary student-athlete experience. It also seeks to raise $20 million to support the Franklin & Marshall Fund, which supports every F&M student every day.
President Altmann told attendees at the events that they were key to the campaign’s success and encouraged them to take ownership for that success. After a showing of the campaign video, she urged, “To bring about what is next, we need you. I ask you to be bold, to find inspiration in what you’ve seen and heard. To be champions of Franklin & Marshall. To move with us from now to next.”
Several high-profile alumni shared their personal F&M stories in engaging conversations with President Altmann at the campaign launch events. In New York, Trustee Ken Mehlman ’88 discussed how he believes the academic rigors of the College prepared him to face challenges he faced in politics and the private sector. Mike Dee ’85, who spoke in Philadelphia, reflected on the ways F&M shaped his values and launched him on a trajectory of success in professional sports and communications. In Washington, Trustee Mary L. Schapiro, Esq. ’77, P’16, P’18, the first woman to serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, shared her experience at the College and how it propelled her to a successful career.
Visit now.fandm.edu for the latest campaign news, statistics and details about upcoming events around the country and the world.
Quick Takes on What’s ‘Next’
The Now to Next campaign seeks to take F&M to a new level of achievement in the arts and sciences, in scholarship and service—a new level of national prominence. The next decade will bring new horizons, opportunities and challenges for F&M’s people, programs and facilities. We asked a few members of the F&M community to provide quick takes on how their work will help take the College into an exciting future.
“In the context of the current mission of the College Library, “Next” means continuing the development of a traditional library into a contemporary learning center. We are acting on opportunities to adapt to meet evolving user needs, curate scholarly content, invest in our digital initiatives, empower our employees, collaboration on campus and expand our outreach efforts.”
“We say that Classics has been doing the liberal arts for 2,500 years, and the “Next” phase of Classics will carry on that motto. Our study of ancient Greece and Rome has always been interdisciplinary, drawing on history, archaeology, geology, literature, art, and other fields, as our long tradition of joint and double majors attests. Now, Classics as a field is embracing technological fields such as digital imaging and virtual reality to help reconstruct how the ancient world looked. We anticipate that very soon students even in our introductory classes will have immersive experiences in the streets, battlefields, or theaters of Athens and Rome to supplement ancient authors they read. Scientific fields like forensic anthropology and environmental science explain what people ate and or how they lived in periods of environmental stress. And new generations of students with different life experiences probe many of the same questions that Greek and Roman poets and philosophers raised about the nature of power or the role of fate. The Next phase of Classics looks to be as innovative and imaginative as our students can make it.”
“Biological Foundations of Behavior was one of the college’s first interdisciplinary programs. As we move into the future, BFB continues to be at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary science, bringing together expertise from around the globe to solve complex and urgent problems. We are collaborating with scientists from Austria to Australia, Alaska to South Africa, and Argentina to Tanzania. We earned more than $1.5 million in grants and fellowships last year to better understand the development of addiction, weaning in primates, neurodevelopmental diseases, how cognition separates species, and the biomechanics of cuttlefish swimming.”
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve made a lot of progress in making F&M a more environmentally friendly campus, but there’s still much work to be done. Moving forward, we would like to continue to integrate sustainability into more physical areas of campus and to promote environmental education across the curriculum. The school should become a living laboratory, achieving goals laid out in the Sustainability Master Plan and using these improvements as educational opportunities for students. Above all else, we hope to cultivate a sustainable ethos across campus constituencies and into the surrounding community.”
“Our office is working to foster an environment where all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their background, feel represented and included in campus life. As the world becomes more interconnected and the U.S. population becomes more diverse, we imagine an F&M that reflects this reality. For us, “Next” is a global and inclusive curriculum and classrooms. “Next” is a faculty and staff that embraces inclusive excellence. “Next” is a campus that has strategic programming and planning around diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. “Next” is creating the a place where all members of our community feel welcome and valued.”
“Collaboration in the arts is always happening, and each collaboration takes on its own distinct creative process, offering new possibility with each endeavor. This is always what’s exciting about what’s “Next” for our future. The future for us will inevitably involve newly imagined collaborations and projects, which challenge assumptions and break open new opportunities, for fresh approaches to performance, and curricular innovation and development. As we embrace an ever-expanding diversity of ideas and voices, our creative potential is boundless.”
“In women’s, gender and sexuality studies, we look forward to explore in greater depth dimensions of intersectionality that take us beyond the United States to consider transnational experiences of gender and sexuality. Another aspect of our future work will be disability and disability studies.”
“One of the most exciting things in sociology at F&M is that we’ve hired several new faculty in recent years. The work they’re doing embodies some of the newest, most fascinating directions in the field at large, including research on online organizing and social movements in Latin America, family, fertility, and reproductive technology around the world, and, here in the U.S., the impact of changes in Title IX enforcement. Their teaching and research agendas deal centrally with gender, race, class and sexuality, the university as a social institution, the impact of social media on everyday life, and more. As a result, we’ve been able to forge a partnership with the public health program, and we look forward to establishing additional interdisciplinary collaborations, both on campus and in the Lancaster community, that will bring wonderful new research opportunities to our students.”
“The field of biology is in an exciting phase in which interdisciplinary collaboration and rapid advances on multiple fronts have allowed biologists to make important discoveries across a range of scales, from the minuscule molecules that compose cells to the interactions of groups of organisms across vast ecosystems. New techniques (1) to modify genomes, (2) to identify the genes that are important in specific cellular and physiological processes and behaviors, and (3) to assess the responses of organisms, communities, and ecosystems to both local and global environmental changes have promise to provide insights that will benefit society. Members of the Department of Biology are engaged now in introducing students to these new and exciting collaborations, techniques, and experimental approaches with an eye toward training the next generation of explorers and innovators in the biological sciences.”
“In chemistry, “Now” has always meant teaching and learning in small classes with close interactions between the students and faculty. This is especially true with our research students, who often are coauthors on our publications. The “Next” phase in chemistry will be more of the same, but our research questions have changed. We continue to address fundamental questions in chemistry and biochemistry, but we are also working to address ways to generate clean energy and discover new therapeutic agents.”
“What is “Next” for Art and Art History is both a temporal and spatial projection. Within its unique physical spaces, the Winter Visual Arts Center will embody the processes of making, experimentation, dialog and wonder. Although the arts at F&M have always mastered the physicality of making, they have done so behind brick walls. We now have the chance to invite the larger community to participate in our material processes and be communally inspired to tackle a future that is more visual than ever.”