6/09/2020 Barbara K. Altmann

President's Perspective (Spring/Summer 2020)

This magazine article is part of Spring/Summer 2020 / Issue 95

I am writing to you at a time of previously unimaginable change and uncertainty. Our distinguished alumni know from experience that readiness is the reward of rigor. Since joining Franklin & Marshall College, I’ve seen our Diplomats turn challenges – big and small, personal and universal – into opportunities for growth and progress. For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest crisis in our lifetimes, and even still, our community has found innovation when disrupted, strength when burdened, and hope when looking from now to next.

During this tumultuous moment, a superb education for the real world is more important than ever. Like F&M alumni, our current students are developing skills that will prepare them to make a difference in a shifting landscape. They are learning how to navigate the unknown and unfamiliar; begin solving the intractable questions using reasoning and data; adapt and pivot; consult reliable resources and hear divergent opinions; collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams; think critically about the ways their actions affect themselves and others; manage their time well; develop a broader worldview; and analyze, reflect, read, and write, with precision and discernment.

Although this is a hard passage for the College and for each of us individually, we will persevere. How do I know? Because I see it happening! We are a community of lifelong learners and leaders at all levels, with the skills and will to tackle any challenge.

That is the F&M way, and throughout this academic year, we celebrated the game changers who helped to shape it. On the College’s 50th anniversary of coeducation, we honored the pioneering first women of F&M and all the high-achieving alumnae who have created a legacy of excellence at F&M and beyond. In the pages that follow, you will read about the College’s historic and monumental decision to admit women, and its impact on the institution and on so many individuals.

We also celebrated the life of Trustee Emeritus Stanley Dudrick, M.D., ’57, whom we lost earlier this year. To F&M, Dr. Dudrick was a generous donor, loyal friend and ardent ambassador. To the wider world, he was a pioneer of medicine known as the “father of intravenous feeding.” His invention is credited with saving the lives of millions. I encourage you to learn more about his inspiring personal and professional story in this edition.

May our “Game Changers’” stories of perseverance, and the many others like them, give us hope as we navigate these difficult days. If we do our work well, I am confident our beloved College will emerge from the crisis even stronger, and continue to prepare game changers who contribute meaningfully to their professions, their communities, and their world.

I close with heartfelt warm wishes to you and your loved ones for good health and safety. Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.

Barbara K. Altmann

  • President Barbara K. Altmann, Ph.D.
During this tumultuous moment, a superb education for the real world is more important than ever.
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