8/18/2014 Magazine Staff

Letters to Editor

This magazine article is part of Summer 2014 / Issue 78

Remembering Professor Wank

Solomon Wank (Obituaries, Spring 2014) was a gifted teacher and the best I ever had at F&M—or in grad school, for that matter. He taught a class on political philosophy and sociology that I remember to this day. He helped open my mind and sharpened my powers of analysis, for which I am grateful.

Michael Krepon ’68 North Garden, Va.


In Defense of Merit Aid

I graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1987, so proud to be in the Bicentennial Class of my father’s alma mater. I probably didn’t deserve to be in the class of 1987. I was a decent student, worked hard, was a product of an upper-middle class public education system, but I wasn't a rocket scientist. And truth be told, I only applied to two schools—but I really only ever wanted to go to F&M. I had the sweatshirts, the yearbooks, the Homecoming Weekends with my parents. I was raised on F&M. It was “in my blood.”

But I found an item in the most recent issue of the Franklin & Marshall Magazine and the section F&M in the News (“Merit Aid Won’t Help Colleges Survive,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Spring 2014) to be disturbing.

I know we can each pick a side to argue for or against, and that’s what makes us stronger and wiser. But as Ben Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” So why would you be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish when it comes to the best and brightest? Isn’t it the goal of F&M to attract the best and brightest?

Justifying the move away from merit-based aid in the name of helping “colleges survive” sure sounds like propaganda for a road already traveled. Careful what you wish for and call it what it is, F&M doesn’t have enough money to give to students who deserve it. F&M used to be Franklin College and Marshall College. Maybe instead of sacrificing merit, the college ought to take a hard look at itself and think about what third letter fits best after the ampersand. In the real politic of student finances, administrators and staff can be redundant in a merger; students with ‘merit’ are not.

Cheryl Berkebile Stowell ’87 Berkeley Heights, N.J.


From the Twitterverse

Lori Marshall P’15:  On vacation in Vermont, overheard a cashier say she was considering F&M. Piped up and told her my daughter is a senior and loves it!

Julie Kerich:  25 years ago, FandMCollege alum, Oscar winner, director Franklin Schaffner died. Remember his great movies: Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon.

Robert Yamulla ’14:  Well Twitter, my lab colleagues and I are officially published scientists.

Steve Ulrich ’82, P’18:  A different perspective on my alma mater today as we take Ryan to FandMCollege #Beginnings2018 #Dad

Tony Ross ’91:  Had the honor of speaking at FandMCollege with some bright students yesterday! Yet another reminder of the importance of education.


A Philadelphia Story

  • Photo by Melissa Hess Photo by Melissa Hess

Emily Hawk ’16 spent part of the summer working with Lynn Brooks, F&M’s Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and Dance, on the role ballet played in shaping the culture of Philadelphia in the early 19th century. Hawk was among 94 students in F&M’s Hackman Scholars Program this summer, collaborating with 50 F&M professors to support faculty research projects. With support from other grants, more than 40 other students and 23 F&M professors worked on campus throughout the summer.
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F&M in the News

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