Center for Business, Government and Public Policy to Be Named for Harris

  • Patricia E. Harris ’77  

The former Fackenthal Laboratories, currently undergoing a $16 million renovation, will become the Patricia E. Harris Center for Business, Government & Public Policy.

An anonymous donor has offered a naming gift for the building in honor of Patti Harris ’77, first deputy mayor of the City of New York and a trustee of Franklin & Marshall College. Harris graduated from Franklin & Marshall with a major in Government.

“Patti is one of Franklin & Marshall’s most accomplished graduates, and her varied and successful career in the public and private sectors makes her particularly worthy of association with our programs in Business, Government and Public Policy,” said John Fry, president of the College.

The Harris Center will house the Business, Organizations & Society and Government departments, as well as Information Technology Services and the Floyd Institute for Public Policy.

The renovation is slated to be completed in April with faculty and staff moving into the Harris Center over the summer, and students attending classes there in the fall.

Appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2001, Harris is the first woman in New York City’s history to serve as first deputy mayor, the City’s highest appointed position. Prior to joining the Bloomberg administration, Harris managed Bloomberg LP’s Corporate Communications Department beginning in 1994, overseeing its philanthropy, public relations and governmental affairs divisions. Before Bloomberg LP, she was vice president for public relations at Serino Coyne Advertising in New York, where she helped create and execute public relations strategies for corporate and nonprofit clients.

Harris began her career in public service upon graduation from F&M as an assistant to then-Congressman Edward Koch. She served throughout his term as New York City mayor, primarily as assistant to the mayor and executive director of the Art Commission.

Harris joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 2006 and serves as a member of the Civic Engagement, Enrollment and Trusteeship committees. She also is a member of the executive committee of the Campaign for Business, Government and Public Policy. In 2007, she was honored by the Franklin & Marshall Alumni Association with its Alumni Citation for outstanding professional development achievement. She is a member of the College’s Society of Distinguished Alumni.

The naming gift includes a $1 million challenge to complete funding for the renovation phase of the Campaign for Business, Government & Public Policy. The campaign has already raised $11 million in commitments. Successful completion of the challenge will push the renovation phase beyond its $16 million goal.

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