Spring is quickly approaching, and with it comes an appreciation for the fragrant flowering trees surrounding our beautiful campus. It also signals the importance of planning for a productive and meaningful summer. Our students have so many resources available to them to assist them with their planning -- the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development, the Ware Institute, faculty advisers, favorite professors, fellow students, etc. I hope you will encourage your student to develop and utilize his or her network -- an important lifelong skill.
If it's getting warmer where you are, enjoy!
All the best,
Harwood Commons: New Home for Community Service and Career Exploration
The Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD) and the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement recently relocated to the beautiful new Harwood Commons (formerly Appel Health) on Hartman Green.
OSPGD is Franklin & Marshall’s take on what other schools may call Career Services, helping students prepare for their lives and careers beyond college. And the Ware Institute provides students with a variety of opportunities to explore what it means to be a thoughtful and active member of a community.
Thanks to the generosity of Brett Harwood '71, an F&M trustee, the building was completely renovated and now provides a tremendously improved, professional venue for these two key offices that serve students in various ways. We very much look forward to the synergy that builds with these student services intermingling under one roof.
Being housed in a centrally located, state-of-the-art facility has already enhanced the offices’ visibility as well as students’ utilization of their services and resources, according to Beth Throne, associate vice president for Student and Post-Graduate Development.
Public Safety at F&M
One of our basic needs as parents is to have confidence that our children are safe. We thought it might be reassuring for you to have a glimpse into F&M Public Safety operations, so we asked Bill McHale, F&M’s associate vice president for public safety and chief of police, to provide us with some information that we hope you find helpful.
First and foremost, campus safety is a shared responsibility. Our Department of Public Safety (DPS) stresses the importance of cooperation, education and partnership between campus citizens and campus police, as well as our local community, as we strive for the College to be a safe and pleasant place to live, learn and work.
Franklin & Marshall College lies within the northwestern quadrant of Lancaster, the city’s safest section. A portion of the campus also lies in Manheim Township. DPS enjoys a tremendous working relationship with the Lancaster Bureau of Police and the Manheim Township Police. When DPS gained Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Agency accreditation in 2011, it was one of only four accredited institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.
Public Safety is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, employing 20 sworn police officers, four security officers and four dispatchers. Our officers patrol the campus and surroundings on foot, on bicycles and in DPS vehicles.
All students have been encouraged to download LiveSafe, a personal safety mobile app that provides members of our campus community with a quick and convenient way to communicate directly with DPS.
The College recently conducted a survey related to lighting and, as a result, has enhanced lighting in locations identified as possible areas of concern.
Even so, students may prefer not to walk alone around/near campus at night. With a quick call to DPS or a request via LiveSafe, walking escorts are available.
We encourage students to become familiar with and to utilize the wonderful offerings in downtown Lancaster. Downtown is very walkable from campus, and there are also numerous public transit options available. Again, we stress the importance of students, supported by DPS, taking personal responsibility for their safety.
DPS sends campus alerts via the Rave system in order to provide timely information to the community. Parents may register for these alerts by visiting the website: www.getrave.com. If, after registering, you wish to stop receiving these messages, you may discontinue your registration at any time by texting STOP to 67283. Students and employees automatically receive campus alerts.
Feel free to view the online Campus Safety Tips. Please consider discussing them with your student.
End of Semester Dates
Just a little more than a month after spring break (March 11 - 19), the end of the semester will be upon us! The last day of classes is Thursday, April 27, and reading days are April 28 through May 1. Exams immediately follow on Tuesday, May 2, and end on Saturday, May 6. Additionally, College Houses and theme houses close Sunday, May 7, at 11 a.m. The academic year ends with Commencement on Saturday, May 13. The final exam schedule is now available to students, so this would be a great time to ask your student when he or she will be finished for the semester so that you can plan his or her travel back home.
F&M's Emerging Writers Festival April 12-14
I recently interviewed Erik S. Anderson, writer in residence and director of the Emerging Writers Festival, to learn more about the annual Emerging Writers Festival, which takes place April 12-14. In addition to encouraging your student to take part, please also keep in mind that parents are more than welcome to attend! Enjoy!
Q: Is the Emerging Writers Festival an unusual offering for a small college like F&M?
A: It is definitely unusual and not just for a small college. Most institutions of higher education tend to focus on bringing established, even acclaimed, writers to campus. In fact, our annual Hausman lecture, among other things, allows us to do just that at F&M. What makes the festival different is that it offers extended and direct connections with our visiting writers, many of whom, because of where they are in their careers, are quite eager to engage with students on a personal level. I can't tell you how many times one of our emerging writers has said to me that they've never had an experience like this. They are inevitably charmed by our students and by our community.
Q: How are the writers chosen? What makes them "emerging"?
A: The writers are chosen by a committee of English Department faculty. The committee members nominate various writers, and then we have a lively back and forth about the merits of the nominations. Who will connect well with the students? Which writers will represent a wide range of literary voices? Whose work are we excited to teach? In terms of criteria, to be an emerging writer one typically has to have published only a first book, or to have one under contract. Over the years, we've made many exceptions to that rule of thumb, but the upshot is that our emerging writers are usually writers who are just entering the national literary spotlight, as opposed to writers who either haven't made it to that stage just yet or writers who have long been familiar to readers.
Q: Is the festival just for English majors? What might other students get out of participating?
A: As an outgrowth of the thriving literary community at F&M, the festival explores the ways writers, readers and human beings might attend to and shape the primary means through which we understand the world: language. The festival, and the study of literature more generally, encourages and trains us to attend to the ways we use the language and to explore the ways it links us to others. That's why the festival is really for everyone -- students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Lancaster community -- and why everyone can come away enriched from the experience.
Q: The web page talks about how this event has launched a lot of writers over the years. Might you provide me with examples?
A: One of the great stories of this year's festival is that of Indra Das '08. It's two stories in one, actually, each about a different aspect of the community the festival serves. As an F&M student, Indra dreamed about returning to campus for the festival someday, and in fact, I believe the beginning of his novel, "The Devourers," was written in Professor Nick Montemarano's "Introduction to Creative Writing" class. So on one level, Indra's story is about launching the careers of our students during their time as students, but it's also about promoting the work of a writer at an early phase of what I hope is a long and distinguished career. The truth is that so many writers publish a first book and that's it. Their careers never take off, or their lives follow other paths. But when I look at the names of the writers who have visited F&M for the festival over the past 16 years, I see the names of Guggenheim recipients, National Book Award winners and bestsellers. Importantly, so many of these honors came after their visits, not before. We have gotten it right, more often than not.
Q: What else should F&M parents know about the festival?
A: I would only emphasize that, although I serve as director, the festival is entirely student-run. Without fail, students on the organizing committee report that it's a major highlight of their time at F&M. Sometimes it even transforms lives. Several years ago, I heard from one alumna who said that after working on the festival her senior year, she knew she didn't want to be a writer, but that she wanted to work with writers. She's now a publicist at Random House.
Fall Course Registration
The fall semester may seem like a lifetime away, but course registration for the fall semester begins April 3. All students must receive their PIN from their adviser during the advising period (March 20 – 31) in order to register. It’s important that students get a head start on registration by meeting with their advisers early and often, planning their schedules ahead of time, and having backup classes ready. Encourage your student to use Degree Works, a helpful web-based tool that allows students and their advisers to plan for future coursework and evaluate possible major/minor changes.
Access to course registration is staggered by class year; rising seniors will have access on Monday, April 3, at 11 p.m., then rising juniors on Tuesday, April 4, at 11 p.m., followed by the rising sophomores on Wednesday, April 5, at 11 p.m.
On Monday, April 10, students will begin the drop/add period and will have access to the system until the end of the first two weeks of the fall semester. During this time, the College will assess areas in which there is high demand and, when possible, add sections to accommodate the demand. Waitlist notifications are also sent out as seats become available in courses as a result of students dropping classes.
For more information about course registration and a list of some other helpful tips and tools, please head to the registrar's webpage.
The Declaration Celebration
Now an F&M tradition, the Declaration Celebration event joins alumni, faculty and sophomores across majors in celebration of major declaration and the halfway point of our students’ F&M experiences. The event also recognizes that there are many career pathways that flow from every major.
This year’s Declaration Celebration takes place Thursday, April 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in Mayser Center. The keynote speaker is Dan Guerra, Psy.D, '91, psychologist, executive coach, author and international public speaker. Encourage your sophomore to register to attend!
Students involved in the music program at F&M have many opportunities to perform throughout the academic year. However, the department understands that not all families have the opportunity to see their students perform with their ensembles, so, working with F&M's Office of Communications, the Music Department webcasts some of the ensemble concerts each semester. Visit this page to view the schedule and stream the remaining concerts for this academic year.
Raise Our Game
Join us in March for Raise Our Game, a monthlong campaign to support Diplomat Athletics. All 27 varsity Diplomat teams are challenging their supporters to help them meet specific goals. They’ll need alumni, parents and friends behind them if they’re going to succeed.
To take a look at all of the teams that you have the opportunity to support with your gift through the Diplomat Athletic Club (DAC), visit go.fandm.edu/rog. Once there, you can select your team of choice and make a gift to fund its specific goal. You also can choose to make a general DAC gift via the Athletics Excellence Fund, which will support the hard work of all student-athletes and coaches.
I hope you will consider helping us Raise Our Game this March!
F&M Day at the Desert Botanical Gardens featuring a Spring Wildflower Tour
"French Cuisine: A Cultural Treasure," Brunch and Program with French Professor Cindy Yetter-Vassot at Bistro Barberet
A Conversation with President Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.
Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey at the Museum of Fine Arts
A Lost Spy, An Egyptian Tomb, the Ultimate Heist and an Alien Encounter: An F&M Adventure at Clue Chase in NYC
New York City