F&M Stories

Fourth-Year Phenom Frames F&M Experience for First-Year Class

No matter where she goes on campus, Franklin & Marshall College senior Kyra Caffrey is leading — in Diplomatic Congress, at her sorority (Alpha Phi), and in the biology laboratory.

The government and biology major's predilection for seeking out new ways to affect positive change sets her up nicely for her next task: addressing the incoming first-year class at Convocation Aug. 30.

Ahead of that event, which is F&M's traditional welcoming of the Class of 2026 to the academic community, we asked the Chadds Ford, Pa., resident and member of Brooks College House to offer some advice to incoming students, reflect on her time at F&M, and talk about her plans for the final year of her four-year F&M experience.

Q: You'll be addressing the Class of 2026 at Convocation. What is the most important thing you feel they need to know as they begin their F&M journey?

Caffrey: I think it is important for the Class of 2026 to know that there is no "right" path during your time at Franklin & Marshall. Ultimately, whatever your F&M experience looks like, you will have access to invaluable resources that will help you make choices that will set you up for success. F&M provides students with the space to explore new classes, clubs, organizations, research opportunities, and more. This is the product of a highly unique, individualized liberal arts education. Each student is able to craft their own path during their time here.

I encourage the incoming class to lean into the wide array of opportunities F&M provides. Allow yourself to explore during the next four years. You may discover a new passion you can carry with you throughout the rest of your life.

Q: What is your most memorable F&M experience from your first three years as a student?

Caffrey: My most memorable experiences at F&M are not the big moments. The memories that immediately come to mind are the small, day-to-day interactions with my peers, professors, and faculty and staff. Little moments such as movie nights with my roommates, working in the lab with my professors, and talking about career goals with the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development team have supported and uplifted me during my time at F&M.

When you come to college, you leave your immediate family back at home, but moments like these help you find a sense of family in an unfamiliar place. They provide a laugh on a hard day, guidance when you feel lost, and a cup of soup when you are sick. These little moments might not seem big at first, but one day you'll look back and realize they were what made F&M feel like home.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your senior year — and what is next for you after F&M?

Caffrey: This year, I hope to leave F&M a better place than I left it. I will work to uplift minority voices on campus; partner with the Title IX office to provide educational programming on sexual misconduct, violence prevention, and sexual wellness; and help in any way possible with the implementation of the new strategic plan. As student body president, my goal is to ensure every student feels supported, safe, and celebrated on our campus.

After graduation, my next steps are somewhat uncertain. I am passionate about public health and public policy and I hope to spend a few years doing research in one or both of these fields before pursuing a master's degree.

About Kyra Caffrey

  • President of the student body and Diplomatic Congress

  • Vice President of Membership Recruitment for Alpha Phi (sorority)

  • Student research assistant in the lab of Professor of Biology Jaime Blair working to create molecular methods of detection for Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba

  • Member of the women's volleyball team as a first-year, sophomore and junior

  • Member of the Student Athletic Leadership Council (SALC) as a first-year, sophomore and junior and coordinator of SALC's diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in sophomore and junior years

  • Graduate of the Harwood Leadership Seminar

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