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Franklin College (Indiana)

Franklin College
Motto 'Excellence, Leadership and Service'
Established 1834
Type Private Liberal Arts College
Affiliation American Baptist Churches USA
Endowment $68.7 million[1]
President Thomas J. Minar, PhD
Academic staff
Students 1047
Location Franklin, Indiana, USA
Campus 187 acres (0.76 km2)
Athletics NCAA Division III
Colors Navy blue and Old gold          
Nickname Grizzlies
Old Main

Franklin College is a private liberal arts college in Franklin, Indiana, United States. Its enrollment of 1047 students enables individual attention and discussions with senior professors. Founded in 1834, it was the first college in Indiana and third college in the United States to admit women (1842). In January of 2015 Thomas J. Minar, PhD was selected as the 16th President of Franklin College


  • Campus 1
    • Educational buildings 1.1
    • Residence buildings 1.2
  • Greek life 2
  • Academics 3
  • Athletics 4
  • Notables 5
    • Notable alumni 5.1
    • Notable faculty 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Located in Franklin, the college's 187-acre (0.76 km2) campus includes its athletic fields and a 31-acre (130,000 m2) woodland for biology study. Nearly all the buildings on campus are placed around an ellipse known as Dame Mall, named after John Dame, the first ever graduate from Franklin College. The buildings are on all sides and two sidewalks run through for people to walk on.

A majority of campus activity happens in the Napolitan Student Center, which is home to the dining hall (dubbed SAGA by students due to a previous food provider), the college bookstore, a large atrium, convenience store known as Ben's Den, student activity center, security office, conference rooms, guidance offices, nurse's clinic and the Branigin Room, which is a large room that is used for presentations, award ceremonies and numerous other functions. Another common place to find activities is the Spurlock Center, which is complete with a fitness center, gymnasium, indoor track, the athletic hall of fame and athletic offices. It was built in the 1920s due to the large crowds who came to Franklin to watch the famous Franklin Wonder Five basketball team play. This is also where pep rallies, school assemblies, commencement and numerous presentations involving guest speakers are held.

Educational buildings

  • Old Main, the iconic clock tower located at the campus entrance, holds classes for most subjects, the technology help center, computer labs and Custer Theatre where choir concerts and other functions take place. This building was almost completely destroyed by a fire on April 21, 1985. At the top of the first flight of stairs in the front is a wooden stand with a bust of Benjamin Franklin that is known for having paint rubbed off its nose due to students touching it (college legend says doing so before class will bring good luck).
  • Barnes Hall is where most lab science classes are held and can be marked by the greenhouse next to it.
  • Johnson Center for Fine Arts, called JCFA for short, is where fine art and leadership classes are held. School plays also are performed here at the Theatre Margot.
  • Shirk Hall, where journalism classes are held and is home to a radio station, 89.5 WFCI and The Franklin, the college's weekly student-run newspaper.
  • Hamilton Library, the campus library with a 24-hour computer lab, auditorium, Academic Resource Center, Silent Study area (2nd floor) and Disability Services.
  • The Annex, a one-classroom house right off campus near the football field.

Residence buildings

  • Elsey Hall, a predominately freshmen dormitory that has exclusively double rooms (with the exception of RA rooms, but others can use one as a single for a fee). Originally, it was the only female dormitory on campus and Elsey is connected to the four Panhellenic suites belonging to the three (formerly four) sororities.
  • Hoover-Cline, two buildings connected by a glass tunnel and conveniently located in the center of campus. Provides singles, doubles and quads (exclusive to Hoover).
  • Johnson-Dietz, for upperclassmen only, Johnson-Dietz is two separate buildings and popular due to the residential suites with bay windows that are occupied by 3-4 people. Many on campus refer to it as "The Sections" because several suited are grouped in a particular section marked by a letter.
  • Dietz Center, for upperclassmen only, single rooms and suites are available here. Popular for its environment, this building is also used for community purposes.

All campus-owned residence halls have air-conditioning, host events organized by RAs and starting with the 2012-2013 year, Wi-Fi and free laundry will also be available. Each of the fraternities also has its own house; numerous other houses on campus are reserved for upperclassmen. Three of them have recently been turned into specialty houses called La Casa (founded 2011, exclusively Spanish-speaking), Chez FC (founded 2012, exclusively-French speaking) and the Martin Luther King Beloved Community (founded 2012, for students involved in the Interfaith Youth Core on campus).

The school has a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA.

Greek life

Franklin College is home to five fraternities and three sororities that are active. It's estimated that 40% of Franklin College students are involved in Greek Life. The fraternities all provide on-campus housing, whereas the sororities use reserved Panhellenic suites owned by the college for meetings, ceremonies and other activities. The Greek community plays an active role on campus and hold multiple philanthropic events throughout the year.

The fraternities (all active) include Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Indiana Alpha; 1892–present), Phi Delta Theta (Indiana Delta; 1860–present), Kappa Delta Rho (Epsilon; 1919–present, inactive from 1972-'80), Lambda Chi Alpha (Kappa Gamma; 1924–present) and Tau Kappa Epsilon (Rho Upsilon; 1988–present).

The sororities that are currently active include Zeta Tau Alpha (Beta Theta; 1927–present), Delta Delta Delta (Delta Zeta; 1912–present) and Pi Beta Phi (Indiana Alpha; 1888–present).

At one point, Franklin College also had three additional sororities that are no longer active - Kappa Kappa Gamma (Nu; 1879-1884), Delta Gamma (Phi Alpha; 1995-2008) and Delta Zeta (Psi; 1920-1990). The seemingly abandoned third of the four Panhellenic Suites on campus was used by Delta Gamma (they used it until they closed in Fall 2008). Today, it's still used by the other three groups for various purposes. In addition, benches on campus have been dedicated to both chapters and there are display cases in the Napolitan Student Center in their honor that show photos, shirts and other insignia belonging to their members.


The school offers 36 major topics of study, including Journalism, Education, Art, Political Science, Theatre and Music. Courses include 35 minors. Individualized majors and minors are also available for highly motivated students, but one must create a proposal for it before it can be accepted. Franklin College places a large emphasis on the liberal arts curriculum, requiring students to reorient themselves with standard mathematics, world history, literature, English and speech skills as well as take one class in the following categories- Fine Arts, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Intercultural, International and Philosophy/Religion- regardless of their intended major and/or minor. During their first semester, new students also take a leadership seminar class that places emphasis on excellence, leadership and service, the three hallmark values of the college. Up to 95% of students also complete at least one internship during their years at Franklin College and many majors require an internship for a semester.

In addition to the traditional fall and spring semesters, a month-long term in January is also held as most students wouldn't be able to acquire all necessary credits and liberal arts requirements through just the two main semesters. During this time, students can take classes for credit (one Winter Term class is required to graduate), including a few not offered during the rest of the year (topics have ranged from immigration to computer animation to Alfred Hitchcock), do internships for their majors and take travel courses to foreign countries that satisfy the international requirement for the Liberal Arts curriculum. Trips to England, France and Ireland are quite common, but other locations have included Uganda, Costa Rica, Senegal and Japan. While many students take these courses through programs offered by the college, some make arrangements through other organizations and financial aid is also available for students who plan to study in foreign countries. Though January term trips are the most common time for international travel, students also have the opportunities to stay for a semester or full year if their schedules allow it.


In the beginning, the Franklin College athletic teams were known as the Fighting Baptists, but it was later changed to Grizzlies in honor of Ernest "Griz" Wagner. Franklin's athletic teams participate in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

During the 1920s, Franklin College gained national fame when a basketball team called the Franklin Wonder Five, after winning three state high school championships in succession, became national college champions in 1923. The team turned down an offer to play the professional New York Celtics. The fitness center was built in the 1920s specifically to accommodate the large crowds attracted to watch the team.


Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2011-09-28). "Arch West, Who Helped Create Doritos Corn Chips, Is Dead at 97".  

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • Campus map and directions

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