Franklin College (Indiana)

For similarly named institutions, see Franklin College (New Athens, Ohio) or Franklin University.
For the founding college of the University of Georgia, see Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
Franklin College
Motto 'Excellence, Leadership and Service'
Type Private Liberal Arts and Sciences College
Established 1834
Affiliation American Baptist Churches USA
Endowment $83 million[1]
President Thomas J. Minar, PhD
Academic staff
79 full time; 38 part time
Students 1000
Location Franklin, Indiana, USA
Campus 207 acres (0.84 km2)
Athletics NCAA Division III
Colors Navy blue and Old gold          
Nickname Grizzlies
Old Main

Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution founded in 1834 in Franklin, Indiana, United States with a scenic, wooded campus, spanning 207 acres, including athletic fields and a 31-acre biology woodland. Students enjoy the comfort and safety of suburban living, while also experiencing the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer with only a short 20-minute drive to downtown. The college prepares students to think independently, to lead responsibly and to serve with integrity in their professions, their communities and the world. The college offers its more than 1,000 students Bachelor of Arts degrees in more than 50 majors from 24 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. The college also offers a Master of Science degree in athletic training. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College has historically maintained an affiliation with the American Baptist Churches USA. On July 1, 2015, 2015, Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D. began serving as the 16th President of Franklin College.


Located in Franklin, the college's 207-acre (0.84 km2) campus includes an athletic park 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 of Franklin College.

A majority of campus activity happens in the Napolitan Student Center, which is home to the dining hall, the college bookstore, a large atrium, convenience store known as Ben's Den, student activity center, security office, conference rooms, counseling and health center, and the Branigin Room, which is used for lectures, award ceremonies and community functions. Another common place for activities is the Spurlock Center, which is complete with a fitness center, gymnasium, indoor track, the athletic hall of fame and athletic offices. This is also where pep rallies, school assemblies, commencement and numerous presentations involving guest speakers are held.

Educational buildings

Old Main and Shirk Hall were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[2]

Residence buildings

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).

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 except Phi Delta Theta) include Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Indiana Alpha; 1892–present), Phi Delta Theta (Indiana Delta; 1860– Suspended 2016), 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 major topics of study, including Journalism, Education, Art, Political Science, Theatre and Music. There are 50 majors from 24 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. Individualized majors and minors are also available. 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 Coach 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 Original 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. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. Hevesi, Dennis (2011-09-28). "Arch West, Who Helped Create Doritos Corn Chips, Is Dead at 97". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-13.

External links

Coordinates: 39°28′44″N 86°02′47″W / 39.47889°N 86.04639°W / 39.47889; -86.04639

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