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Robert M. Franklin ’75 to Transition as President of Morehouse College

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

After five years of leading one of the nation’s top historically black colleges, President Robert M. Franklin ’75 has decided to step down when his term ends on June 30, 2012.

Franklin will become Scholar-in-Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Institute with plans to return to Morehouse in the role of Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics.

The Morehouse Board of Trustees recognized his service this week by awarding Franklin with the College’s highest and most prestigious rank: President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor.

“I look forward to a sabbatical, during which I intend to travel, write, speak and interview leaders about the condition of black boys and men in the U.S. and around the globe, research that I began years ago in my book, “Crisis in the Village,” said Franklin. “I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for the invitation to return as President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics, and the opportunity to continue supporting the mission of Morehouse in a different way.”

The Morehouse Board of Trustees has instituted a rigorous search to identify a successor. If a new president has not been selected by July 1, 2012, Franklin will continue in his current role until a one has been selected by the board, but no later than Dec. 31, 2012.

Since succeeding Walter Massey ’58 as president in 2007, Franklin has directed fund-raising efforts that increased alumni giving from 17% to 36%, three times the national average. His leadership generated $60 million in federal grants and contracts and $33 million to support of the College’s capital campaign, during its quiet phase, from corporations, foundations and individual donors.

The College also has renewed its commitment to academic vigor, being reaffirmed for accreditation in 2009 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“Dr. Franklin has served an integral role leading the renaissance of Morehouse, and his dedication is greatly appreciated,” said Robert Davidson ’67, chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. “In addition to his years of service, Robert led by example, dedicating a substantial portion of his time to community service, which is one of the core values that Morehouse seeks to instill in each and every one its students. We will miss him as the Board endeavors to find a replacement who will help to usher the College into a new era.”

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