Dr. Robert M. Franklin to Transition as President of Morehouse College
Elise Durham, Morehouse College
Russell Weigandt, Kwittken + Company
ATLANTA, GA, January 30, 2012 – After an accomplished five-year term as president of Morehouse College, Robert M. Franklin ’75 has decided to step down at the end of his term at the close of the 2012 academic year on June 30.
In recognition of Franklin’s exemplary service to the College, the Board of Trustees has voted to recognize him with the College’s highest and most prestigious rank: President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor.
“Dr. Franklin has served an integral role leading the renaissance of Morehouse, and his dedication is greatly appreciated,” said Robert Davidson, chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. “In addition to his years of service, Robert has 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 of 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.”
The Morehouse Board of Trustees has instituted a rigorous search to identify a successor and Dr. Franklin is committed to a smooth and seamless transition. If a new President has not been selected by July 1, 2012, Dr. Franklin will continue in his current role until a new president has been selected by the Board, but no later than December 31, 2012.
“I look forward to a sabbatical during which I intend to travel, write, speak and interview leaders about the condition of 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.”
Following his departure as president, Franklin plans to spend his sabbatical as a Scholar in Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Institute and plans to return to Morehouse in the role of Distinguished Professor.
During his five-year tenure as President of Morehouse, Franklin led the College through the quiet phase of a new capital campaign and changed the narrative about Morehouse and enhanced public perception of the College.
Franklin restored confidence in the College’s mission and identity and developed a comprehensive vision regarding the “Renaissance of Morehouse,” which became his vision and the defining theme for the institution. He also established the concept of the “Five Wells,” an ideal to cultivate Men of Morehouse as “Renaissance men with social conscience and global perspective” who are well-read, well-spoken, well-traveled, well-dressed and well-balanced.
Under Franklin’s leadership, the College has renewed its commitment to academic vigor, being reaffirmed for accreditation in 2009 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Franklin also directed efforts, which increased alumni giving from 17% to 36%, three times the national average. His leadership has generated more than $60 million in federal grants and contracts and $33 million in support of the College’s comprehensive campaign, during its quiet phase, from corporations, foundations and individual donors.
As the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men, Morehouse College was recently recognized as the number one liberal arts college in the nation by Washington Monthly; one of 45 “Best Buy” schools for 2011 by the Fiske Guide to Colleges; one of the nation’s Most Grueling Colleges in 2010 by The Huffington Post; the number three HBCU in the nation for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report; and as one of American’s Best Colleges for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine.
Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton “Spike” Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from an HBCU.