Franklin College Announces Schedule of Public Events for Inauguration of 16th President

Indy Chamber News Archives

FRANKLIN, Ind. Franklin College will celebrate the inauguration of its 16th president, Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., with a number of events.  The theme of the four-day celebration will be “Thinking Forward … Embracing New Dimensions,” and activities will highlight the personalized, liberal arts experience that is the cornerstone of a Franklin College education.


While some events are by invitation only, the following events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Friday, April 8, 2016:

Inauguration Symposium, 1:30 – 4:45 p.m., Napolitan Student Center, Branigin Room.  David R. Evans, Ph.D., president of Southern Vermont College, will be the moderator.  Speakers will present their views onthe importance of a liberal arts education as it relates to their professions. A question-and-answer session will follow.  Speakers include Mark Shields, political analyst, PBS NewsHour and syndicated columnist; Scott McCorkle, CEO, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce; Debra Humphreys, Ph.D., senior vice president of academic planning and public engagement for the Association of American Colleges and Universities; and two Franklin College students, senior Ian Mullen, a journalism major (broadcast journalism track), and senior Khadijetou (Atama) Abdourahmane, a political science and Spanish major, representing the student perspective.  Reservations appreciated at

Saturday, April 9, 2016:

Inauguration of the 16th president, Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., 11 a.m., Spurlock Center Gymnasium.  Reservations appreciated at


President’s Inaugural Luncheon, immediately following the Inauguration Ceremony, Napolitan Student Center, Branigin Room.  Reservations appreciated at


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Community Worship Service, 11 a.m., Richardson Chapel.  The Rev. Stephanie Perdew VanSlyke, M.Div., Ph.D., senior pastor, First Congregational Church of Wilmette, Ill., will preach a service led by campus minister the Rev. Leah Rumsey.

For updates and coverage of all inauguration events, go to  Follow President Minar on Twitter @PresFC, and join the conversation about the inaugural festivities on social media with #FC16thPresident.

Since taking office July 1, 2015, Minar has launched what is anticipated to be the college’s most comprehensive strategic planning process to date, met with thousands of college alumni and constituents, and spoken at numerous outreach events in Indianapolis and around the country.  His goals for the college include continued growth in academic excellence, engaged community-based learning and increased diversity.

Minar holds a doctorate in political science from Northwestern University, master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and bachelor’s degree in government from Pomona College. He is a native of the Chicago area and is married to Frank S. Becker, M.D., an academic physician for Northwestern University and the director of pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. 

Over the last three decades, Minar has held key positions in institutional fundraising, alumni relations, external affairs and higher education administration. He is the immediate past vice president of development and alumni relations for American University, where he achieved several milestones. His other previous career experience includes serving as vice president for institutional advancement for Roosevelt University in Chicago, vice president for development and external affairs for Chicago Theological Seminary, director of development for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and associate dean for external affairs and chief development officer for the University of Illinois College of Commerce and Business Administration.



For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Marketing and Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution 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 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 51 majors from 25 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation.  Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA.  For more information, visit  Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.


Deidra Baumgardner
Franklin College
Director of Communications
101 Branigin Blvd.
Franklin, IN   46131
Phone: (317) 738-8189
Fax: (317) 738-8175
Email: [email protected]

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