Franklin College Receives $3.9 Million Estate Gift

Franklin College has been designated to receive a $3.9 million estate commitment, the largest bequest the college has ever received, from 1971 alumna Eleanor T. (Ellie) Ackley.

“Franklin College gave me a lifetime of skills and lifelong friends that made my college experience memorable,” Ackley said. “Those friends, classmates and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters have greatly enriched my life to this day. I wish all of them and the college continued success and happiness. Go Grizzlies!”

Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather praised Ackley for her generous support and investment in the college’s future. “When I speak about the importance of Franklin College to the world, it is with people like Ellie in mind. This commitment to Franklin College reflects not only the impact of this institution on her life, but also her faith in its mission and future. She is helping perpetuate the uniquely transformative Franklin College experience for generations of Grizzlies to come.

Ackley is president and owner of Florida Sunshine Vacation Rentals. She and her late husband Robert began the business in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Franklin College in 1971, majoring in political science and history. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in elementary education in 1974 from Miami University of Ohio.

“Planned gifts provide a sustainable future for generations of Franklin College students,” said Dana Cummings, vice president for institutional advancement. “Donors like Ellie help ensure the distinctive experience offered at Franklin will continue, and her generosity will benefit Grizzly students for decades to come.”

Ackley’s estate commitment is undesignated and therefore not restricted for any specific purpose, allowing the college the flexibility to focus on priority areas of need at the time the gift is funded.

This is the third significant commitment to the college from Ackley in recent years. In 2018, she along with another donor, provided funding to expand the college’s marketing efforts in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. She and Robert have also supported the college’s Franklin Fund, Campaign for the Sciences and the softball complex.

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential liberal arts and sciences institution located 20 minutes south of Indianapolis. Franklin offers a wide array of undergraduate majors as well as master’s degree programs in Physician Assistant Studies and Athletic Training. The unique curriculum merges classroom instruction with immersive experiences, research opportunities and study away programs. Students participate in 21 NCAA Division III sports, Greek Life, musical and theatre productions, and more than 40 student organizations. As the first college in Indiana to become coeducational with the admission of women, Franklin welcomes diversity of thought, belief and person into a community that values equity and inclusion. 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.

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