Franklin College will host its 2022 commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 21 in Spurlock Center Gymnasium on campus. Seating is limited and tickets are required to attend the ceremony. The event will be live-streamed on the college website, FranklinCollege.edu/commencement.
The commencement speaker will be Jamie P. Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. Merisotis will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from the college during the ceremony. James V. Due, senior vice president at Northern Trust in Chicago, will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.
Baccalaureate will be held at 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 20 in Spurlock Center Gymnasium. Troy Jackson, Ph.D., a 1991 Franklin College alumnus, co-founder of Undivided and the state strategies director for Faith in Action, will give the address and receive an honorary doctor of divinity from the college. The event is open to the public and no ticket is required to attend.
Jamie P. Merisotis is a globally recognized leader in philanthropy, education, human work and talent development, and public policy. He has been Lumina’s president and CEO since 2008. He previously was co-founder and president of the nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy and also served as executive director of a bipartisan national commission on college affordability appointed by the U.S. president and congressional leaders.
He is the author of the acclaimed book “America Needs Talent,” named a Top 10 Business Book of 2016 by Booklist, as well as “Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines,” released to wide praise in October 2020. He is often requested as a media commentator and contributor. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Washington Monthly, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other publications.
Merisotis has extensive global experience as an adviser and consultant in southern Africa, the former Soviet Union, Europe, and other parts of the world. A respected analyst and innovator, Merisotis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He has received numerous awards and holds honorary degrees from several universities and colleges. Merisotis also is a trustee and adviser for a diverse array of organizations around the world. He serves as a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation, based in the United Kingdom, and is past chairman and continuing trustee of the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. as well as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest museum for children. He also is a board member of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and several other entities.
Troy Jackson is co-founder and part of the core team of Undivided, a racial solidarity and justice movement emerging from Crossroads Church in Cincinnati that has moved thousands from passivity and isolation to community and action to address racism. Beginning in 2015, Jackson joined a team at Crossroads Church to develop Undivided, a racial reconciliation and justice 6-week experience that has engaged over 5,000 people since 2016. Jackson is also the state strategies director for Faith in Action (formerly PICO National Network), a position he started in March 2018. Jackson works with a set of states to build power organizations that can engage faith leaders and directly impacted communities in successful campaigns for racial and economic justice.
From 2014-2018, Jackson served as the executive director of the AMOS Project, a faith-based organizing effort that regularly engages more than 50 congregations in Greater Cincinnati to work for racial and economic justice. AMOS has helped lead the fight for high quality preschool for children who need it most in Greater Cincinnati since 2014. Jackson served as field director for the Issue 44 campaign during the fall of 2016, a ground-breaking effort that won at the polls by nearly 25 percent of the vote. Issue 44 secures resources for Cincinnati Public Schools and invests $15,000,000 per year in expanding high quality preschool for children who need it most.
Jackson served on the staff of University Christian Church (UCC) in Cincinnati for nearly 19 years, and served as the congregation’s lead pastor from 1996-2013. Under his leadership, UCC established Rohs Street Café, a seven-day-a-week community coffee shop committed to community engagement, the arts and social justice.
He has been involved in community organizing over the past decade, first as a volunteer leader, and more recently as a faith organizer in Cincinnati and greater Ohio. He continues to work for a pathway for citizenship for the undocumented, for an end to mass incarceration and the criminalization of people of color and for universal preschool. In 2011, Jackson served as faith outreach director for the highly successful “We Are Ohio” campaign that led to the repeal of Ohio Senate Bill 5.
Jackson is a co-author of “Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith,” which explores the historic sins of the American Church.
Jackson earned his master of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and received a doctorate in United States history from the University of Kentucky. His book, “Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of a National Leader,” explores the critical role the grassroots Montgomery Movement played in the development of King. His other publications include his work as an editor on “The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel.” Jackson lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Amanda and their youngest child Ellie.
James V. Due, a former chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, will receive a doctor of humane letters.
Due graduated from Franklin College in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned his master’s in business administration from Butler University in 1990.
Due currently is head of client credit risk and policy for Northern Trust. Previously, he was Head of Banking for the Global Family and Private Investor Office team at Northern Trust. Prior to that, he was a Division Manager for the Institutional Foundation, Higher Education and Healthcare asset servicing and banking practice. He has been a New Business Development Specialist in the U.S. Institutional Sales Group and has extensive capital markets experience in underwriting and supporting tax-exempt bond issues at Northern Trust and William Blair and Company. Due is nationally recognized as an industry expert in financing not-for-profit entities.
His board experiences include co-founding trustee of the Illinois Medical District Guest House Foundation, The Tenacre Foundation, Lawrence Hall Youth Services, the Indiana Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago, IFF (a regional community development financial institution) and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Fraternity Investment Committee.
Due has also served as a Franklin College board member since 2003 and served as chair from 2018-2021. He is a former chair for the college’s Audit, Finance and Investment Committees. He and his wife Jill are loyal supporters of the Franklin Fund as well as other college initiatives and are members of the Founders Society. They reside in Indianapolis.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications 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 www.FranklinCollege.edu. Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.