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Members of the Franklin College community, leaders of Johnson Memorial Health and officials from the City of Franklin gathered on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to dedicate the new Johnson Memorial Health Athletic Annex (JMHAA) on campus. A reception and facility tours immediately followed.

“Franklin College continues to thrive because so many alumni and friends support the important work that goes on here to ensure that our students enjoy the unique and transformational experience that helps shape them personally and professionally,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather.

“The addition of the Johnson Memorial Health Athletic Annex impressively reflects that support and that commitment to our students,” said Prather. “We will continue to make progress expanding student opportunities and increasing and improving resources to keep Franklin College at the forefront of Indiana liberal arts colleges. Intercollegiate athletics have long been a driver of our enrollment, a critical educational experience beyond the classroom, and an exciting aspect of our campus culture. It is with those realities in mind, along with the increasing attention of all our students to their health and wellness needs and activities, that we pursued the construction of this facility.”

In December 2020, the college announced a one-million-dollar commitment from Johnson Memorial Health (JMH) to construct the indoor multi-use facility. In August 2021, the college announced a gift commitment from Indiana University head football coach Tom Allen Jr. to construct a weight room in the facility in honor of his father, Tom Allen Sr., a 1961 alumnus of the college.

“Four years ago, we opened space in our Urgent Care Center to house the Franklin College Graduate Health Science Center,” said David H. Dunkle, M.D., President and CEO of Johnson Memorial Health and a 1994 alumnus of the college. “With the opening of this new building, we will help men and women athletes become stronger, healthier and more competitive. Winston Churchill once said, ‘Healthy citizens are the greatest asset that any country can have.’ My hope is this collaboration will result in generations of young adults that are physically and mentally healthy, sharply focused and ready to become leaders in the professions that they choose.”

The dedication of the building came almost exactly one year to the day after Franklin College broke ground on the project on Oct. 13, 2021.

The annex features retractable batting cages for use by the baseball and softball teams, along with similar areas suitable for men’s and women’s golf. With the hitting cages retracted, the open artificially turfed space provides indoor practice opportunities for many sports. The annex also includes a weight room, doubling the previous weight training space on campus.

For more information, contact the 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, esports, 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.

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