Franklin & Marshall College publicly launched the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in its history, “Now to Next,” at a gala event Oct. 26 in the Alumni Sports and Fitness Center. More than 450 people attended the event, which featured live, interactive presentations by F&M faculty and students, as well as the formal announcement program.

“Now to Next” will raise $200 million by the end of 2021. The leadership phase of the campaign already has raised more than 65 percent of the goal.

The largest campaign in F&M history seeks to raise $130 million to advance academic excellence, including expanding student aid and recruitment, investing more in faculty research, scholarship, innovation and creativity, and completing construction of the Winter Visual Arts Center. It aims to raise $50 million to strengthen the student experience, including increasing career-preparation services, creating new partnerships with the Lancaster community, improving student health and wellness programs, and providing an exemplary student-athlete experience. It also seeks to raise $20 million to support the Franklin & Marshall Fund, which supports every F&M student every day.

Franklin & Marshall President Barbara K. Altmann told the attendees that they were key to the campaign’s success and encouraged them to take ownership for that success. After a showing of the campaign video, she urged, “To bring about what is next, we need you. I ask you to be bold, to find inspiration in what you’ve seen and heard. To be champions of Franklin & Marshall. To move with us from now to next.”

At the event, Altmann also announced the College’s $10 million Trustee Endowed Scholarship Challenge, created by a $2.5 million matching fund from the estate of Dr. Myron Porternar ’49 and supported by gifts from several members of F&M’s Board of Trustees. When completed, the challenge will create 50 new endowed scholarships.

Also speaking at the campaign launch were representatives of Franklin & Marshall’s faculty, students and Board of Trustees. Michael Penn, professor and associate chair of psychology, presented the stories of three individuals who embody inspiration, tenacity and hope.

Tyler Schubert ’19 and Kim Espinal ’21 described their transformations as F&M students who have become more resilient and thanked the attendees for inspiring them and creating opportunities through their philanthropic support. Sue Washburn ’73, chair of the Board of Trustees, saluted the many volunteer leaders who are leading the campaign efforts.

The campaign launch was part of a lively and intellectually rich weekend on the F&M campus. True Blue Weekend also included Altmann’s inauguration as the College’s 16th president, a lecture by world-renowned architect Steven Holl, discussion panels led by faculty and alumni, athletic contests and special student performances, along with many traditional events of Homecoming and Family Weekend activities.