F&M Altered His Life’s Trajectory

When Preston Kilgore ’14 began his time at Franklin & Marshall, he was sure that he was going to study economics—until he took a microeconomics course and realized that the subject wasn’t for him.

“After talking to some friends and going through some introspection, I reflected on my Intro to Sociology class from my first year, and…a light bulb went off,” says Kilgore, who has completed his first year pursuing a master of urban and public affairs degree at the University of San Francisco. By the end of a meeting with Associate Professor and Department Chair of Sociology Jerome Hodos, Kilgore had declared himself a sociology major.

The powerful influence of the College community continued to play a role throughout Kilgore’s time on campus. While his interactions with his professors and coaches had significant effects, he says that fellow graduate Darrius Moore ’14 had the single biggest impact on his life. Moore convinced him to join I.M.P.A.C.T., a close-knit brotherhood that inspires members to make a difference in the community, and to apply to a summer socioeconomic development program in South Africa.

These experiences spurred Kilgore’s dedication to community service and engagement, and ultimately led him to pursue meaningful work after graduation, first in the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps, then as campaign manager with the mayoral campaign for Lancaster mayor Danene Sorace, and then at the Lenfest Scholars Foundation.

Even though Kilgore hadn’t originally set out to pursue a liberal arts education, he’s thankful for the perspectives that his time at F&M gave him.

“My liberal arts degree has inspired me to think critically and to always strive to help others,” he says. “F&M altered the trajectory of my life, and I am forever grateful.”