By Carolyn South || Contributing Writer

We all are acutely, painfully aware of the fact that Franklin & Marshall College was named for Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall.  I believe we all also have noticed that each man has his fair share of problems.  Thus, there has been buzz about compelling the administration to make it so that the college’s namesake is in honor of other individuals.  I am here to make a formal plea in keeping with that vein.  I propose that the “Franklin” of Franklin & Marshall stand for Franklin the Turtle.

For those unfamiliar with Franklin the Turtle, he is the titular character of the hit animated children’s TV show, Franklin.  Franklin loves his friends, swimming, crafts, and shoofly pie.  He works hard in school and greatly respects his beloved teacher, Mr. Owl.  He tries his darndest to be helpful to his parents, the esteemed Mr. and Mrs. Turtle.  From this cursory description alone it should be obvious that Franklin embodies the true mission of the college.  His wide variety of interests are exemplary of the school’s liberal arts mission.  His commitment to his education is reflective of F&M’s dedication to academics.  His passion for physical activity is in accordance with F&M’s own distinguished athletics.  His compassion and willingness to lend a helping hand to others serves as a paradigm to which all of us should be held.  Franklin the Turtle is a true diplomat.

I have made my case as to why it would be most appropriate to name a college after Franklin the Turtle.  Now I shall state why Benjamin Franklin should no longer be the Franklin for which F&M is named.  I shan’t mince words: Ben Franklin is ugly.  Look at any image of him, and it is clear he is not cute.  This may have flown in back 1787 when everyone was ugly, but nowadays his poor looks are simply not befitting of the aesthetic.  From his unfortunate hairline to his seeming inability to properly smile, he is not someone you want as the face of your institution.  If you’re not already convinced, Ben Franklin has never had his own television show.  Need I say more?

You may be thinking, “Why shouldn’t John Marshall be replaced as well?  He seems like a not great dude.”  Kind reader, I wholeheartedly agree.  While I appreciate his weird sideburn things, he is also unattractive.  However, there are currently no famous turtles named Marshall.  Therefore John Marshall must stay for now.

Although it remains unclear as to why Franklin the Turtle does not already have a college named after him, I believe it is more than obvious that the time has come for him to have his moment in the sun.  We as a community do not deserve one more minute of having a man with subpar looks as the namesake of our school.  We deserve better.  We deserve Franklin the Turtle.

Freshman Carolyn South is a contributing writer. Her email is

Photo courtesy of