By Katie Coble || News Editor 

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Franklin & Marshall College president Dan Porterfield has announced his departure from the College this morning to take on a position as head of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

President Porterfield came to the college in 2011, the fifteenth president in Franklin & Marshall’s history. Prior to being president at F&M, he worked at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. as its senior vice president for strategic development. He additionally previously worked as a senior aide to former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala during the Clinton administration.

One of President Porterfield’s main initiatives during his term as president has been increasing the number of low-income students enrolled at the College and expanding the College’s financial aid department. Other notable changes occuring during Porterfield’s term as president has been the arming of campus police officers, the construction of Shadek Stadium, and a significant increase in the College’s selectivity in admissions. In 2016 he was named one of eleven ““Champions of Change for College Opportunity” by the Obama White House.

Porterfield will depart from the College at the end of the academic school year and begin his position at the Aspen Institute on June 1, 2018. The institute is a nonpartisan think-tank founded in 1949 with a focus on improving leadership and define the ideals that constitute a healthy and positive society. The Institute consists of more than thirty policy programs with focuses ranging from education to health policy to environmental challenges.

In an email from the Office of the President to the student body sent out this morning, President Porterfield explained that “[t]his decision was very difficult because of my love for the people and mission of F&M.” He expressed hope that in his new position he will be “a strong national advocate for equity in education, the expansion of opportunity for the young, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and collaborative problem solving on urgent issues.”

Susan Washburn ‘73, the chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, also emailed the student body confirming the announcement. She said that she would “write again soon to provide the campus community with more details about the process to identify our next president.” The College Reporter will continue to report on this story and the search for President Porterfield’s replacement in the coming months.


Sophomore Katie Coble is the News Editor. Her email is