Earlier this Spring I accompanied four students to a College Night event put on by the Guidance Department at North Central High School. We all heard and learned a lot about applying to college! After the event, we decided a college visit was in order—and so the five of us planned a visit to Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. Little did I know how fun the experience would be!
I already knew a little about the rich American Baptist history of Franklin College, and in particular I knew how members at First Baptist Church had been strong supporters of the college. I remember former pastor George Tooze serving on the Franklin Board. I remember hearing a President or two from Franklin speak at First Baptist.But it turns out those are only a few of our connections!
Our day began by pulling into the Admission parking lot. A special spot was reserved with the names of the four students I brought!
We were greeted by Wendy Shuler Hagn, who works in the Admissions Office. I taught Sunday School with Wendy at First Baptist Church many years ago!
The students then were taken to a meeting room to hear a presentation on Franklin where they were provided academic and other information and had a chance to ask questions. We then went on the campus tour – and I kept noticing familiar names: the Cliff and Paula Dietz residence hall (both
were on the Trustee Board as well as being generous Franklin benefactors), the H. Dean Evans Track and Field Complex (named in honor of Vera Evan’s husband, Dean),
the Behrens Softball Stadium (Yes, Effie Behrens played softball). And that is not all- I also saw plaques with names and learned of several others who passed through the halls of Franklin: Vera Evans, Greg Evans, Ben and LaVera Friend, Wendell Norton, Ray King, Ralph Beaty, Judy Robbins, Bob Demaree, and Amy Griman. Dallas West also served on the Board. These are all folks that I have known at First Baptist during my years here! And I am sure I am leaving out (unintentionally of course) others that went to Franklin College.
And the tradition continues as our own Shar Kapru Say, a 2014 graduate of North Central High School and very active in our church and the BCCE, will be attending Franklin this fall.
It was a great day for me to see my church so connected to the past, present and future of this wonderful Midwest college thirty minutes south of Indianapolis.