Porterfield to leave Georgetown, named President of Franklin & Marshall College

This morning, Senior Vice President for Strategic Development Dan Porterfield (COL ’83) announced that he will leave Georgetown to become the 15th President of Franklin & Marshall College. Porterfield will not officially join the small liberal arts college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania until March 1, but his transition will begin next month.

“I am excited and honored at the prospect of leading Franklin & Marshall College, a historic American institution poised for remarkable influence in the 21st century,” Porterfield said in a press release.

After graduating from Georgetown in 1983, Porterfield studied English at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Before returning to campus in 1997, Porterfield worked as a senior aide for the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala and earned his PhD in English at the City University of New York.

Porterfield will leave Georgetown with a reputation for doing a bit of everything; he contributed to two ten-year campus plans, developed relationships with Teach for America and the Cristo Rey Network, helped plan capital fund raising campaigns, and oversaw the final steps of the University’s partnership negotiations with MedStar Health.

As a Georgetown faculty member, Porterfield was awarded two of the University’s highest faculty honors, the 2010 SFS Faculty Excellence Award and the 2008 Georgetown College Edward Bunn, S.J. Award. In 2003, he also recieved the Dorothy Brown Award for his commitment to academic and student advancement.

“Dan’s work at Georgetown will leave a lasting legacy in numerous ways, from successfully launching young people on exciting career and fellowship paths to developing innovative student programs, and from enhancing our Athletics program to fostering extraordinary civic engagement,” University President John DeGioia wrote in a statement released by Franklin & Marshall. “I will miss his friendship, advice and counsel, but know that our loss is truly Franklin & Marshall’s gain.”

In an email sent this afternoon to his English class, Porterfield expressed excitement about the position.

I’m writing as early as I possibly could to tell you that today I’m being introduced as the next President of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, effective March 1. F & M is an outstanding liberal arts college, and it is a great honor and opportunity to serve as its next leader.

I write, of course, with mixed feelings. Our class has inspired me and renewed my desire to make a greater difference for students in undeserved communities. As we discussed in class yesterday, just like for you it’s also important for me to continue thinking about the ways I’d like to give and grow more, and this new role is one way.

We’ll have plenty of time to spend together in the coming months. I value your friendship and very much appreciate your support.

Porterfield will visit Franklin & Marshall’s campus at least once every week until he formally takes on his new position next spring. According to Margaret Moore, University public affairs specialist, he will “certainly” finish the semester at Georgetown.

Porterfield will replace former President John Fry, who resigned in March to become the president of Drexel University.

[Editor’s note: After the jump, we’ve re-published Porterfield’s greatest moment as a Georgetown administrator.]

Wing Wars 2010:

14 Comments on “Porterfield to leave Georgetown, named President of Franklin & Marshall College

  1. This is even sadder than Philly P’s shutting down. And that was pretty sad.

  2. Hopefully he’ll come back to take over for DeGioia sometime soon.

  3. This is really devastating. Hope Dr. Porterfield returns to the Hilltop someday.

  4. This is amazing news for Dr. Porterfield but it’s safe to say Georgetown is losing one of its few (if not only) good administrators :(

  5. This is a real loss for Gtown, but hopefully he can come back in 10 years and take on DeGioia’s role!

  6. @Omar,
    Do we really have to spend 10 more years with DeGioia?

    Of course, though, this whole thing makes me wonder: if Dr. P chose to leave, why would we assume that he’d choose to come back? And if/when he’d be ready to return, why assume Georgetown would want him?

  7. I’m confident he would come back if offered. You have to wonder what internal politics are like right now, though, if he is choosing to leave. If James O’Donnell is next in line…=/

  8. When DeGioia decides to leave its either bring back Porterfield or bring someone in from the outside.

  9. I am thrilled as a fellow alumni of Georgetown, a parent of a current Georgetown student class of 2011, and as a parent of a Franklin and Marshall student class of 2014 that Dr. Porterfield has decided to share his talents with the F&M community.

  10. Pingback: Vox Populi » Dr. Porterfield reaches out with Prison Outreach

  11. Pingback: Vox Populi » President DeGioia holds Q&A for campus media

  12. Pingback: Vox Populi » University releases finances, list of highest earners

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