The athletic program at Franklin & Marshall promotes liberal learning in the fullest sense by complementing the academic mission of the College. This objective is accomplished through a variety of programs: intercollegiate, intramural and club sport competition as well as recreation and wellness activities.
Through our participation in athletics, we grow in respect for others as we develop responsibility, integrity, perseverance, industry and the ideals of sportsmanship. These activities inspire participants to reach for standards of excellence and to develop character through both individual and collaborative action. At the same time, responsibility to the community and the academic program requires that all participants adhere to the highest standards of personal and civic behavior.
To accomplish this mission, the Department bases its program on
the following principles:
A. Valuing Athletics - Athletics has a central, intrinsic role in liberal education. Athletics help us discover what kind of people we are and help us become the type of person we choose to be. Our participation in athletics develops leadership skills. By playing by the rules, we acquire integrity. Summoning up the courage to publicly display our strengths and weaknesses and accept the consequences is an invaluable life lesson, as is learning to work with others, including those whom we may not like, to achieve a common goal.
B. Ensuring Departmental Integration and Staff Recognition - In order to ensure educational and athletic integration, the athletics program must be closely aligned with the educational values and mission of the College, athletics competition must reflect the appropriate place of athletics in an educational setting and the program must fully complement academic and campus life. In addition, the close relationships on college campuses between student-athletes and coaches create immense personal and teaching opportunities which necessitates that we provide our coaches with the resources, recognition and leadership to realize and educational environment of the highest order.
C. Pursuing Academic Representativeness and Student-Athlete Recognition- Student-athletes should be representative of the overall student body in terms of academic expectations and outcomes and should have the opportunity to participate fully in the life of the College. In turn, the College needs to celebrate our students' personal, academic and athletics achievements as products of their profound commitments of time and effort. If we fail to recognize the accomplishments of our student-athletes, we deny them the opportunity to grow and develop.
D. Instilling Community Values - Athletics, in its proper context, can generate within a college community a sense of a common enterprise to which people can be committed. Additionally, the opportunity to create, support and maintain an experience of diversity and equity demands an unwavering responsibility of the Department of Athletics and Recreation to make its program accessible to the entire student body and must be united with its obligation to reach out to the campus and Lancaster community.
E. Promoting Recreation - Our participation in recreation is intended to promote a healthy lifestyle, relieve stress and encourage positive social interaction. Recreational classes are offered to improve individual health and fitness, promote wellness, and teach positive lifetime activity skills in a supportive group environment. Intramural activities provide a spirit of sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation, and personal responsibility. Club sport participation requires strong personal commitment, provides leadership opportunities and creates a sense of camaraderie.
Franklin & Marshall College is a member of the Centennial Conference (CC). The CC evolved from the Centennial Football Conference, which was formed in 1981 and began play in 1983 as a football-only affiliation, including Franklin & Marshall, Dickinson, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore and Ursinus.
In 1993, the eight institutions joined with Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Washington (Md.) as charter members of the CC, which expanded to sponsor championships for men and women in 23 varsity sports. Franklin & Marshall graduate Steven Ulrich '82 is serving as the first executive director of the CC, which is headquartered in Lancaster.