Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND TO HONOR QUEENS COLLEGE PROFESSOR
FRANK S. FRANKLIN, ALONG WITH FORMER PRESIDENTS BUSH AND CLINTON
-- Director of College’s SEEK Program To Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award March 9--
FLUSHING, NY, March 1, 2007—Professor Frank S. Franklin will be honored by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), along with former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton, at the organization’s 63rd anniversary dinner on March 9. Franklin will receive UNCF’s Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council (IAC)’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his fund-raising service and active participation. The IAC is an arm of UNCF.
The former U.S. presidents will receive the Frederick D. Patterson Award, UNCF’s highest honor, for their fundraising efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Presidents Bush and Clinton raised approximately $8 million for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.
Since 2001, Franklin has served as assistant to the provost/director of the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program at Queens College. Established by the New York State Legislature in 1966 for the City University of New York (CUNY), SEEK offers a unique educational opportunity for motivated but economically and academically disadvantaged students. By providing financial support, academic instruction, tutorial assistance and counseling services, SEEK helps its participants achieve academic success.
“Frank Franklin has served Queens College and the City University for over 35 years, but nothing he has done has been as important or as impressive as his work for the SEEK program,” says Queens College President James Muyskens. “With Frank at the helm, we have been able to offer the life-changing opportunity of a high-quality college education to so many deserving men and women. The fact that we are now graduating more students from the SEEK program than 15 or even 10 years ago is testimony to Frank’s leadership and the dedication of his staff.”
“As I often tell my children and grand-children,” says Franklin, “little did I realize when I was growing up in Onslow County, North Carolina that I would ever go to college, let alone devote my career to helping other youngsters get their degrees.” Franklin goes on to quote an unknown poet whose words, he says, sum up his philosophy and why the award means so much to him:
“A hundred years from now
It will not matter
What my bank account was,
The sort of house I lived in,
But, the world may be different
Because I was important
In the life of a child”
The first of six children born to Enoch and Rosetta Franklin of Richlands, North Carolina, Franklin was raised by his grandparents, Indiana and Jobie Dove, and at one time worked as a sharecropper. In 1964 when he first set foot on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, he had all his belongings in one trunk, $22 in his pocket and a chance to play football. According to Franklin, he owes a lot to his alma mater, where he made lifelong friends, received a top-notch education and met his future wife.
Franklin has devoted his entire professional life to New York City youth. He began his career with the Urban Teacher Corp at New York University and went on to work as a counselor and social worker at the Brooklyn Home for Children. During his three decades at Queens College, he has served as Financial Aid Counselor, SEEK Budget Officer and Financial Aid Coordinator and Assistant to the Vice President of Graduate Studies. Franklin also served for one year as the Acting Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Central Office of CUNY.
Franklin has played an active role in the community as board member and chairman of Dorie Miller Housing Co., Inc., a residential co-op in Corona, Queens, where he lives with his wife, Dorothy. He is a former Little League baseball and football coach, Cub Scout master, past president of the Johnson C. Smith University Alumni Club of New York, Inc., and member-at-large of its National Alumni Association. He is currently the Acting Director of Johnson C. Smith University Region I Alumni Association and Treasurer of the New York Inter-Alumni Council/United Negro College Fund.
Franklin holds a BA in Economics from Johnson C. Smith University (a UNCF member institution) and MS in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College, CUNY.
In addition to honoring Franklin, Bush, and Clinton, UNCF will present its President’s Award to Carl Ware, a retired executive vice president of the Coca-Cola Company, and his wife, Mary, for their dedication to minority higher education and support of their alma mater, UNCF member institution Clark Atlanta University.
About the United Negro College Fund
The mission of the United Negro College Fund, the nation’s oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization, is to provide financial support to its 39 member institutions and to increase minority degree attainment by reducing financial barriers to college. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities award 25 percent of all BA degrees to African-Americans. UNCF administers more than 300 programs, including scholarships, internships and fellowships, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development. Today, UNCF supports more than 65,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country.
About Queens College
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and a variety of specialized honors programs. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. In fact, it is consistently included in the annual guidebook, The Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges. Queens College’s nearly 17,000 students come from more than 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.