Citation Robert M. Franklin Jr.
Presented by Professor of Religious Studies Marcus C. Bruce ’77
President Hansen, I am honored to present Robert M. Franklin Jr.
Morality, action, and knowledge attain a stirring harmony in the person of author and educator Robert Franklin, the tenth president of Morehouse College.
Morehouse and Bates are friends partly because we share the legacy of Benjamin E. Mays, a member of the Bates Class of 1920, a father of the civil rights movement, and a longtime president of Morehouse. Mays’ accomplishments set a high standard that Dr. Franklin easily meets. A scholar in the fields of social justice, psychology, and the African American church, Dr. Franklin returned to Morehouse, his alma mater, with a new vision of that proverbial figure, the Morehouse Man.
In that vision, the Morehouse Man is a renaissance man, fluent in the texts and ideas of the global canon. The Morehouse Man recognizes society’s investment in him, and seeks to pay it back with interest. Most of all, the Morehouse Man is no mere student of justice, peace, community, and service. Rather, he preaches those values and he practices them.
Here then is Robert Franklin, a leader guiding the nation’s foremost liberal arts college for men. Here is a scholar whose intellectual achievements encompass the study of seven languages. Here is an author whose self-stated mission is nothing less than the restoration of hope within African American communities. Here, then, is a Morehouse Man: I present Dr. Robert Franklin for the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Robert M. Franklin Jr. your presence as a thinker, a leader, and an educator will resonate twice in this world: once through your accomplishments in our time, and once again through the deeds of the many people you inspire. Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities which here and everywhere pertain to this degree.