Freshmen are required to participate in community service projects, children are learning to read before going to school, and Franklin residents are encouraged to get healthier through a community wellness program.
Franklin College President James “Jay” Moseley helped launch all of those programs in Franklin since taking over leadership of the college in 2002.
That’s on top of work to manage education programs that effectively prepare students for their careers, expansions that nearly doubled the size of the campus and continued success in attracting new students and raising money for the college, college trustees and local officials said.
The impact left by Moseley and his wife, Candace, extends well beyond the borders of the campus.
“Everybody recognized that Jay had been one of the best presidents we’ve had,” board of trustees chairwoman Christine Fields said. “And they greatly value his leadership, and they’re saddened by his departure but understand it in the timing of his life. We’re looking forward to having one more year.”
Franklin College focuses on connecting students with each other, teachers and people in the community, and that’s been extensively pushed by Moseley, board of trustees member Steve Huddleston said.
New students are required to go out into the city and take part in community service projects, Huddleston said. That not only helps improve Franklin but gives the students an immediate connection to the city where they’ll live and learn for four years, he said.
“You’re coming to Franklin and you’re coming to the city and Johnson County, and the community needed to know about you. That new program he put into place has been fantastic to integrate into Franklin College,” Huddleston said.
The Moseleys also have made sure to get involved in the community, working with local nonprofit organizations and programs that helped better the community. Jay Moseley has served on the board of directors for an Indianapolis National Public Radio station and the Economic Club of Indiana. Candace Moseley has served on boards for the Franklin United Methodist Community, Leadership Johnson County and Franklin Symphonic Council.
They participate for the same reasons they try to encourage students to.
“That’s where the most powerful learning experiences take place, where you’re using what you’ve learned to make an improvement in someone’s life,” Jay Moseley said.
Jay Moseley started a monthly meeting with Franklin’s mayor, Johnson Memorial Hospital chief executive officer Larry Heydon and Franklin Schools Superintendent David Clendening, where all would discuss ideas to make Franklin better. The meetings started as a simple way those four major Franklin organizations could work together to brainstorm ideas to improve the city as a whole, he said.
They spawned new programs, such as Get Healthy Franklin, which encourages a healthier lifestyle for people in the city. Franklin Reads was started to promote literacy before children go to kindergarten, and programs were set up to have younger students visit Franklin College to learn about higher education.
Those types of programs allowed the college to reach out and better the community and might never have happened without the cooperation among all the groups, Clendening said.
Encouraging education before college would lead to more local people considering Franklin College, and having a strong college would bring more students to the city who might choose to stay in Johnson County after graduation, Jay Moseley said.
“He was very intuitive to see that if (children) want to go to college, they have to have a solid foundation to start,” Clendening said.