Franklin College has named Thomas Minar the school's 16th president. Minar has served as vice president of development and alumni relations at American University in Washington D.C. He will succeed Jay Moseley, who has served in the role since 2002 and will retire in June.

January 23, 2015

News Release

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Thomas Jackson Minar, Ph.D., vice president of development and alumni relations for American University, will become the 16th president of Franklin College, effective July 1, 2015.

“We are thrilled to have a visionary leader of Dr. Minar’s caliber joining Franklin College,” said board of trustees chair and 1974 alumna Christi Fields. “His keen understanding of liberal arts institutions, long history of successes as a strategist and strong commitment to internal and external collaboration will be immediate assets for the college. We are confident that Dr. Minar is well prepared to lead Franklin College with foresight and finesse into the complex future facing all of higher education.”

Minar indicated it is a privilege to be joining a liberal arts college with a legacy of academic excellence and student success, and he looks forward to leading a college that is driven by its mission and values.

“The opportunity to serve this exceptional institution inspires me, and I am tremendously honored to be selected Franklin College’s next president,” said Minar. “No task could be more exciting than leading a liberal arts institution with a rich history of helping students develop and mature into well-rounded, enlightened, successful individuals.”

“I deeply respect Franklin’s traditional educational values, and I am eager to build on its momentum in the areas of enrollment, alumni engagement and engaged learning. I especially look forward to forging relationships in the Franklin College community and across the region as we share the good news of our institution.”

Minar has served American University as vice president of development and alumni relations since 2008. During his tenure, he was involved in strategic planning, alumni engagement, fund development, student recruitment and faculty collaboration. His work led to the successful closure of the ANewAU campaign which achieved $214 million, and gifts and pledges nearly doubled in his first five years at the institution. New programs for alumni engagement increased participation in alumni programs fivefold and created the new, 600-volunteer Alumni Admissions Volunteer Program, which last year engaged more than 5,000 prospective undergraduate students.

American University President Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin said, “The trustees of Franklin College have demonstrated excellent judgment and a strong vision for their institution by selecting Tom Minar as their president.”

Kerwin added, “Tom has been a transformative leader for American University, building the infrastructure and professionalizing our alumni and development operations across the institution to improve dramatically alumni engagement and philanthropy. Tom has also emerged a leader in American higher education, most notably through his work with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. I am very sorry to lose this exceptional colleague and good friend but happy that Tom is moving to a position that will benefit greatly from his commitment and talent.”

Minar has nearly 30 years of leadership experience in institutional fundraising, alumni relations, external affairs and higher education administration. He was previously vice president for institutional advancement at Roosevelt University, in Chicago, vice president for development and external affairs at Chicago Theological Seminary, director of development for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and associate dean for external affairs and chief development officer for the University of Illinois College of Commerce and Business Administration. Early in his career he taught political science and management strategy at Northwestern University.

Minar’s professional background includes a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University, master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, where he is a past president of the alumni association. He is a native of the Chicago area and is married to Dr. Frank S. Becker, an academic physician at Northwestern University and director of pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Minar was selected Franklin College President following a four-month search by a 12-member Presidential Search Committee, including alumni, staff administrators, trustees and faculty members. The committee worked with Witt/Kieffer, a search firm based in Oak Brook, Ill.

“The committee followed a meticulous and deliberate process, under the guidance of Witt/Kieffer, to include all voices — students, faculty, staff and alumni — in identifying criteria for the next great leader of Franklin College,” explained Franklin College Trustee, 1982 alumnus and Presidential Search Committee Chair James V. Due.

“The collective efforts of our college constituents and the firm to make the best choice for Franklin College resulted in hiring Dr. Minar. His breadth and depth of experience as well as his engaging personality make him the right fit for Franklin College at this promising point in its history,” Due added.

Committee Vice Chair Susan Williams, a Franklin College Trustee and 1967 alumna, said, “In recent years, Franklin College, through its innovative engaged-learning programs such as The Statehouse File, higher than national average medical school acceptance rate and strong Division III athletics programs, has significantly elevated its profile. Strategic community partnerships were important to those inroads and will continue to play a tremendous role in helping the college grow its reputation and value.”

She added, “We anticipate Dr. Minar will be very well received by our current and prospective partners, and that he will advance the current momentum to take Franklin College to even greater levels of visibility in Central Indiana and beyond.”

In May 2014, current Franklin College President James G. “Jay” Moseley, Ph.D., announced his plans to retire in June 2015. He has served as the college’s president since 2002.

“I commend the Franklin College trustees for their selection. Dr. Minar’s career experiences have prepared him well for the challenges of the college presidency. Franklin College students will benefit tremendously from the partnerships and opportunities that, undoubtedly, will emerge during Dr. Minar’s tenure,” said Moseley.

Franklin College alumni, community partners and friends will have a chance to become better acquainted with Minar at a variety of planned activities to be announced at a later date and through additional information in future college publications.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis, spanning 207 acres, including athletic fields and a 31-acre biology woodland. The college prepares students to think independently, to lead responsibly and to serve with integrity in their professions, their communities and the world. The college offers its approximately 1,000 students bachelor of arts degrees in 55 majors from 25 academic disciplines, 41 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and four cooperative programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit

Source: Franklin College

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