Fashionable F&M

Posted: 23 May 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Franklin and Marshall has gone global. It has now opened an outpost in Dubai.

That I know of, Franklin and Marshall College of Lancaster, PA, established in 1787, has not expanded to the United Arab Emirates, although the Franklin and Marshall fashion chain, established in 1999, certainly has.

Here’s the background story [ht: ja] of how Franklin and Marshall has become the epitome of casual chic in Europe and elsewhere in the world, which actually has nothing to do with the college. “Except it actually does. Sort of.”

I have lots of connections to the “real” Franklin and Marshall. I’ve given talks there and plenty of my friends (including former students) either work there now or have passed through there on the way to other jobs. But I can’t say I’ve ever really thought of it in terms of “ivy-covered dorms, corduroy-jacketed professors smoking pipes and football games on chilly autumn afternoons.”

The irony, of course, is that while higher education in the United States is moving in the direction of the new corporate university—based on rising tuition, exploding student debt, and increased enrollments—Franklin and Marshall fashion conjures up something quite different, the “timeless essence of ‘university style,’ or ‘varsity fashion’.”

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