College Receives Grant to Collect Oral Histories
Campus News

Franklin College announced it has received a $4,000 grant from Indiana Campus Compact to lead a team of Franklin College students in collecting oral histories from prominent Franklin College community members.

Through the grant program called High Impact Community Engagement Practices, Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Ph.D., associate professor of history and the Honorable Roger D. Branigin Chair in History, and David Pfeiffer, director of the Johnson County Museum of History, will lead the students on the project collecting and preserving local oral histories ahead of the city of Franklin’s bicentennial in 2023.

Students will research college history, interview community members and present and preserve their findings. Through their interviews, students will capture multiple unique perspectives of history from an array of long-serving college community members including trustees, past administrators, emeriti faculty and distinguished alumni. Their work will be cataloged and preserved at the Johnson County Museum of History and in the Franklin College Archives.

“This project provides valuable opportunities for our history students to apply academic concepts and methodological approaches to meaningful, community-facing projects,” said Clark-Wiltz. “Through this experience, students will advance their academic understanding and digital fluency, while reflecting on their professional development and civic engagement.”

The inspiration for the project stems from the approaching bicentennial anniversaries of Johnson County and the city of Franklin in 2023, and is part of a larger county-wide initiative to preserve significant historical records in the interest of the community.

“Franklin College is grateful for the leadership and expertise of Dr. Clark-Wiltz and we are excited to offer this opportunity to our students,” said Kristin Flora, Ph.D, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “Participating in his course will assist students in their own professional development, empowering them to plan for their future as scholars, professionals and citizens. It has been designed to ensure that the objectives of the project advance student learning, while also serving the community at large. It is a win-win for all involved.”

Franklin College is adding $1,000 in matching funds to the $4,000 grant from Indiana Campus Compact.  The contribution is being funded by the Governor Roger D. Branigin Endowment Fund, established in 1984 in memory of the 1923 Franklin College alumnus and forty-second governor of the State of Indiana. The contribution highlights the college’s commitment to leveraging its resources to benefit the community.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Indiana Campus Compact is a partnership of Indiana’s public, private, and community college higher education institutions focused on advocating, implementing, and improving service engagement, so that students graduate as well-informed, engaged and productive members of society, who are fully enabled to provide leadership and service that advances the public good in their communities. For more information, please visit

POSTED Dec 7, 2021