Franklin College Board of Trustees Elects New Chair and Members
Campus News

The Franklin College Board of Trustees recently elected a new chair, Pete Cangany, and welcomed three new members, Yolanda Askew, Amber Elwood and Yolanda White. The four trustees are alumni of the college.

Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather said, “The perspectives these alumni bring from their personal college experiences, professional expertise and leadership roles are tremendous assets for guiding policy at Franklin College. We are extremely proud and grateful to have them so actively engaged with their alma mater as we all work to ensure a bright and prosperous future for the institution and our students.”

Chair Cangany holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Franklin College and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University – Mays Business School. He is retired from EY (Ernst & Young), where he successfully built a nearly 40-year career focused on working with diversified financial services organizations. Cangany has served on the Franklin Board of Trustees since 2008, previously helping guide the finance, physical facilities and audit committees.

Cangany said, “It’s truly an honor to be elected as chair by my fellow trustees. These are interesting times for higher education, particularly for small, private institutions like Franklin College; however, collectively as trustees in support of the administration, faculty and staff, I believe we can make a difference in the personal lives and careers of our current and future students. Franklin College opened the doors to the unimaginable for me, and it’s now my turn to pay it forward.”

Over the years, he and spouse Ann have provided generous philanthropic support for a variety of Franklin College initiatives, including student scholarships. They are funders of the Cangany Family Scholarship as well as the endowed Pete and Ann Cangany Leadership Award. College campaigns for the sciences and athletics also have benefited from their generosity. The Canganys currently reside in Bellevue, Washington, and are the parents of three married children and grandparents of two children.

Trustee Askew holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College and a Master of Science in city and regional planning from the Pratt Institute. She is employed as the director of sales fulfillment and special projects at NBCUniversal, where she is part of the sales and marketing team at WNBC. She also helps drive corporate philanthropy and community initiatives. Her committee leadership and program advisory roles include vetting community organizations for grant funding as well as helping manage employee resource programs to grow, develop and retain the Black talent population within the corporation. Further, she is co-founder of NBCUniversal’s Young Professional Academy, which pairs employee-mentors with young men of color who attend public boys’ high schools serving the boroughs of New York City and Newark, New Jersey.

Franklin College presented Askew with a Distinguished Alumni Award in October 2021 in recognition of her professional achievements and community impact.

Askew said, “I am proud to be a Franklin College graduate because (there) I found a space and place to find my voice. I learned how to advocate not only for myself but for others and most importantly it helped lay the foundation for me to able to confidently walk into places no matter who is at the table and take a seat, shine bright and never be intimidated about bringing my full authentic self.”

She currently is working with Franklin College leaders on a new initiative to involve alumni in helping students prepare for and access internship opportunities. Askew resides in Jamaica, New York.

Trustee Elwood holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Franklin College and a master’s degree in education from Olivet University. She is in her 23rd year as a teacher employed with the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. in Columbus, Indiana.

She indicated Franklin College was integral to her personal and professional development. “Having been a first-generation graduate and a small-town country girl, Franklin opened the doors to many academic and social opportunities. Through academics and internships, I was prepared to be a highly effective teacher.”

Elwood and spouse John are generous longtime supporters of the Franklin Fund and sponsors of the #GRIZTuesday annual campaigns supporting Franklin College athletics. The Elwoods have three children and reside in Columbus.

Trustee White holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College. She is employed as the corporate communications team lead for American Honda Motor Co. in Greensburg, Indiana. She oversees internal and external communications at Honda’s Indiana Auto Plant. 

Prior to joining Honda, White served as a senior account executive and the diversity manager for a public relations agency. There, her professional contributions included co-creating an internship boot camp targeting students of color. The program won an industry-diversity award, the first for the PR agency. As a Franklin College student, White also was involved in diversity initiatives, including co-founding the Student Association for the Support of Minorities (SASOM). Diversity and equality continue to be among her personal and professional priorities.

“I’ve benefited from an outstanding education that focused on real-world learning and work experiences through internships. I’m grateful to now be able to serve as a trustee, and to give back to an institution that means so much to me.”   

White and spouse James have one adult son and a teenage son, and reside in Indianapolis.

POSTED Jan 24, 2022