College Receives Gift Supporting Psychology Students and Department
Campus News

Franklin College Trustee Jim Napolitan (HD ’12), Ph.D., and his spouse, Sandy (Mock) ’60, Ph.D., have established an endowed departmental fund for psychology. The Napolitan-Mock Endowed Fund in Psychology will help recognize and reward the student or team of students presenting the top undergraduate research project each year, and provide additional departmental funding to help sustain and expand the undergraduate research program well into the future. 

“With this fund, we acknowledge the outstanding faculty work which undergirds student research in the psychology department,” Jim said. “Further, one of our hopes in establishing this fund is that others will be encouraged to adopt a department and consider ways in which to support the academic enterprise.”

The Napolitans’ passion for psychology stems from their own professional backgrounds. Jim has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of Illinois Chicago, both in psychology. Sandy has a doctorate in social service administration from the University of Chicago. It is important to the couple to help advance the psychology field by supporting research and discovery, and particularly by encouraging upcoming student researchers to lead the way.

Notably, the Napolitans are longtime generous Franklin College supporters. They are, in part, inspired by a legacy begun by Sandy’s grandfather, James Frank Mock 1895. Sixteen family members have since attended the College, and four relatives/extended family members have served on the board of trustees.

“The leadership and generous support provided by Jim and Sandy over several decades have had a significant impact on our students and the campus,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather. “Once again, the Napolitans have led with vision in their philanthropy. We are very grateful for their commitment to ensure a bright future for Franklin College and a transformative experience for our students.”                                                                

Jim and Sandy’s philanthropy includes gifting the College with the Napolitan Alumni House, and making a significant contribution toward the Napolitan Student Center construction. Additionally, they funded multiple rooms in the Johnson Center for Fine Arts, and supported the Von Boll Welcome Center construction, Richardson Chapel renovation and Branigin Athletic Field development. They also created maintenance endowments to help ensure the Napolitan Alumni House and the Science Center endure for generations to come. Beyond their endowed psychology fund, the Napolitans fund two endowed scholarships, one for students majoring in education and the other in mathematics. Further, the couple have graciously hosted several alumni social events over the years.

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

POSTED Apr 5, 2022