2021 Distinguished Service Award
Citation for Todd Franklin

For more than 20 years, you have changed the way Hamilton students look at the world. You’ve been the scholar, mentor, and role model they’ll never forget, and that’s especially true for our students of color. “I remember him most,” one of your former students said recently, “for leaving me deep in thought with a resolute desire to stay that way until ready for action. The marks he leaves on students are lifelong and sustain us through our challenges beyond Hamilton.”

As a respected philosopher, you demonstrate in myriad ways the relevance of your field and the value of engagement. Your work on the board of the Public Philosophy Network and in critical race theory come to mind, but you have many more accomplishments that distinguish you and enlighten our students and community.

“The motto immortalized on the Hamilton seal is ‘Know Thyself,’” you observed during a College discussion about systemic racism. “Part of knowing thyself, however, is knowing how you are situated. Now is the time to really make a concerted effort to know yourself in relation to race and the context of our nation’s racial situation.”

We marvel at your commitment to both high-level academic work and service to others. Here are some highlights: membership on the diversity, equity, and inclusion Advisory Council; the HEOP summer faculty; the Africana Studies Program Committee; the Mellon Project; the Committee on Academic Policy; and the Opportunity Programs Advisory Committee. 

You’ve served as the Philosophy Department chair; mentor for Hamilton Posse #4; faculty advisor to the Black and Latinx Student Union, Brothers Organization, and Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee; and founding member of the ALANA Caucus. We could list many more contributions.

As members of MARC put it: You give of your time, brain, and heart, without restraint, and a generation of Hamiltonians is grateful for your role in their coming of age. For that and for your continuous betterment of our College, we are honored to present you with the Distinguished Service Award.

Presented by Josie Collier ’97
President, Alumni Association
October 8, 2021

Photo: Josie Collier ’97, Todd Franklin, and Jazmin Gatto de Torres ’01


Office / Department Name

Alumni & Parent Relations

Contact Name

Jacke Jones

Director, Alumni & Parent Relations

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