Commencement Speaker: Robert Michael Franklin, Jr.

Robert Michael Franklin, Jr.

Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr., is the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University (Atlanta) and director of the Religion Department of the Chautauqua Institution.

He has served as Senior Advisor for Community and Diversity, Emory University and was a Visiting Scholar in Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. He is president emeritus of Morehouse College where he served as the tenth president from 2007 through 2012.

Franklin was the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University, and has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. He was also program officer in Human Rights and Social Justice at the Ford Foundation and an adviser to the foundation’s president on future funding for religion and public life initiatives. In addition, Franklin was invited by American film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg to prepare an online study guide for the congregational use of The Prince of Egypt, a DreamWorks film. He also served as an advisor to the History Channel’s presentation, “The Bible.”

He has a degree in political science and religion from Morehouse and holds ordination in two Christian denominations: The American Baptist Churches USA and the Church of God in Christ. He earned the master of divinity degree Christian social ethics and pastoral care at the Harvard Divinity School, where he also served as assistant director of Ministry Education. Franklin continued his education at the University of Chicago, earning a doctorate in ethics and society, and religion and the social sciences. He also attended the University of Durham, U.K., as an English Speaking Union Scholar. He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from Bethune Cookman University, Bates College and Swarthmore College.

Franklin provides commentary for the National Public Radio (NPR) program, “All Things Considered,” and weekly commentary for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Television. He is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities, Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought. He co-authored (Don S. Browning, et. al.) a volume titled, From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate and penned the foreword to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, reprinted by Trinity Forum in 2012. 

Honorary Degree Recipient: TBA

More information coming soon!