The Black History Month Convocation at Sterling College has featured many examples of present-day leaders, and Dr. Bernard Franklin is no exception. Franklin is the president at Junior Achievement of Middle America, special assistant to the vice president for student life at Kansas State University, and president and chief imagineering associate at the Center for Imagineering Leadership. He will give a speech titled, “Are You Being Transformed?” at Sterling College at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, in the newly renovated Culbertson Auditorium. The public is invited to attend this free event.
Franklin’s leadership skills were recognized early in adulthood when he became the first black student elected president of the Student Government Association at Kansas State University. He was the youngest person ever appointed to the Kansas State Board of Regents and the youngest chair of the board at age 28. He was a Fellow for the Study of the United States Presidency and served on an advisory commission to President Carter’s administration with Martin Luther King III and other prominent African Americans. In 1989, he continued his education at the University of South Alabama, receiving his master’s in counseling and behavioral studies, then returned to KSU in 1996 to earn a Ph.D. in Counseling and Higher Education Administration with an outside emphasis in family studies.
Franklin served as the vice president and urban director of the National Center for Fathering from 1996-99. He was the executive director of Kauffman Scholars, a member of the National Football League Kansas City Chiefs professional counseling team, co-chair for the mayor of Kansas City’s task force on race and the Latin American community, and currently serves on councils, committees and boards for the Partnership for Children; the Federal Reserve Bank, Midwest Region; Truman Medical Center; and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
His awards include the Vision Award from Morehouse College Research Institute for his “pioneering work in the area of educating men on the importance of fatherhood.” In 1998 and 2009, Franklin was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City and his work and contributions to urban boys was recognized in the opening chapter of Bill Cosby’s book, “Come On, People.” Franklin is also a past recipient of the Urban Hero award presented by the Downtown Kansas City Council.
Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kan., with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit www.sterling.edu.