With its roots in the German Reformed denomination of Protestantism, Franklin & Marshall College has the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning in America founded (in 1787) for the purpose of educating students of German ethnic background. Liberalizing the Mind is a comprehensive narrative history of Franklin & Marshall College's transformation from that tiny classical college for German American students into one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts institutions. It combines analysis of historical context and institutional development with richly detailed accounts of dramatic periods such as the Civil War and the rebellious 1960s.
Sally F. Griffith is an independent scholar. Among her previous publications are Home Town News: William Allen White and the Emporia Gazette (1989), an edition of The Autobiography of William Allen White (1990), and Serving History in a Changing World: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in the Twentieth Century (2002).