F&M Stories

Generous Gift Furthers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts on Campus

Class of 2000 alum Andrew Roth's contribution will fund diversity, equity and inclusion programming on campus over the next five years.

Franklin & Marshall graduate Andrew Roth '00 has fond memories from his four years on campus. Time spent with Phi Kappa Tau fraternity brothers. Cheering on roommate Jerome Maiatico '00 and other close friends when the Diplomats basketball squad advanced to the Division III Final Four in 2000.

One memory, however, feels a bit absent.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programming, he recalls, was not the campuswide initiative found at F&M today. Events recognizing and supporting students of varying cultural backgrounds felt confined to a small handful of campus spaces.

"It was a separation that didn't have to exist," said Roth, head of data and martech strategy for Publicis Groupe, a French multinational advertising and public relations company.

Reflecting on a 20-year career in law and marketing, Roth realized the need for an understanding and support of underrepresented individuals.

A government major at F&M, Roth started his career in private equity first as an attorney, and then in business development and corporate strategy at Blackstone. Prior to Publicis Groupe, Roth served as executive vice president and head of innovation strategy and corporate development at IPG DXTRA.

He recalled a recent conversation with Gretchel Hathaway, F&M vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

"There was no overt racism that I saw on campus," he said. "But here's something I mentioned to Gretchel: I've learned a lot by speaking with a very good friend of mine, working with his minority-owned business. And I've realized, I don't know anything. There's a lot to learn. You have no idea what people are going through and the only way to begin to realize that is to educate."

Roth's contribution will do just that, funding DEI programs on campus over the next five years. This includes a first-year student orientation curriculum with diversity education, bias awareness, enhancing cultural intelligence, and training on how to host conversations around challenging issues as well as continuing IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) programs and training for all members of the campus community.

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