Franklin & Marshall College Weekend


Franklin and Marshall College


October 26 – 28, 2018



  • Merge the college’s annual Homecoming and Family Weekend with the largest capital campaign in F&M history
  • Inaugurate the 16th President
  • Host a Gala for VIP donors
  • Transform the Alumni Sports Fitness Center into an elegant venue
  • Coordinate several campus and community campaign celebrations over the course of the weekend

Create interactive and engaging events that inspire fundraising, excitement, and momentum.  Coordinate a VIP Gala, Presidential Inauguration and Community Picnic in a gymnasium that required five configurations in the same space within a 24-hour timeframe.

Transform the Alumni Sports Fitness Center (ASFC) into an Elegant Venue

A modern and elegant setting was designed by using a variety of dramatic elements to transform the ASFC for 500 guests.  One mile of drapery was installed, covering cement block walls and hiding a running track from view.  Ceiling draping hid basketball hoops and also lowered the ceiling to create a more intimate feel. One thousand feet of metal trussing was constructed to facilitate dramatic theatrical lighting to highlight the evening’s events. A complex and sophisticated lighting design provided movement and direction to the evening. The design included ceiling lighting, textured accent lighting on drapery, perimeter uplighting and wireless LEDs under tables to transform the visual space. To further transform the room and add softness, the Shumaker team installed carpeting throughout the entire AFSC.

VIP Gala for Major Donors

Using drapery, the AFSC was divided into more intimate and visually pleasing rooms. Guests entered into one section of the room for the cocktail hour. The cocktail hour design featured low lighting and soft music to facilitate mingling. Following the cocktail hour, the drapery positioned in the middle of the room was pulled aside with a flourish to reveal the program area.

During the presentation time, the Shumaker team transformed the cocktail area into a vibrant supper club for the guests’ return. Large campaign themed banners kabuki dropped from the ceiling for drama and branding. The lighting design was brighter with wall scrapes for visual texture and interest. Colorful lighting tubes created a sculptural feel and under-table lighting added color and drama.

Presidential Inauguration

Shumaker created a custom-built thrusted pentagonal stage and secondary stages for the inauguration of the college’s 16th president. The team also provided the audio and lighting for a 70-piece orchestra, a 30 piece African drumming ensemble, a choir, and all speakers. Video projection and screens, as well as cameras for IMAG and recording of the event, were coordinated and provided by Shumaker. Stage lighting and decor elements enhanced the presentations.

Production Management for Multiple Events

Shumaker delivered production services for more than five separate events over the course of one weekend. More than 2,500 alumni, family, and friends attended the events of Homecoming and Family weekend. Through strategic planning by our production team, concurrent events were held by dividing the ASFC venue into separate sections. The campaign launch gala celebration included sections for dinner and a program. The following day the presentation space was transformed into the presidential inauguration site that included seating for 750 people an orchestra and a choir.  Following the inauguration, a community picnic event was held for all in attendance. All these events took place in one venue over the course of 24 hours. Shumaker also coordinated an outdoor tented event for the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony for 150 guests during the same weekend. During this rainy weekend, event locations and decisions were in constant flux necessitating quick changes and constant client communication.

We have worked with Shumaker for several years on a variety of events. Rod and the team are not vendors, they are partners. From design, logistics to implementation, Shumaker knows how to create, deliver and handle challenges of making a vision and handling those last minute requests…which always seem to happen.

Donna Pflum

Director of Alumni and Volunteer Engagement

Experience The Shumaker Difference Firsthand

When you are ready to transform your vision into a reality, Shumaker will create a world-class event for you. 

Ready to make some magic?