A family affair: How Franklin College became home for one family

Photo by Erica Irish.

The Beasley family is no stranger to Franklin College.

Having sent four boys through the college under the watch of their father, a computer science professor, and now their mother, a leadership and mathematics professor, the Beasleys’ roots run deep with the college community.

Robert Beasley has called Franklin College’s computer science department home for the past 20 years. Before teaching at Franklin, Robert Beasley worked at a university in Kentucky. He later realized that the environment was not the best fit for his wife and growing family.

“Somebody told me life’s too short to be somewhere that your wife doesn’t want to be,” Robert Beasley said. “So I put out job applications, and I was offered a job here the same week I was offered a job at the University of Indianapolis.”

The choice came down to the atmosphere. Robert Beasley described the small community of Franklin, just on the outskirt of Indianapolis, as “attractive” to his young family.

His wife, Elizabeth Beasley, has taught at Franklin College three separate times. While she now teaches leadership courses in the Johnson Center for Fine Arts, she formerly led mathematics courses.

After attaining her master’s degree in educational mathematics, Elizabeth Beasley—with no job commitments standing in her way—resolved to homeschool her four children.

“I was known to say I would never homeschool,” she admitted. “Both my husband and I are educators, and we loved school growing up.”

Photo by Erica Irish.

Despite this, and Robert Beasley’s initial discomfort, each parent recognized the benefits of a homeschool education, namely personal independence and academic mastery of topics. However, both also appreciated learning concurrently with their children.

“I loved my class of four,” Elizabeth Beasley said.

Years later, this class of four followed their teachers to Franklin College. Three trailed in the steps of their father, studying computer science. Before Nathan, 21 and Elijah, 19, arrived at Franklin, their brother Zach, 24, was also a student in the program. He now attends graduate school at the University of South Florida.

The fourth sibling, Isaac, 23, opted for a major in organizational leadership. He now serves as a United States Army officer in Fort Irwin, California.

Sophomore Elijah Beasley, the youngest Beasley brother, said he was drawn to the familiarity of life on campus.

“People already knew me,” he said. “It was nice to not start from zero.”

In fact, Elijah Beasley has been actively involved on campus since high school when he took Running Start classes offered to high school students.

Unlike his brother, senior Nathan Beasley admitted that he considered alternatives to Franklin College.

“I came here to play soccer,” Nathan Beasley said. “But I also was interested in other schools. Just like any other senior or junior, I got a lot of mail from other schools.”

The deal-breaker came in the form of application fees and a lack of interest.

“But I think, to some degree, I was meant to be here,” he said. “With Intervarsity in particular, I’ve grown a lot through the people I’ve met just through being here. It’s incredibly shaped me as a person.”

As a born-again reader, Nathan Beasley also identifies with one of the college’s core values—the pursuit of lifelong learning. Until his junior year, he lacked interest in reading for leisure and personal growth. Now, he reads dozens of books, primarily those detailing religious topics.

Unlike the majority of students, each Beasley brother shares personal memories of a childhood spent on and near the college’s campus. Nathan Beasley, for example, recalled playing in a band, 4th Normal Form, a reference to their shared passion for computing, with his father and brothers.

The family also values learning through experience, primarily through their several journeys to Taiwan for mission work.

As each Beasley grows older, the concept of family, and a nurturing of their relationships, plays a more dominant role.

“Especially now that my oldest brother is in Florida, and my second oldest is in California, I realize that, as I get older, my brothers are really good friends,” Nathan Beasley said.

“It’s all very natural and organic,” Robert Beasley said. “I have a great relationship with my sons.”

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About Erica Irish 17 Articles

Erica Irish is a reporter and photographer for The Franklin. She is a double-major in Multimedia Journalism and Public Relations and plans to minor in Political Science. As a lifelong writer and observer of the world, Erica spends most of her days wandering local cities while taking photos and listening to the stories of those around her. A coffee connoisseur and vegetarian, Erica balances a lack of physical activity with a healthy love of needless food-based aesthetics and competitive library scouting.

This is Erica’s first year on The Franklin staff.

3 Comments on A family affair: How Franklin College became home for one family

  1. Excellent american family. You and Judy did a good job. We still have the CD of your son and grandsons. We met them when they were playing at the 150th in Tuscola.

  2. Not too “baggy” at all, Bob. Your son and his wife have raised a remarkable family of young men. I feel how proud of them you are.

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