Franklin College receives $1.8 million real estate gift

Franklin College announced it has received a $1.8 million gift of real estate from Southpoint Farm, LLC. The approximately 29-acre property is located on Forest Road in Franklin, not far from campus.

The land will be a biological field station used for botany and field ecology studies and research by college students and faculty. It also will support growth of academic programs in natural sciences and environmental studies.

This is the second parcel of land gifted to the college from Southpoint Farm, formerly known as Franklin Tech Park Associates, LLC. It donated nearly 32 acres of land to the college in 2008, property now known as Hougham Woods Biological Field Station.

Harry (Mac) McNaught, president of Southpoint Farm, said the company gifted the land to the college because of its commitment to responsible land stewardship and greater mission of furthering the education of young people.

Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett, Harry (Mac) McNaught and Sarah McNaught of Southpoint Farm and Franklin College President Kerry Prather celebrate the new biological field station. (Photo courtesy of Franklin College)

“The college’s active and thoughtful use of the Hougham Woods to expand its undergraduate and faculty research initiatives is absolutely phenomenal,” said McNaught. “We know this new gift will play a significant role in further enhancing the educational experiences available to the college’s students.”

“We have used the Hougham Woods property for decades, prior to it being gifted to the college,” said Alice Heikens, Ph.D., professor of biology “It has been essential for our conservation and ecology students who have used it for research, internships and classes. We are excited to receive another land donation from Mac to further our field biology classes. We would not be able to offer our students the incredible experiences we do without his generosity, commitment and support of our conservation efforts and field program.”

“The college is very grateful to Southpoint Farm and Mac McNaught for this generous gift,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather. “This type of gift helps shape and enrich the immersive learning experiences that are at the heart of the Franklin College curriculum. Like Hougham Woods, this property will enhance the experience our science students and faculty enjoy for many years to come.”