Press Release

Franklin University Celebrates its Distinguished Alumni with Inaugural Alumni Awards


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations
(614) 947-6581

Columbus, OH (January 10, 2022)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults in central Ohio, celebrated its 169th Commencement on Sunday, Jan. 9. Along with honoring the graduates, the University recognized Phil Fankhauser as the inaugural Franklin University Alumnus of the Year award recipient.

A 1968 graduate of Franklin University, Phil’s career spans more than 50 years in real estate development and new homes construction.

In 1986, Phil was a founding principal for Epcon Communities based in Columbus, Ohio. Today, Epcon is the premier home builder in the metro Columbus-area focused exclusively on the age 55+ housing market and has also expanded to North Carolina (Charlotte and Raleigh) and Indiana (Indianapolis). In 1999, Epcon Communities was recognized by the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio as its “Builder of the Year” and inducted Fankhauser into the industry’s “Hall of Fame” in 2018.

In 1995, Epcon created a second business designed to franchise builders in non-competing geographic markets to use Epcon’s copyrighted architecture, processes and other intellectual property in pursuit of the age 55+ housing market in their particular locales. Today, Epcon Communities Franchising is one of housing industry’s largest franchising enterprises with approximately 80 franchisees in 26 states.

In addition to his numerous business activities, Phil is also a member of The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Lifestyle Residential Development Council. He also serves on Franklin University’s Board of Trustees and is supportive of new educational initiatives to broaden Franklin’s offerings in the fields of sales and sales management.

Phil is the proud husband of Kathleen Fankhauser; father of Adam, Brock (Nicole) and Mollie (Kelly); and “Pops” to grandson, Hugo.

About the Franklin University Alumni Awards
The Franklin University Alumni Awards were created to recognize the many achievements of Franklin University alumni, both professionally and personally. The awards, open to all alumni, distinguished accomplishments in three categories: professional excellence, social impact and alumnus of the year. 

One of the three awards will be announced at each of the University's Commencement ceremonies, on a rotating basis. The Franklin University Alumni Advisory Council will consider nominations and applications and will make its recommendations to the University’s president for approval.

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit, and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at our Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Through agreements with partner institutions, the University also offers international academic programs, including its top-ranked MBA.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Franklin University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

News Type

  • Alumni
  • University