In the days after the sudden death of Fran McDaniel, the phrase used most often to describe her at Bucknell was "a force of nature." When McDaniel started working at the University, her position at the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) Office was part-time. She convinced the administration of the importance of having this office staffed full-time, which provided her with the opportunity to make the LGBT Office more prominent by confronting homophobia and educating the campus.
During McDaniel's 12-year tenure at Bucknell, she was instrumental in creating the "Safe Space" program, which facilitated campus-wide discussions about the discrimination that LGBT students face. As a result, numerous fraternities, sororities, athletics teams and other student groups pledged to provide a safe space for these students to be comfortable about being themselves. She also was pivotal in bringing the "Gay? Fine By Me" t-shirt campaign to Bucknell. McDaniel, who was never shy about her convictions, encouraged colleagues to voice theirs as well; each year, The Bucknellian publishes a list of faculty and staff members who support LGBT initiatives, another of McDaniel's projects.
McDaniel was a tireless supporter of students. She was a constant presence at student functions, performances and athletic events. Additionally, she and the LGBT Office sponsored many speakers and gatherings over the year, bringing people like Rita Mae Brown to campus and supporting awareness-raising events like the Bucknell AIDS Walk and Stop the Hate Rally, to name a few.