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Franklin Pierce University to celebrate forty-fifth commencement

April 29, 2010

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Franklin Pierce University will celebrate its forty-fifth commencement on Saturday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m. on the Rindge, N.H. campus. A total of 614 students will participate, with 47 students receiving doctoral degrees, 73 students receiving master’s degrees, 463 students receiving bachelor’s degrees and 31 students earning associate degrees.

The ceremonies will include the presentation of two honorary degrees. Honorary degree recipients are Franklin Pierce University Chairman of the Board Dr. Zeddie Bowen, currently serving in his 6th year as Chair, and Patricia Lang Barry, Rindge Selectwoman who has worked to support a strong campus and community relationship.

Bowen is the former vice president and provost of the University of Richmond, a position he held for 16 years. He is currently a facilitator for the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) specializing in board development and assessment, academic affairs and planning workshops. Bowen has played an active role in the creation of two distinctive and successful educational consortia: the Associated Colleges of the South, whose members include the premier liberal art colleges in the South; and the Associated New American Colleges, whose members include the top comprehensive universities in the nation. As a consultant and workshop facilitator specializing in academic vision and curriculum, academic governance, institutional mission and board development, he has worked with numerous academic institutions and has had an ongoing positive relationship with Franklin Pierce University for many years leading the way to university status in 2007. Bowen received his B.A. from John Hopkins University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Lang Barry first moved to the Rindge community at the age of 13 years old and has worked in a number of different positions in the human services, education and hospitality fields; and is currently an English teacher at Conant High School. She has served as a Selectman for the Town of Rindge for the past five years and has supported the University and the Community in her participation on the Town/Gown committee, her written testimony on behalf of the University during the NH House of Representative’s Education Committee hearing on HB1400 and her efforts to help other town officials understand the benefits of having Franklin Pierce University located in Rindge. She resides in the Town of Rindge with her husband and four daughters.

“In my first year at Franklin Pierce, it has been one of my top priorities to work to better the relationship that the University has with the Town of Rindge,” states Dr. James F. Birge, President. “Patricia Lang Barry has become a true friend and supporter of the University just as she has always been the same for the Town of Rindge. She has worked in collaboration with me to help build a community committed to the betterment of both the Town and the University. She values the contributions made by our students, staff and faculty to the area community. Patricia leads by example in offering support to the University as a wonderful citizen and neighbor.”

“Zeddie Bowen has been a stabilizing force for the University particularly during these difficult economic times,” says Birge. “His efforts are often behind the scenes but the impact of these have been far-reaching and enduring such as recent expansions on campus and our transition to university status. The University has been fortunate to be the recipient of his efforts and guidance over these years.”


Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission focuses on preparing citizens and leaders of conscience for a new century who make significant contributions to their professions and communities, whether their aspirations are local or global.

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