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Franklin Pierce University to celebrate forty-sixth commencement

May 3, 2011

Franklin Pierce University will celebrate its forty-sixth commencement on Saturday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m. on the Rindge, N.H. campus. A total of 589 students will participate, with 51 students receiving doctoral degrees, 125 students receiving master’s degrees, 390 students receiving bachelor’s degrees and 23 students earning associate degrees.

The ceremonies will include the presentation of two honorary degrees. New Hampshire authors Howard Mansfield and Sy Montgomery will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters at this year’s commencement.

Mansfield has written, edited and contributed to over a dozen books about history, preservation and architecture. He writes of the importance of preserving old ways of doing things to “import some of the things we are losing daily: silence, repose, memory,” and “make time for being here – not online, not rushing to do everything.” He writes about time and place in his recent book, Turn and Jump: How Time and Place Fell Apart.

Mansfield is the editor of the Franklin Pierce University’s Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture’s anthology of essays Where the Mountains Stands Alone: Stories of Place in the Monadnock Region published by University Press of New England. He worked closely with Professor John Harris for six years to bring the volume to fruition, and contributing author Ernest Hebert called Mansfield “the best editor he has had the pleasure to work with.” Mansfield has also been a founding member of the Monadnock Institute’s advisory board since 1996. He is on the Exhibitions and Publications Committee of the New Hampshire Historical Society, the Village Planning Committee for the Town of Hancock, N.H. and chair of the local Library Trustees. He graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in Magazine Journalism and Honors in American Studies, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement.

Naturalist, scientist and animal champion, Montgomery worked as a newspaper writer covering science, medicine and the environment before moving to the Australian Outback and branching out to books, magazine articles, radio and film in New Hampshire. This award-winning author has written 15 books for both adults and children including the international bestseller, The Good Good Pig.

An ardent conservationist and animal advocate, she is concerned with the health of our planet and all species but still optimistic. “I believe that like the many brave people who fought for women’s rights and civil rights, those of us working to protect the environment and honor the lives of creatures other than just humans, are going to change the world,” says Montgomery. “I think that 100 years from now, a more progressive human culture will look back at the way most of us treat animals and the Earth with the same dismay with which we now view our slave-holding ancestors.”

Montgomery is on the board of the Rainforest Conservation Fund, RESTORE! The North Woods, the Center for Tropical Conservation and the literary organization, PEN New England. She graduated from Syracuse University with a triple major and dual degrees in Magazine Journalism, French Language and Literature, and Psychology. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University System of New Hampshire in 2004.

Both Mansfield and Montgomery have been frequent guest speakers at Franklin Pierce University over the years in environmental science and American studies classes.


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. The University welcomes media representatives from print, Web, radio and TV to cover this event. Interviews will be available before and after the presentation by prior arrangement.

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