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Franklin Pierce University Kicks Off Its 50th Anniversary at Alumni & Reunion Weekend

October 2, 2012

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Franklin Pierce University inaugurated its 50th Anniversary celebrations last weekend with special kick-off events during its annual Alumni & Reunion Weekend on its Rindge campus. Highlights of the weekend’s activities included a dedication ceremony and tour of the Dr. Arthur & Martha Pappas Health Sciences and Athletic Training Center, and a world premiere screening of the documentary An Education that Matters: The First Fifty Years of Franklin Pierce University. Three of the University’s four presidents were on site for the celebrations, as was Dorothy Peterson, wife of the late President Walter Peterson.

Franklin Pierce’s founder and first president, Dr. Frank DiPietro, flew in from his home in Arizona to be a part of the weekend’s festivities. When asked what advice he would give to students today, he said, “Pick up a marketable skill while you’re in college, be conscious of any financial debt, and remember you have to pay it back!” Timely words from the founder of the liberal arts university that recently revamped its General & Liberal Education Curriculum to closely connect academic learning to career and life choices; the University is also mindful of national student debt issues and froze its tuition two out of the last three years.

Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Martha Pappas were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the newly opened Dr. Arthur & Martha Pappas Health Sciences and Athletic Training Center, made possible through a generous lead donation by the couple. The new center provides classroom and lab space needed to accommodate the University’s new health sciences major, coupled with space for expanded athletic training facilities for their intercollegiate sports teams for the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Dr. Pappas, a retired orthopedic surgeon and one of the pioneers of sports medicine, envisions that the new center will further the study of sports medicine and “will encourage students to pay more attention to the needs in their communities when they graduate.” Mrs. Pappas added, “There is nothing comparable in the state of New Hampshire to this, and I think the whole state and beyond will benefit from it when students graduate.”

An Education that Matters: The First Fifty Years of Franklin Pierce University is a lively documentary about the University’s history, filmed and produced by Franklin Pierce Professor Doug Challenger and Laurie Stamell of Chrysalis Arts Productions. The film premiered under an outdoor tent on a big screen, viewed by President James Birge, Dr. DiPietro, past President George Hagerty, Mrs. Walter Peterson, and hundreds of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and invited community members who frequently erupted into laughter and applause throughout the screening. Prof. Challenger commented, “Lots of colleges started in the 60s, but while many went out of business, Franklin Pierce persisted. I hope this film helps answer why this school survived.” Immediately after the film, the sky lit up over Pearly Pond with a 30-minute fireworks display, complemented with an energizing rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack – a spectacular way to launch the University into its next half century!




                 An education that matters.

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 with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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