September 12, 2016
A record number of students, faculty, and staff participated in Franklin Pierce University's annual Grand Monadnock Climb this past Saturday with 335 participants taking to the trails to climb to the summit together. This year's number surpassed the previous high of 246 climbers in 2007.
The Adventure Recreation Department organizes this unique Franklin Pierce tradition as a fun way for freshmen as well as upperclassmen, faculty, and staff to get to know Mount Monadnock — up close and personal.
Dr. Kim Mooney '83, who has had the unique experience of climbing the mountain as both a student and as the President of her alma mater, was excited to see such a large crowd taking part in this year's climb.
"The climb is a powerful community-building event at Franklin Pierce," says Mooney. "I still recall the excitement of the first time I made it to the summit with my Pierce friends and I am honored to be able to join with all of these first time climbers as they make their lasting memories of this great tradition."
The climb also served as a kick-off for the university's series of NEA Big Read events. This past spring, Franklin Pierce was awarded a $9,500 Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The university is one of 77 organizations nationwide awarded a grant and one of only two in New Hampshire. As part of The Big Read, Franklin Pierce chose to feature author Willa Cather and her novel "My Ántonia."
Students, faculty, and staff, led by President Kim Mooney and Provost, Dr. Lynne Rosansky, read passages from the book at the summit of Mount Monadnock.
"This was a marvelous way to kick-off the Big Read," said Dr. Rosansky. It is a fitting tribute to Willa Cather who spent much of her time in this region and wrote so much of this novel in the shadows of Mount Monadnock.”
In addition to the Monadnock Climb kick-off event, Franklin Pierce is planning reading events throughout the academic year including a keynote address by Dr. Andrew Jewell on October 6th at 6 p.m. in Spagnuolo Hall on their Rindge campus. Jewell is co-editor of "The Selected Letters of Willa Cather", which was one of Time Magazine's 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013.
Additionally, community-wide book groups that are open to the public will read and discuss "My Ántonia", including groups at Franklin Pierce University, Jaffrey Public Library, Ingalls Memorial Library in Rindge, Rivermead Assisted Living Facility, the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, and Toadstool Bookstore in Peterborough.