A New Academic Building for a New University

Three generations of Petrocellis at groundbreakingJune 20, 2007

RINDGE, NH - Franklin Pierce University broke ground for a new academic building that will house the arts, humanities and social science programs at the Rindge Campus. The three-story, $4.5 million academic building will be called Attilio and Beverly Petrocelli Hall, to honor the major donors to the project. It will occupy a footprint of 8,000-square-feet and contain functional space of 23,000 square-feet at the Four Corners entrance to campus. Construction is scheduled to be completed for the fall of 2008.

Specifically, the brick building will contain classrooms, a computer lab, a digital photo lab and darkroom, print labs, and faculty and administrative offices. New classrooms will be wired for technology and arranged to foster collaborative learning and close engagement between students and faculty.

Construction of this new first-class learning space was made possible by a $1 million gift from Attilio F. and Beverly L. Petrocelli of Great Neck, NY. Both of the Petrocelli's daughters (Jill '91 and Melissa '89) attended Franklin Pierce and met their spouses there (Michael Lamoretti '90 and Michael Weinbaum '89).

"This is a family that is thoroughly acquainted with the special quality of a Franklin Pierce education," Dr. George J. Hagerty, president of Franklin Pierce University, said at a formal groundbreaking. The event was attended by three generations of the Petrocelli family who put on hard hats and turned a ceremonial spadeful of dirt.

The Petrocelli gift marks the single largest donation to Franklin Pierce by an alumni family. The Petrocellis stated their wish to make a significant investment in the institution that had such a positive impact on their children and sons-in-law. They explained that they wanted to make sure their grandchildren and others will continue to receive a superior education at Franklin Pierce.

"I sent two beautiful girls to this school here and this is where they met their husbands," Attilio Petrocelli said. "I want to see that future generation of Franklin Pierce students have access to the same excellent education that they received. I also know that a gift like this can make a significant difference at a small university. I know the returns on this investment in academic life at Franklin Pierce will be significant."

President Hagerty hosted the Petrocellis at a short reception following the groundbreaking. "In my conversations with this wonderful family," he said, "I heard many stories about faculty and staff who had a profound influence on their children during their formative years here. This gift is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and personal attention to students that we demonstrate daily in the course of our work. It will make a difference and we are extremely grateful."