University to celebrate 44th commencement

May 7, 2009

Commencement will take place Saturday, May 16 at 10:30 a.m. on the Rindge Campus.

RINDGE, NH - Franklin Pierce University will celebrate its fourty-fourth commencement on Saturday, May 16 at 10:30 a.m. on the Rindge, N.H. campus. A total of 573 students will graduate, with 44 students receiving doctoral degrees, 69 students receiving master's degrees, 427 students receiving bachelor's degrees and 33 students earning associate degrees. This will be the first time the University is graduating students from its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The ceremonies will include the presentation of three honorary degrees. Honorary degree recipients are New Hampshire State Senator Lou D'Allesandro, currently serving in his 6th term of office representing District 20; John Daido Loori, the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, N.Y., founder of the Mountains and Rivers Order and CEO of Dharma Communications; and legendary polar explorer and global warming expert Will Steger.

Lou D'AllesandroD'Allesandro has also served as chairman of the New England Board of Higher Education, is a member of the board of directors of the Manchester Community Health Center and vice chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's board of directors as well as a volunteer at the National Council on Alcoholism. In 2000, he received the Caroline Gross Fellowship recognition, which honors people in public service.


John Daido LooriLoori began his formal Zen practice in 1971, after having served in the U.S. Navy and studying photography. He became a Zen Priest in 1983 and was given shiho (Dharma transmission) in 1986. Since then, he has gone on to publish works as a professional nature photographer, such as his book "Hearing with the Eye: Photographs from Point Lobos." His company, Dharma Communications, publishes a Buddhist quarterly called "The Mountain Record" as well as audiovisual materials and several books by Loori.

Will StegerSteger has explored the Arctic Region for over 45 years. He has been invited to testify before the United States Congress and is considered a world leader in advocating for environmental protection of Antarctica. Established in 2006, the Will Steger Foundation promotes change through education and advocacy, and promotes international leadership and cooperation through environmental policy. He is also the founder of a winter school and innovative wilderness program in Ely, Minn., as well as the Global Center for Environmental Education at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., and the World School for Adventure Learning at the University of St. Thomas.


Franklin Pierce University is a small, private, 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.