We write to you as Pierce Alumni to announce an effort to support and advance the University’s work in the area of diversity and inclusion.
You may recall that last summer our alma mater held community forums to discuss our experiences regarding race and exclusion as highlighted by current and historic events, including George Floyd’s death. The discussions were tough and matched the difficult conversations that many of us were having in our immediate communities and homes. The heart of what we heard at the forums was clear: like our nation, we must be diligent and demonstrate creating a truly equitable and inclusive community at Franklin Pierce.
The very explicit experiences shared by FPU’s alumni of color in forums discussing race, calls the community to act in a proactive way to reinforce the racial diversity work that was started two years ago with the Diversity and Inclusion Council. The work is incorporated into community life with the FPU strategic plan, Pierce@60. Our President, Kim Mooney ’83, has also boldly outlined a series of steps, including a curricula review and the hiring of an executive to direct university wide diversity and inclusion matters. Alumni also have a responsibility to speak about their experiences and must be a part of the University’s inclusion work. As alumni of Pierce, we value the education we earned and relationships we made; we intend to contribute substantively in advancing the University’s community, its work, and its material support for future generations.
The Pierce community is growing in racial diversity. A.L.A.NA (African American, Latino/a, Native American & Asian American) is FPU’s student diversity initiative and was formed in 2005 by Phebe Robinson ’05, while she was employed in FPU’s Admissions Office and seeks to be a resource for FPU’s students of color. Since 2015 the number of undergraduate students of color has grown from 12% of the population to 20%. Similarly, in the same timeframe, the number of graduate students of color has grown from 8% to 13%.
We were moved by our collective experiences, both positive and negative that were discussed at the University’s forums this summer. As members of the Pierce community, our role was to organize the Franklin Pierce University A.L.A.NA Alumni Affinity Group. This group was created in support of the University’s effort to advance the promise of equity and inclusion by championing Franklin Pierce students with diverse voices and backgrounds. As students, we found a home in the friendships and relationships we grew at the University and remain closely connected today. The Pierce community is determined and nurturing and as former students, we found ways to support and learn from each other. Perhaps during your time at Franklin Pierce, you found yourself a part of SISTUHS, BRO, the Black Student Alliance, or just attended an event hosted by them, which brought students with diverse voices and backgrounds together to fellowship and share their experiences as a part of the community.
Wherever you found yourself at Franklin Pierce, we unknowingly found ourselves together, supporting one another as a community should. We are now formalizing the effort by asking you to help us support the University with:
Many experiences, internships, job opportunities and networking are inaccessible without the help of fellow alumni. We therefore ask you to join us in this expansive effort to engage fellow alumni in supporting Pierce and its matriculating students.
Here is how you can help! Please join us in the following opportunities to actively support our students and support our alumni effort.
To let us know that you want to participate and be part of the solution, please take a brief survey. This will allow us to engage with you and get you connected. As we work to update our alumni contact information, please share this with your fellow Ravens. If you know of someone who did not receive this letter and should have or would like to be part of this opportunity, please let the Alumni Office know at .
We are proud and excited to co-lead this charge with you. If you have questions about how you can hold the door open for future students or would like to connect with one of us, please contact Julie Zahn, Vice President for University Advancement at or 603.899.1159.
Phebe L. Robinson Higgins ’05
Herve A. Fumberi ’05