August 2, 2017
As summer winds down—I can hardly believe it myself! — I am excited for a new academic year to begin. While our College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS) students have continued their studies throughout the summer, we look forward to the return of our undergraduate students to the College at Rindge campus at the end of this month, and among them, a new flock of Ravens in the Class of 2021.
This has been an eventful summer across all of Franklin Pierce’s campuses and centers.
In Rindge, a number of visiting groups have leveraged the beautiful vistas that we enjoy every day: the sparkling waters of Pearly Pond and the sight of Mt. Monadnock rising majestically behind campus. We welcomed Conant High School’s graduating class of 2017, Boston Proper Quilters, and a number of athletic camps, weddings, meetings and seminars. As in years past, we also hosted the Rotary Club of Jaffrey-Rindge and their summer QUEST program, with 6th to 8th grade day campers engaged in literacy, math, and computer skills, in addition to fun recreational activities throughout the month of July.
A number of improvements have been made across the College at Rindge campus, with fresh pavement and bright paint in place, and equipment and furniture being replaced. But perhaps most exciting to see is the work beginning on the new café in the library. Raven Nation will soon be caffeinated on campus!
The Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication brought 15 students from six statewide high schools to discuss and learn about The Presidency and The Press from Fitzwater Center staff and visiting Fitzwater Fellows Peter Maer, veteran CBS Radio White House correspondent, and Bruce Zanca, who has been a White House spokesperson and communications advisor for three administrations. A comprehensive tour of New Hampshire state media and government officials — including a live NHPR studio broadcast of “The Exchange,” the TV studios of WMUR, the newsroom at the Union Leader, as well as briefings by the Governor’s Chief of Staff Jayne Millerick, Deputy Secretary of State David M. Scanlan, Senate President Chuck Morse, members of the State House Press Bureau, and more — left the group impressed and inspired by the experience.
Our New Hampshire Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students celebrated a successful fundraising effort that received kudos from across New England and beyond, as student Adrienne Olney ’18 and partnering organization SMILE Mass donated five floating beach wheelchairs to the state of New Hampshire, where no such beachfront access previously existed. Governor Chris Sununu and New Hampshire State Parks officials attended the dedication ceremony to accept the donation at Hampton Beach State Park. Three chairs will remain at Hampton Beach, one will go to Mount Sunapee State Park and one to Wellington State Park. The reaction from disability rights groups, nursing homes, and individuals across the state of New Hampshire has been overwhelming and inspiring, and we are incredibly proud of Adrienne and the efforts of her class.
In Arizona, our DPT students and faculty also received kudos from their region, as they conducted an unprecedented controlled burn experiment in partnership with the Avondale Fire Department. The department approached our students with the objective of identifying safer conditions for the men and women saving lives in extreme desert heat conditions. The experiment went well and the research team is anticipating some very interesting results that will demonstrate how the environment these firefighters work in stresses them physiologically, and how they can most efficiently correct that stress.
With the wealth of good news and impressive accomplishments to share across all of our campuses and centers, there could be no better time for the soft launch of our new website, which quietly went live early this summer. Adding easy navigation, mobile responsivity and ADA-compatibility to the franklinpierce.edu experience, this website is a dynamic tool for all members of the Pierce community to leverage. I am pleased to see so many stories of Raven success, from alumni, to current undergraduate students, student-athletes to DPT students, news from our Board of Trustees, and more. This ability to effectively share the abundance of timely, positive news with each other and the public is a huge step forward for the University.
I am pleased with the ongoing momentum that has continued around strategic planning at the University, and am looking forward to next week’s “Bagel Break and Idea Jam,” a chance for our community to pause together for some coffee and a bagel to jam on some fresh ideas for the Strategic Plan.
As we move into the fall semester, I look forward to addressing the Franklin Pierce community at the Fall Forum on August 25—where I will share a look back at the successes with which we closed out the 2016-2017 Academic Year, but more importantly, a look forward to the goals we have set for the 2017-2018 Academic Year—and at Convocation, after an exciting Move-In Day.
September will bring the familiar tradition of the Grand Monadnock Climb and a new tradition of the Pearly Pond Swim, initiated by the University’s new swim team this year. Pierce Pride Weekend will also blend traditions, by celebrating Homecoming and Family Day alongside my Installation as the sixth president of Franklin Pierce, for an action-packed weekend that will see a swell in Raven Nation pride as our beloved alumni, Board of Trustees, students’ loved ones, and of course, our faculty, staff and students converge on the College at Rindge campus.
In line with conversations that have been underway on campus this summer, I will also be participating in a community conversation at Harlow's Pub in Peterborough on September 12, called “Community Conversation Starters,” to discuss the creation of forward-facing learning opportunities across the ever-evolving education landscape, not only for the “traditional” student, but for entrepreneurs and adult learners, as well.
The start of a new academic year always means new beginnings for every student: a fresh chance to dig a little deeper than last semester, or last term, to mine for the passion that ignites their souls, and the opportunity to discover their greatest potential. On behalf of the faculty, staff and administration at Franklin Pierce, we look forward to support every Raven in our nation on this journey!Forever “Pierce Proud,”
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