Franklin Pierce University Holds Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King Awards
Mar 9, 2022
Event Celebrating Student Work in the Areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Part of Pierce@60 Signature Events Series
Franklin Pierce University held its 12th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King Awards on Wednesday, March 8 in Spagnuolo Hall on the Rindge Campus with over 75 students, faculty, staff, and guests in attendance and many more joining the celebration virtually. The awards were presented by the A.L.A.NA (African American, Latino/a, Native American, Asian American) Affinity Group and the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Franklin Pierce is pleased to recognize the support of the University's Board of Trustees and the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Charitable Foundation as the Pierce@60 yearlong celebration's presenting sponsors.
President Kim Mooney ’83 welcomed all in attendance, noting this year’s theme, persevering through struggle, and Dr. King’s enduring message of resiliency remain timely and relevant as we continue to navigate the lasting effects of the pandemic. “In the face of uncertainty, we relied on our blueprint, our strategic plan, to guide us through challenging times,” President Mooney shared. “One of the goals of our strategic plan, Pierce@60, was to create the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and appoint a champion for these critical initiatives, Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Pierre Morton. Congratulations to all our student honorees tonight. Your continued work and commitment toward a more inclusive campus and society continue to make us proud.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King Awards celebrate the work of students in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Awardees are nominated by faculty and their peers for efforts both on and off campus and recognizes the University’s progress towards achieving one of its main strategic goals to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Franklin Pierce. The 2022 awardees are Christina Bartley ’24, Jazmyne Beck ’22, Evan (E.J.) Burgess ’22, Kaylah Curry ’25, Conner Everidge ’23, Sydney Fringer ’23, Madison Fox ’23, Florisbeth Joseph ’22, Tori McGrath ’22, Samantha Norwood ’23, Alexander O’Dowd ’22, Madison Parlee ’22, Randy Peralta ’25, Andrea Rivera ’24, Aliyah Sonnier ’23, Morgan Smith ’21, Michaela “Mick” Topham ’22, Julia Whitley ’23, Taniya Williams ’23, and Addison Wright ’22.
Terrell Boston Smith ’05, member of the Board of Trustees, was the event’s keynote speaker. Smith is a Founding Partner at The Tidemore Group, a management and public affairs firm that guides businesses, non-profit organizations, labor unions, and progressive causes. He currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Board of Child Care, Inc., a mid-Atlantic behavioral healthcare organization operating in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Smith’s remarks focused on belonging and how the feeling of belonging positively impacts communities. “Preserving through struggle is continually reminding yourself that you belong,” he shared. “Your sense of belonging is most important. You belong here.” Smith noted the changes he has seen within the University since his time as student, reflecting the changes in larger society. “In 2005, we did not have an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We did not have a fundraising initiative to specifically support students of color. But, this University is dynamic, not stagnant. This community has made a commitment, and there is a place for you here. We care about you belonging. We care about you graduating. And we care about you making a place for yourself in the world.”
This November, Franklin Pierce University will celebrate its 60th anniversary. Pierce@60 is not only the name of the University’s strategic plan, but it is also the theme of its year-long celebration. As part of this celebration, Franklin Pierce is hosting a number of signature events meant to highlight the people, history, and impact of the institution in the region, the state, and across its Academic Centers in Manchester and Lebanon, N.H. and Goodyear, Ariz. Following the official kickoff of Pierce@60 in October 2021, the 2022 King Awards Ceremony is the first Pierce@60 Signature Event on the Rindge Campus, following the Goodyear Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony which took place in Arizona on February 25.