Franklin Pierce Announces 2021 Honorary Degree and Peterson Citizen Leader Award Recipients

Apr 21, 2021

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Rindge, N.H.

Franklin Pierce University is pleased to announce it will be awarding one honorary degree in addition to the Honorable Walter R. Peterson Citizen Leader Award as part of the University’s 2021 commencement exercises on Saturday, May 15. “It is a longstanding tradition at Franklin Pierce University to honor individuals whose personal and professional accomplishments provide examples for our students to admire, and hopefully, emulate,” said President Kim Mooney. This year, the Honourable Shanendon Eugene Cartwright ’01, B.A., J.P., M.P. of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. 


Cartwright graduated in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts in English with a minor in History from Franklin Pierce University, where he also holds the distinction as the first person of color to serve as Chairman of the University’s Judicial Board. During his time as a student, he also received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership and Contribution and was named a New England Collegiate Conference Academic Scholar-Athlete for Men’s Basketball. From 2000-2001, Cartwright was an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for the University. 

“It is always a pleasure to be able to highlight the success of our alumni, and The Honorable Member's two-decades of experience in public service to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas shows that our graduates go on to accomplish great things, all over the world,” said Mooney. “Across all aspects of his life -- on the basketball court, in the hospitality business and as a Member of Parliament – Shanendon has demonstratated intentional leadership, and I think our students will be inspired by all he has accomplished.”

The Honorable Walter R. Peterson Citizen Leader Award, established in 2011, is named after the former New Hampshire governor who served as the second president of Franklin Pierce. It is given in recognition of an individual who demonstrates select characteristics of his personality, including an extraordinary commitment to public service, selfless contributions to higher education, a sense of humor and high moral character. This year’s recipient is former Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr. 
Former Chief Justice Broderick served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1995-2010, first as an Associate Justice and as Chief Justice from 2004-2010. He also served as Dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and was Founder and Executive Director of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Service. Broderick holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross. 

In addition to his distinguished law career, Broderick has also been a vocal mental health advocate in the region and helped New Hampshire become the first State to join the
Change Direction Campaign, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America. After publicly sharing his family’s struggles with mental illness, he created and established
R.E.A.C.T. Awareness Campaign to educate people on the signs of mental illness and how to help (themselves or someone else), in an effort to end the social stigma of mental illness. This program is now sponsored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, where Broderick serves as senior director of External Affairs.

“Chief Justice Broderick’s candid and public accounts of his family’s experiences with mental health illness and his commitment to change the conversation around mental health, to work to end the stigma and to advocate for access to local resources for patients and families will benefit the residents of this state for years to come,” shared President Kim Mooney. “He wholly demonstrates the requisite characteristics that the Honorable Walter R. Peterson Citizen Leader Award was established to acknowledge.  

Due to health and safety precautions relative to COVID-19, these two distinguished guests will have their remarks prerecorded by Franklin Pierce’s Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication. Their remarks, an inspiration for the Class of 2021, will be shared with graduates in attendance and family and friends viewing the ceremony via livestream. 

For more information about Franklin Pierce University’s 2021 Commencement Exercises, please visit the Commencement Page.


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