Franklin Pierce and Newseum Forum

Oct 26, 2016

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Image Marlin Fitzwater Talking with Student


On Friday, October 28, 2016—just days away from the conclusion of one of the most contentious campaigns in recent American history—Franklin Pierce University co-hosted a panel of political experts to discuss the topic of “Civility in Presidential Election Discourseat the Newseum in Washington, D.C. that was featured on C-SPAN and C-SPAN Radio.

View the panel here, which was moderated by the Newseum Director of Exhibit Programming John Maynard and included such experts as:

  • Jed Donelan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Franklin Pierce University
  • Hadas Gold, Politico
  • Callum Borchers, The Fix at The Washington Post
  • Alexander Heffner, host of the PBS show, “Open Mind”
  • Bill Miller, Senior Vice President, Business Roundtable

Marlin and Melinda Fitzwater, President Kim Mooney, Ph.D. and Director of The Fitzwater Center for Communication Kristen Nevious, Ph.D., joined Franklin Pierce students and alumni at this exciting, sold out event, which hosted nearly 200 attendees from Washington, D.C., as well.

The panel discussion was broadcast live at the College at Rindge for Franklin Pierce students and the local community, followed by a discussion about civil discourse. The Discussion Guide, authored by distinguished members of the Franklin Pierce faculty and community, including Phyllis Zrzavy, Ph.D. (Professor, Communications), Zan Walker-Goncalves (Associate Professor, Composition and Rhetoric), Allan Rachlin, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Sociology) Christina Cliff, Ph.D. (Visiting Assistant Professor, Political Science), Donna Decker (Professor, English), Kerry McKeever, Ph.D. (Dean, The College at Rindge), Juliana Wilson '08 (Graduate Assistant), and Jed Donelan, Ph.D. (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities; Interim Director, New England Center for Civic Life), as well as an interview with Marlin Fitzwater by Trent Spiner (Executive Editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader).

A reception for the Washington, D.C. community to meet Franklin Pierce students and alumni followed the panel presentation, kicking off the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication.

At the 2002 dedication of the Fitzwater Center, Mike McCurry, who served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, said:

“If we can teach one thing here at this Center, I hope it will be that communication in this age of 24/7 news cycles and all-crisis-all-the-time broadcasts, and technology that amazes us with its capacity and reach, that communication is still, in the end, about human beings conversing with each other. When it comes to political communication, we need to be more civil and more decent in the way we converse.”

For 15 years, the Fitzwater Center has sought to ensure civility and decency in the public discourse by engaging intellects, challenging perspectives and helping all who pass through its doors to find their voices in the public discourse. It is this accomplishment that the Franklin Pierce community will continue to celebrate throughout this year.