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Franklin Pierce University Campus History: DiGregorio - Student Union

Franklin Pierce University was founded in 1962 on the shores of Pearly Pond in Rindge, New Hampshire. This guide explores the growth of the campus over the past 50 years.

Photographs

 
 
 
 
DiGregorio (foreground)
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

History of DiGregorio

DiGregorio was constructed in 1965 as DiGregorio Student Services.  It contained a snack bar, bookstore, post office, and recreation facilities. It was constructed of masonry with a gross area of 8,000 square feet. 

In October, 1965, the Pierce Arrow reported that the Student Union was "a pig stye", with tables piled high with garbage, butts all over the floor despite the numerous ashtrays, and garbage all over the floor. Students were urged to clean up after themselves or let a local farmer use the Union as a barn.  In March of 1966, the Union continued to be overrun with messy students.  In early March it was closed, to signal the seriousness of the garbage.  "Many students were bitter about the closing of the Union. It was impossible to get change for the vending machines, have a bite to eat between classes or in the evening." (Pierce Arrow, 3/11/66)

In 1967, the atmosphere of the student snack bar was improved by lowering the lights in the evening, illuminating the tables with candles, and enjoying the "cool, calm light" of the juke box and pin ball machines. The administration was reported pleased to save on the electric bill, and the students were pleased that they no longer had to see what they were eating. (Pierce Arrow, 2/6/67)  By fall semester of 1967, the disgraceful litter continued, and there was a serious lack of ping pong balls.

In 1969, students and administration wanted to create an area for over-21s to drink. The Twenty-One Club took residence in the lower level of the Student Union, which was named the "Raven's Nest". (Pierce Arrow, 9/1/1969). As of Dec., the Raven's Nest was proceeding slowly.  Articles of incorporation had not been drawn up and a liquor license needed to be secured. However, materials had been ordered for its construction. (Pierce Arrow, 12/15/1969) By January, 1970, the club was still not open. Problems with delivery of construction materials and legal documents had slowed the process. The club, now referred to as the 21 CLUB, was to have a 3-tap bar unit, a triple compartment sink, a pool table, a color tv, and a juke box. (Pierce Arrow, 3/18/70)

The club opened in October 16, 1970 as the "21 Club". It was the first of its kind on a college campus in New Hampshire. (Pierce Arrow, 10/16/70)  In 1975, renovations were made to the "21 Club". Capacity was increased from 110 to 150.  This was possible by moving post office boxes upstairs to the student center and knocking out the center wall. A second bar and a raised stage were created.  (Pierce Arrow, 2/10/75)

In 1978 the 21 Club was going strong with a new stereo system, booths, and new floor and bars. There was also a color tv over the bar. (Pierce Arrow, 10/23/78) The modernized student union renovations included a dining area which served as a carry-out restaurant by day, and transformed to a waitress-service restaurant by night. There was a nightclub atmosphere. Special items would be added to the menu, such as exotic fruit juices, cheese boards, and ice cream sundaes. Lee Dunholter and student contributed to construction of a "set". (Pierce Arrow, 3/19/80)

 

Resources

Archives:

Campus Buildings Box CB5

Pierce Arrow

10/28/1965

3/11/1966

2/6/1967

9/29/1967

9/1/1969

12/15/1969

3/18/1970

10/16/1970

2/10/1975

2/24/1975

10/23/1978

3/19/1980