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Franklin Pierce University Campus History: Home

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.





Campus Timeline

1962 - Franklin Pierce College is founded by Frank DiPietro, the college's first president

1963 - First class of students enroll, with 97 students

1964 - The first new dormitory, Crestview, is built ; The first Pierce Arrow is published in January

1965 - Monadnock dormitory opens in September ; State of NH authorizes FPC to grant degrees ; FPC wins Central New England Ski Conference

1966 - First commencement, April 24, with a graduating class of 23 ; White House is first women's dormitory ; first student magazine "Monad"

1967 - Edgewood Dorm built ; Library groundbreaking ; Ski slope created and Boy Scout cabins moved and made into ski lodge ; Sawmill Apartments built

1968 - College accredited by NEASC 12/6/68 ; Fieldhouse completed ; Granite dorm completed ; WFPR- AM640 on the air

1969 - Library opens ; Ravencroft Theatre opens ; Mt. Washington and New Hampshire dorms open

1971 - Marcucella Hall dedicated

1973 - Outing Club formed ; First graduate program, in Concord - Franklin Pierce Law Center

1975 - Walter Peterson becomes Franklin Pierce's second president ; Concord campus opens

1977 - Formation of the Black Student Union ; men's soccer is Mayflower Conference champions

1979 - Keene Campus is opened

1982 - Salem and Dover campuses open ; men's basketball Mayflower Conference champions

1986 - Emily Flint Campus Center opens ; FPC athletics accepted into NCAA division II

1988 - Mountain View Apartments are constructed

1989 - Hampshire Court Condominiums purchased for student housing

1992 - Individual & Community Curriculum (Pierce Plan) is implemented

1994 - Northwoods Apartments built

1995 - Walter Peterson retires, and George J. Hagerty becomes the third president of Franklin Pierce College

1995 - The "Bubble" is inflated

1997 - Serenity Hill burned by fire departments

1998 - Portsmouth and Lebanon campuses open

1998 - Cheshire Hall constructed

1998 - Pierce Village modular homes installed

1998 - Bubble deflated for 3 days after vandals slice fabric

1999 - FPC joins the Northeast 10 athletic conference

1999 - FPC re-accredited by NEASC

2001 - Bubble deflated and destroyed by heavy storm, rebuilt

2002 - Marlin Fitzwater Center opens

2004 - Manchester campus opens

2004 - Sodexho Soccer Field created

2005 - Pappas Baseball Field dedicated

2006 - MBA program in partnership with Luhansk Univ., Ukraine

2006 - Campus Center renovated and Pierce Hall created

2007 - Franklin Pierce College becomes Franklin Pierce University

2007 - College Road renamed University Drive

2008 - White House is removed and Petrocelli Hall is created

2009 - James F. Birge becomes the fourth president of Franklin Pierce University

2009 - wood pellet boilers installed at the westside dorms and the Bubble

2012 - Pappas Health Science Center opens

2012 - General & Liberal Education curriculum replaces I&C

2012 - Pierce Hall renamed Spagnuolo Hall

2012 - 50th anniversary of FPC/FPU

2013 - Peterson Hall "renamed" Peterson Manor

2014 - Alumni Lounge renamed "Marulli Welcome Center" and Presidential Offices renamed "Marulli Presidential Suite"

2015 - Andrew Card becomes the 5th president

2015 - Warehouse Theater/Dance Studio renamed Yvonne S. Boice Performing Arts Center

2015 - Ravencroft Theatre demolished

2016 - Crestview demolished

2016 - Kim Mooney '83  becomes the 6th president




Campus history

Franklin Pierce College formed around the Manor, a large structure on the hill overlooking Pearly Pond.  The initial 90 students at the college were   housed in Rindge Center in the old Rice family homestead, next to the public library. This was known as "Center Dorm." The carriage shed in Rindge Center was also used by the college, which constructed eight classrooms in it.  The town generously offered use of the public library and  school gymnasium, despite the "menacing" threat of questionable morals and activities of college students. The Rindge Town Hall was used by the college, and the Rindge Elementary School gym was used for intramural sports. Physical education classes were held at the Winchendon High School gym.  Classes were mostly held in Rindge Center, but some were held in the Manor. Students were bused back and forth. The enrollment for the fall semester 1963 was 97, and there were 9 members of the  faculty and administration.

The original property purchased by Frank DiPietro was a 216-acre site overlooking Pearly Pond. There were originally four buildings on the campus, all wooden structures.  DiPietro paid $30,000 for the property. Over the course of the next few years, an additional 255 acres of land were acquired, and four dormitories, a student union, a cafeteria, and a field house were constructed.  In 1966, a master plan outlined hopes for a library, student union, 7 dormitories, two physical education centers (one male and one female), a fine arts center, an interfaith chapel, an auditorium, and an arts and sciences building.  In 1967, ground was broken for the construction of the Library, and in 1968, funding was secured for the construction of two additional dormitories.  Enrollment in September 1968 was 900 and there were 150 faculty, administration and staff.

In 1999, a stone wall was constructed during the summer at the intersection of College Road and Mountain Road. It included a large granite replica of the College seal. During the summer of 2000, the academic mall at the northwest corner of campus was graded and irrigated. An outdoor amphitheatre was created.

 In the early 2000s, the campus consisted of 1200 acres, comprised of several ecosystems, as well as the campus proper. The Ecological Conscience Initiative  was launched as a means of ensuring campus sustainability, to protect the wild lands around the campus, and to offer outdoor activities. 



Special Events


Rindge is 250! The Monadnock Ledger Transcript discusses the founding of Franklin Pierce.



On April 6, 1968, FPC celebrated the town of Rindge's bicentennial with a day of dancing, a maypole, cheering, stunts and relays, a fencing demonstration, and a jazz concert.








Archival collections:

Campus Buildings - Box CB1

Franklin Pierce Magazine:

v.16, no. 1, Spring 1998

v.20, no. 1, 2002

v.24, no. 2 2006 (timeline)

Franklin Pierce Accomplishments, 1996-2000

Pierce Arrow