Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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24 PIERCE FALL / WINTER 2017 PRESIDENT Exactly one year earlier, the board of trustees asked Mooney if she would take on the position of university president, following the departure of Andrew Card. On that June evening in the Colonial eatre, Mooney reflected on both the end of the semester and the day's events. She'd led a board of trustees meeting earlier that day, the third of her presidential tenure. She readily admits that she's too busy working to get overly sentimental, but says, "e music that night brought me back to my 17 or 18-year-old self. I realized how that girl absolutely never could have predicted that not only would I be a college president, but that I would lead my alma mater, a place that I just love so much and was so defining for me. It was — " she searches for a word — "It was so powerful." Mooney is the sixth president of the University, and her presidency marks multiple milestones for Franklin Pierce. She is both the first woman and the first alumna to lead the school. She's also the only president of the University who can say that she has known or worked with each of her predecessors. Her deep involvement with Franklin Pierce since her graduation also gives her a unique perspective on the institution's past, present, and future. During the last year alone, the school has enhanced its academics, solidified its financial resources, and strengthened its commitment to the Monadnock Region and the state of New Hampshire. To Mooney, Pierce's future is bright. A Day for Sensible Shoes I f anyone understands the power of Franklin Pierce, it's Mooney. She arrived on campus in fall 1979, moved into Mount Washington Hall and spent the next four years exploring a deep, liberal arts curriculum. A self-professed independent thinker who knew she wanted to major in psycholog y, Mooney was, like many Ravens before — and aer — her, a first-generation college student. Other than knowing her major, she wasn't quite sure what to expect, either in terms of what she'd do for a career, or about this tiny school tucked into the woods of southwestern New Hampshire. "People came to Franklin Pierce with very different strengths," she remembers. "I'd meet people in class or at a party or in the dorm and somebody would be a great guitar player, somebody else could really sing or blow glass, or was a great athlete. e people I went to school with were smart, talented, and funny, and I enjoyed their company so much." Aer concluding her first year at the helm, Mooney recognizes that while the times may have changed, Pierce's ability to attract students of all kinds of talents and abilities hasn't dimmed. e University held the 8th Annual Academic Showcase in April [see story, Page 16]. e event is designed to show off the scholarship and research of Pierce students and faculty, as well as creative endeavors in music or visual arts. "is was the first year that we suspended classes on the Rindge campus for an entire day to focus on the Showcase," says Mooney. "ere were concurrent presentations and panels and performances, all day long, all over campus. I had my sneakers on and when the community gathered in the morning to start the Showcase, I warned the crowd that this was a day for sensible shoes." Mooney recalls walking into sessions that were standing room only, with audiences of students filling the room to cheer on and support their friends and classmates, asking what she calls probing questions about the presentation or performance. For the university president, it was an affirmation that Franklin Pierce is a place that transforms lives. I realized how that girl absolutely never could have predicted that not only would I be a college president, but that I would lead my alma mater, a place that I just love so much and was so defining for me. It was — " she searches for a word — "It was so powerful.

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