Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2016

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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SPRING 2016 \ PIERCE 31 College. It was the small—sometimes very small—classes that are among her memo- ries. "I had some electives with fve people in it, and even in my major there were no more than 15, so you got a lot of personal attention," says the history major who was known in those days as "Mickey Finn," after the Chicago gangster of the early 1900s. After classes, she often would head down a dirt road and study in the serenity of nature, which was part of the school's DNA. One day, her philosophy teacher announced that day's class would consist of hiking nearby Mount Monadnock. "The craziness of the 1960s was just starting, and for me this was a place to be away from all that," she says. T here's usually a short list of reasons to receive a phone call from your alma mater—especially when you're coming up on your 50th reunion like Muriel Finn O'Neil was. Much to her surprise, on the other line was Franklin Pierce Presi- dent Andrew Card calling to say the uni- versity was initiating a four-year, $20,000 scholarship in the name of every surviving member of the Class of 1966. "I think that it's a lovely idea, and I'm very honored by being a part of it," says O'Neil, a history graduate who spent a career teach- ing the subject. "It's a nice idea." "Too few alumni get phone calls without getting asked to give something, so for me these were fun calls to make," says President Card, who personally called each one of the graduates. "There's only one first 50th reunion class, and we wanted to make a big deal out of celebrating our first graduates." The scholarship works like this: each class member designates a high school, and a scholarship goes to a graduating senior who chooses to attend FPU. The student will receive $5,000 each year he or she is at college. "This can serve as a good opportunity to expand our reach into high schools whose students may not be thinking of Franklin Pierce," President Card notes. "We hope it can show students in these schools the ad- vantages of coming here—the same reasons that our frst students recognized." For some alumni, like Ron Savarese, it was as simple as choosing his own school. Harbor Fields High School. "This scholar- ship is a phenomenal idea, really stepping outside the box and a real unique thing to do," he says. O'Neil didn't have that option because her school, Resurrection Academy in Rye, NY, had closed. So she chose Iona Prep, the high school her son attended. "Franklin Pierce is a young school, and like the pioneers in the Class of 1966, we are continuing to establish traditions," President Card notes. "They've given us a legacy, and we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them." 50 th Anniversary Scholarship " The city kids, they had a hard time adjusting to such a rural area, especially when you had to go 20 miles into Keene to get a decent pizza. But I loved it—it felt like home to me." Diane (Copland) Albonizio

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