Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2016

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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Page 34 of 83

FALL 2016 \ PIERCE 33 Fresh Starts I n the spring of 1965, Lloyd Astmann '69 found himself scrambling to find a new col- lege to attend. For the 19-year- old from River Edge, New Jersey, the last several months had been a struggle at his original school, Fairleigh Dickinson University. His grades reflected his poor class attendance and Astmann dropped out partly into his second semester. "I just wasn't ready and when the school thought I wasn't college ma- terial, my mom panicked because of the Vietnam War," says Astmann. "Then she saw an ad in the back of the Sunday New York Times Maga- zine for Franklin Pierce." A few months later, Astmann landed in Rindge to find a rural school that felt about as far away from his former life as the moon. But then, a funny thing happened. By his second year, Astmann had grown to love his school. The very things that had felt like hindranc- es—Pierce's small size, its country setting—felt vital. They fostered community and helped Astmann, who later co-founded the school's Alumni Association and served on its Board of Trustees, find his voice. Deeper social connections were made, too. A year after his arrival at Pierce, Astmann met another fresh-faced transfer, Helen Ament '69, whom he married in 1969. His younger brother, Mark Astmann '72 enrolled, and a generation later so did his daughter, Jill Astmann Karol '95. Similar to her parents, Pierce wasn't the first college Karol attend- ed. And like her parents, she found her footing and more of herself at the school after she transferred in as a sophomore. Karol studied theater arts and within the first week at the university she was presented with opportunities that never came her way at her old college. "It was extremely accessible," says Karol, who works as a makeup artist in film and television in New York City. "I recognize what Pierce did for all three of us. My parents and myself came there and needed a hand at that point in our lives and Pierce was there to help us." — Ian Aldrich Clockwise from top left: Lloyd Astmann at the New Hamp- shire State Liquor Store; Helen Ament Astmann '69; Helen and Lloyd at their commencement in 1969; 1969 Commencement speak- ers; (from left) Dr. Joyce Brothers, F. Lee Bailey, Franklin Pierce presi- dent and founder, Frank S. DiPietro, cartoonist Al Capp, Governor Walter Peterson and Franklin Pierce V.P. and Academic Dean, Clifford Coles; Victor Spar '70; (from left) Robert Patterson '69, Joseph C. Alessi, Jr. '69, Margaret Alessi, Lloyd and Helen; (from left) Lloyd, Richard Green '69, Alfred Marulli, Jr. '69 and Joseph C. Alessi, Jr. '69. continued. He'd grown close to Pierce's then-president, Walter Peterson, who offered him a job as the school's first full-time assistant coach for the men's basketball team. Larry's bond continued even after he left Pierce in '84 to begin a long career in the sports apparel business. He served as a board member of the Alumni Association in the early 1990s, and later on the Board of Trustees. Alumni weekends and visits to see old professors were a regular part of family life. For the couple's two girls, Lindsey '13 and Chelsea '15, the school's campus became about as familiar as their own backyard. Lindsey jokes now that she didn't understand just how well she knew Pierce until she landed there as a student and oriented other new arrivals on where to go. "They'd get lost and I'd say, 'No, it's right there,' or, 'you have to go this way.'" That kind of familiarity extended to other members of Judy and Larry's family. Four of their nieces, Cath- erine Peterson Fornici '04, Patricia Stilphen '04, Katie (Raposa) Mayville '04, and Megan Raposa '15, all at- tended the school. Two of them, Stilphen and Mayville, also met their spouses at the University, Mike Stilphen '04 and Brandon Mayville '04. In addition, two neph- ews, Danny and Francis Byrne, and two more nieces, Alison Raposa and Amber Alvarez, were undergradu- ates at the school for a time. For Lindsey, this kind of common connection has strengthened the relationship between cousins and siblings. "When we have family get togethers, you can tell we're a little bit closer," she says. "We have inside jokes about Pierce. Just being able to share those stories, even though there are ten years between some of us, the experiences and the joy that place brought us are still the same."

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