Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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58 PIERCE / SPRING 2017 GIVING BACK I n early December, the Franklin Pierce Ravens men's hockey team took the ice in its new uniforms, a gift from James F. McDonald III '75. "When the players donned their new jerseys, their whole attitude rose," McDonald recalls being told by a player after that first game. Wanting to make the most of the sharp new look, the team has also arranged for live streaming of home games, for which McDonald was more of a champion than a sponsor. "I was willing to underwrite the effort," he said, "but we found out it was really a simple arrangement and did not really need financial support." The University has competed in intercollegiate varsity hockey since 2002 for men and 2012 for women. McDonald himself did not play hockey, and the genesis of the gift was almost happenstance. It grew out of the spirit of giving back that runs so strongly in Pierce alumni. "On Friday, Jan. 22, 1971, Franklin Pierce gave me an interview," McDonald says. "They were the only school to give me an interview. On Feb. 11, I got my acceptance. Franklin Pierce gave me a chance that no one else did. I appreciated that, even at the time. I knew when I had the chance, I wanted to give back. I went to Rindge and worked hard to get a degree. I did not play any varsity sports, only intramurals." McDonald earned a degree in Economics and went to work for Hamilton Standard, the aircraft propeller company, part of United Technology. He then worked for 24 years at NASA on the space shuttle program, then eight more years at Boeing on the 787 Dreamliner. In each case, he applied his training in cost and schedule management. "What I learned at Franklin Pierce propelled me to a career," McDonald says. "I was not a smart guy, I just had perseverance, tenacity, and moxie." He has since retired and lives in Enfield, Conn., where he grew up. These days he does a lot of fishing for trout, bass and salmon. He stays fit, exercising often at a local gym. It was there that an acquaintance, Ricky Williams, mentioned that his son was being recruited by the Ravens hockey team. "The next time I was up on campus I stopped in to see the hockey coach," McDonald says. "I was impressed by the talent he was recruiting to play for the school. So I asked what he needed, because I like to direct my dollars to something I can touch, something real, something professional that portrays the quality of the school. He told me new home jerseys. I said that was great because I also wanted to set an example on how alumni could help both the school and the students very directly." The new uniforms made their debut on Dec. 3, 2016. McDonald did not have a say in the design, but he likes the classic and classy look. "We have to support the University," McDonald stated. "And little by little, we are bringing people on board. As the world becomes more competitive, alumni support becomes more important. [Franklin Pierce] was there for us, now we have to be there for the University. " — Gregory DL Morris Alumni Gift of Hockey Jerseys Lifts Spirits " I knew when I had the chance, I wanted to give back." ANDREW CUNNINGHAM

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