2016 in Review: Major Campus News and Events

2016 began with a flurry of political activity and concluded with several exciting and transformational campus improvements. The Class of 2016 wrapped up their studies (hearing from alumnus Michael Sheehan at their Commencement Exercises), and departed campus in May, making way for the Class of 2020, who would arrive just a few short months later to begin their time on the Hilltop.

YEAR IN REVIEW: During this final week of 2016, join us each day for a look back at some of Saint Anselm's most memorable news, alumni, athletics, charity and more!

College Takes Center Stage During 100th NH Primary

This election year proved to be historic in more ways than one, as the New Hampshire Presidential Primary turned 100, and Saint Anselm College had a front row seat for all the action.

As the entire nation and many members of the media turned its eyes to New Hampshire, the college welcomed an array of guests including presidential candidates, political strategists, and major TV networks.

Students interned and volunteered for campaigns as well as major media outlets: ABC News, FOX News, and NBC to name a few.

Behind-the-Scenes Work Gives Students Unparalleled Experience

In addition to meeting various candidates at the NHIOP, Clare Robbins, a sophomore politics major, worked in the media room during Jeb Bush's Politics and Eggs event, worked for MSNBC's Morning Joe during their live broadcast from the coffee shop, and was also a runner for ABC News during the December debate.

"My experience with politics and media through the Saint Anselm and its role with the New Hampshire Primary thus far has been incredible," says Robbins. "I'm gaining hands-on experience here at Saint Anselm that I would not be able to get anywhere else."

President Steven DiSalvo notes that hosting the candidates and national news media and assisting media personnel offers students a unique and memorable educational experience.

"There is no better way to learn about the process than to be a part of it," says Dr. DiSalvo.

Read more about a busy 2016 for "New Hampshire's home for politics" in Thursday's 'year in review' post.

Saint Anselm Students on the Other Hilltop

Saint Anselm students in RomeThe spring semester launched the first Semester Abroad in Oriveto, Italy, sending 11 students and Classics professors David George and Linda Rulman to Italy’s Umbria region to live, learn, and travel together. The students studied topics ranging from Italy’s cultural heritage to art and architecture to Classical mythology. They also took weekly tours and field trips related to their readings.

After a trip to Assisi, Classics major Joseph Cahill ’16 reflected on the experience of visiting Italy's sites: "Everywhere you look there are layers upon layers of story and history woven into the landscape. It's daunting, I think it made all of us feel very, very small. But I'm also sure that it excited a desire to explore and question, and challenged us to not spend our time here existing but really living."

Alumnus and Boston Globe CEO Speaks at 123rd Commencement

Class of 2016 Commencement ExercisesDuring Saint Anselm College's 123rd commencement exercises on Saturday, May 21, commencement speaker and alumnus Michael Sheehan addressed 433 members of the class of 2016, asking them to bring the Anselmian traditions of compassion and kindness into the world.

Sheehan, a 1982 graduate and 2011 honorary degree recipient of Saint Anselm College, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Boston Globe and former award-winning Chairman, CEO, President and Chief Creative Officer of Hill Holliday, one of the largest advertising agencies in the country.

Saint Anselm Goes Green with Campus Initiatives

In 2016, the college instituted a number of measures to increase environmental sustainability. Multiple administrative offices and departments made simple but significant changes, from reducing paper usage to using more sustainable materials. In addition, various student clubs and organizations took strides toward decreasing waste and increasing energy efficiency.

Mike Murphy, assistant director of Residential Life and Education explains, "Part of our college mission and philosophy is to be good stewards of the community. Not just for the campus, but in a larger context. It's important for us as a community to care for the environment because there are overall benefits for everyone."

Princeton Review Ranks College 10th for Food and 13th for Community Engagement

The Family Weekend Show celebrates new rankingsSaint Anselm College was once again named among the country's best institutions for undergraduate education in The Princeton Review's 2017 edition of "The 381 Best Colleges."

The college was ranked 8th in the nation for Best Campus Food (up two spots from last year's ranking), and 6th for Most Engaged in Community Service (up from 13th in 2016), as well as being rated 20th for Happiest Students, and included on the Best Northeastern list.

Only about 15% of America's 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the guide.

Read more about Saint Anselm College's commitment to community service in Tuesday's 'year in review' post.

Class of 2020 Arrives on Campus Move In Day 2016

In August, the class of 2020, 402 first-year students, arrived on campus for the college’s new student orientation program. As cars rolled up to residence halls, upperclassmen cheered and unloaded cars 10 at a time. Within a few hours, the college community's newest members were settled in their residences for the next year.

Class of 2020 At a Glance

  • 39% men, 61% women
  • 21 states and 2 foreign countries represented
  • Average G.P.A.: 3.26
  • Top 5 majors: Nursing, Business, Politics, Biology, Criminal Justice

College Plants Hiroshima Tree

In a small campus ceremony behind Joseph Hall on September 17, the buildings and grounds department planted a tree grown from the seed of one which lived through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, leading to the unconditional surrender of Japan and the effective end of World War II.

Saint Anselm College alumnus Michael McCue '89 secured the seed from Green Legacy Hiroshima, an initiative of a United Nations organization. Green Legacy Hiroshima's mission is to spread seeds and saplings of Hiroshima's so-called "survivor trees."

College Hosts Heritage Edition of Saint John’s Bible

Beginning in September, the Geisel Library began displaying one of the seven volumes of the Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition as Saint Anselm College participates in the program, "A Year with The Saint John's Bible."

The volume, Gospels and Acts, is a richly illustrated facsimile of the original Bible manuscript. Gospels and Acts is be on display on the main floor of the Geisel Library until October 2017.

College Breaks Ground on Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex

L to R: Richard Meelia, Joanne Pietrini Smith, Roger and Francine Jean, Dr. DiSalvo, Emma Bishop, Abbot Mark Cooper

View from present-day Cushing Parking Lot, showing the beautiful new entrance to the glass-enclosed Campus Store/Bookstore accessible from the lower level.

View from present-day Cushing Parking Lot, showing the beautiful new entrance to the glass-enclosed Campus Store/Bookstore accessible from the lower level.

The Saint Anselm College community will gain a dynamic new gathering place in the very center of campus, with a lead unrestricted gift making the expansion and renovation of the Student Center possible. The gift was announced in October by President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. during a groundbreaking ceremony

A significant portion of a $6 million commitment — the largest individual gift in the college's history — from trustee Roger L. Jean '70, HD ’06 and his wife, Francine, will enable the college to undertake the project, which is slated for completion in early 2018. The new facility will be known as the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex.

College Announces $1 Million Gift for Diversity Scholarship Program

At a President's Convocation on September 8, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, president of Saint Anselm College, addressed the community on topics ranging from enrollment, and academic affairs, to the financial health of the college.

He also announced a $1 million dollar endowment grant over the course of five years to the college from a private foundation, in support of the Hilltop Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for underrepresented, low-income, first-generation or international students.

"We believe that academically qualified students who are committed to working hard should not be denied the opportunity to succeed here," says Dr. DiSalvo. "Lowering the barriers for underrepresented students expands their opportunity to earn an exceptional undergraduate education. At the same time their presence and active engagement in our learning community will enrich the educational experience of all students. We are extremely grateful to the foundation for providing this opportunity, and we hope that it will lead to even greater support for diversity and inclusiveness in our community."

New Dr. Paul J. McNeil ’46 College Entrance Opens

Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B., with Dr. Paul McNeil, Maureen McNeil and Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, president of the collegeThe college ends 2016 with a new main entrance. On Dec. 13, Saint Anselm College officially opened the entry way with a ribbon cutting ceremony honoring Dr. and Mrs. Paul J. McNeil '46, after whom the gateway will be named.

Designed to provide a dramatic first impression, in the future this new entrance (located opposite College Road, east of the "old" main entrance) will also provide a symbolic introduction to the superior educational experience to which the college is committed.

"We were in desperate need of a main entrance that was more welcoming, and signifying the arrival into our academic community," said President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

"When you enter campus you will soon see in front of you the new Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex, which, once complete, will serve as a beacon for the future; and then you will turn and see an iconic historic building, Alumni Hall, that preserves the past. That is the moment, when you realize that Saint Anselm College is all about tradition, our mission and our history; but it's also about our growth and faith in the future."