Soon Saint Anselm College will once again be center stage in the national political arena as we host the leading Republican candidates for President at the ABC News debate on February 6. This is an exciting and important time for our College. At the same time it is a challenging one as we continue to educate and operate. [Read more…]

Students Work in Media Filing Center

If having presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley on your college campus wasn’t exciting enough, five Saint Anselm students were given the opportunity to work for ABC News in the Media Filing Center ahead of Saturday night’s Democratic Debate.

Working in the filing center and spin room, students Stefan Skalimski ’18, Courtney Pelletier ’18, Phoebe Ferraiolo ’17, Abby Smith ’17, and Emily Dewey ’17, have been watching the political process in action.

“It’s a really good opportunity to see behind the scenes, watch the debate set up, and also network,” said politics major and communication minor Ferraiolo.

Throughout the afternoon, the students checked-in the media and gave out press credentials. More than 400 reporters, photographers, and members of the associated press are expected to check-in by the start of the debate.

For many of the students, having the presidential debates on campus was a main reason for choosing Saint Anselm College. Politics major Skalimski was deciding between Catholic University in Washington D.C and Saint Anselm, but ultimately decided on Saint Anselm because of his interest in political campaigns and the political presence at the college.

“The debates on campus are definitely a reason why I came here,” he said.

For the past two days, Skalimski has set-up the filing center: folding place cards, putting out chairs and hanging banners. Through the course of the day, he has directed the media personnel to their tables and in the process met representatives from Fox News, CNN, and other news organizations.

By the end of the night, Skalimski hopes one of the candidates makes an appearance in the spin room. However, the experience alone has made his time worthwhile, regardless of whether he sees Hillary or Bernie in the building,

“Working at the debates alone is a dream come true for a college politics major and I’m excited to have this opportunity,” said Skalimski.

Students prepare media filing center


Fr. Jonathan's Remarks: ABC Presidential Primary Debate

Good evening and welcome to Saint Anselm College! Our community of Benedictines, trustees, faculty, staff, and students is privileged to host you here tonight for this important event in our American democracy. There are far too many dignitaries here tonight to name them all, but I do want to offer a special welcome to the members of our New Hampshire Congressional Delegation: Senator Kelly Ayotte, and representatives Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass. We are honored tonight to have with us New Hampshire’s senior statesman, Senator Judd Gregg and his wife Kathy Gregg, both of whom have been great friends of Saint Anselm College and especially our New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

We are pleased to be working once again with ABC and WMUR to offer a forum for presidential candidates to present their views just days before New Hampshire’s voters go to the polls in the first-in-the-nation primary. I offer them very special thanks for arranging this Republican Presidential Primary Debate, and to you for being here in the audience.

During the school year, the seats you occupy tonight are filled with Saint Anselm freshmen and sophomores who are listening to lectures about humanity’s great thinkers, leaders and creators. Our students are asked to engage with these minds, to listen, to question, to challenge and consider – and ultimately to determine what they think and believe.

Tonight, we are all students, not only those of us here in the Dana Center, but the millions of viewers across New Hampshire, the country and the world. We will listen carefully, engage with what is said, question and consider – and ultimately decide who we believe is the person best suited to lead our dear nation in this complicated and contentious time.

We in New Hampshire take seriously our responsibility as the country’s first primary voters. We know that civic engagement is essential to patriotism, and that our democracy cannot and will not survive without the participation of its citizens.

At Saint Anselm, it is part of our educational mission to help students develop the skills and wisdom they need to live in and help lead our nation. Our New Hampshire Institute of Politics, founded more than 10 years ago, embodies that mission not only for our students but also the citizens of our state.

Tonight, we are pleased to once again serve as America’s classroom on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. Hosting debates is an Anselmian tradition. Welcome again, and please join me in a brief prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation.

You are the creator of all life, and the source of all wisdom.

We are grateful for the many gifts you have given us especially grateful tonight for the gift we have to live in the freedom of the United States of America, and we pray for those who are defending that freedom in the armed services.

Send the help of your Spirit on President Obama and on all who would hope to hold our nation’s highest office, that they may be capable of serving with wisdom and prudence, with justice and compassion.

Give us the help we need to discern who will best serve our nation and your plan.

Keep all of the candidates and all of us gathered here at Saint Anselm College ever safe in your love.

Blessed are you, Lord God, for ever and ever.

Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B.
Saint Anselm College

Journalist for a Day: A Student's Experience at the Debate

Photo: Gil Talbot

A garden sprung up on the grass outside Stoutenburgh Gymnasium, with big satellite flowers on stalks of wire and cable. The major networks, camped around the campus in big white microwave trucks, weren’t the only ones covering the debate; the Carr Center was bustling with over 700 news media reporters, journalists, photographers, cameramen, and other team members from all over the world.

Credentialed by ABC News, I was invited to report on the event for the Saint Anselm Crier. I sat in the front row in the press filing room, watched the debate with a room full of experienced journalism teams, and spoke to governors, U.S. representatives and senators, and directors and secretaries of federal offices who endorsed the Republican candidates for the Presidency. It was an amazing, new, and fulfilling experience for me to sit next to representatives from BBC News, to hear the stories of Occupy protesters and the supporters of the Republican candidates, and to communicate in broken Italian with a trio from a news media in Italy.

The 700 reporters were assigned seats along lines of tables set up in front of giant projector screens. In the hours before the debate, Occupy protesters marched on campus, setting up camp in the St. Joan of Arc parking lot. They carried signs and vigil candles, a coffin hoisted on the shoulders of six men, and beat on drums to lament the death of the American Dream. Vermin Supreme, a satirical performance artist who campaigns for the presidency on the platform of zombie awareness and tooth-brushing, joined the ranks of the Occupy Manchester/Saint Anselm movement. Republican supporters who shared the same space as the Occupiers had shouting matches over their favorite presidential candidate. Just like the garden of satellites, the supporters and protesters created a lush and colorful garden of picket signs. Everyone had a story to tell, including a group of Orthodox Jews from overseas protesting Zionism and an advocacy group for programs and services for children.

During the debate, the reporters focused on typing notes; during commercial breaks, discussions on new media outlets, such as Twitter and microblogging, were ubiquitous. Whenever a candidate would offer up an inspiring quote, the reporters gave a satisfied sigh; whenever there was an effective tack or a scathing side-comment, the reporters would laugh and groan. We were an audience beyond those in the seats in the Dana Center’s Koonz Theatre, and we were bringing this news to the rest of the world. It was fascinating, hearing the responses of the news teams as they prepared to write their stories and condense the information for the viewers and readers of their morning news. When the debate ended at eleven, there was a mad rush to the building next door, where we heard and recorded the words of government officials who reacted to the debate and gave support to the Republican candidates; the candidates themselves also joined the spin room, trying to get the press to hear more of their story.

From the moment the giant screens in our press room began airing the debate, I could feel a sense of pride and joy that my school, my little school in quiet New Hampshire, was at the eye of the world of politics. Saint Anselm College was praised by many for being a welcoming host; the spirit of the Benedictine tradition was definitely in the air during the whole debate process. Every journalist, every reporter, had a story to tell that night. In Manchester New Hampshire—at Saint Anselm College—history was made, and I was there to see it.

View all of the videos from the debates:

LIVE from Saint Anselm College

In the Granite State, it's all politics, all the time. Home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire citizens and Saint Anselm students are presented with extraordinary opportunities to interact with the men and women who seek our nation's highest office.

Leading up to the January 10 New Hampshire presidential primary, many networks will originate programming from the campus of Saint Anselm College, and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

We will post additional broadcasts, as they are announced.

Wednesday, January 4

  • (Fox News) – various live shots throughout the day
  • (NECN) 6 p.m. – Broadside: The News with Jim Braude, live from NHIOP
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from NHIOP
  • (NECN) 9 p.m. – The Only news at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King

Thursday, January 5

  • (Fox News) – various live shots throughout the day
  • (NECN) 9 a.m. – The Morning Show featuring live NH reports
  • (NECN) 6 p.m. – Broadside: The News with Jim Braude, live from NHIOP
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from NHIOP
  • (NECN) 9 p.m. – The Only news at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King

Friday, January 6

  • (Fox News) – various live shots throughout the day
  • (WMUR) Morning report, live outside Dana Center
  • (NECN) 9 a.m. – The Morning Show featuring live NH reports
  • (WMUR) noon – Live inside Dana Center
  • (WMUR) 5/6 p.m. – Live inside and outside Dana Center
  • (NECN) 6 p.m. – Broadside: The News with Jim Braude, live from NHIOP
  • (ABC) 6:30 p.m. – World News with Diane Sawyer, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from NHIOP
  • (NECN) 9 p.m. – The Only news at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King
  • (WMUR) 11 p.m. – Live inside Dana Center

Saturday, January 7

  • (Fox News) – various live shots throughout the day, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (WMUR) – morning report, live inside Dana Center
  • (WMUR) 6 p.m. – Live from Dana Center, spin room, and visibility area
  • (ABC) 6:30 p.m. – World News with David Muir, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 8 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from NHIOP
  • (ABC/WMUR) 9 p.m. – ABC News, Yahoo! News, WMUR Republican Presidential Debate, live from the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College, moderated by Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos and Josh McElveen
  • (NENC) 9 p.m. – The Only News at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King
  • (WMUR) 11 p.m. – Live from Dana Center, spin room, and visibility area

Sunday, January 8

  • (WMUR) – Morning show, live from Dana Center
  • (NECN) 8:30 a.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire debate preview, live from the NHIOP
  • (ABC/WMUR) 9 a.m. – This Week with George Stephanopoulos, live from the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College (check your local listings; airs at noon on WMUR; 10 a.m. on WCVB, Boston)
  • (Fox News) 6 p.m. – Special Report with Bret Baier, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 7 p.m. – Fox Report with Shepard Smith, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from the NHIOP
  • (Fox News) 8 p.m. – America's Election Headquarters with Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 9 p.m. – The Only News at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King

Monday, January 9

  • (NECN) 9 a.m. – The Morning Show, featuring live NH reports
  • (Fox News) 1 p.m. – America Live, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 3 p.m. – Studio B with Shepard Smith, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 6 p.m. – Special Report with Bret Baier, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 6 p.m. – Broadside: The News with Jim Braude, live from NHIOP
  • (Fox News) 7 p.m. – Fox Report with Shepard Smith, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Countdown to New Hampshire, live from NHIOP
  • (Fox News) 9 p.m. – Hannity, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 9 p.m. – The Only news at 9, featuring live reports from Alison King
  • (Fox News) 10 p.m. – On The Record with Greta Van Sustern, live from Saint Anselm College

Tuesday, January 10

  • (Fox News) 1 p.m. – America Live, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 3 p.m. – Studio B with Shepard Smith, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 6 p.m. – Special Report with Bret Baier, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (Fox News) 7 p.m. – Fox Report with Shepard Smith, live from Saint Anselm College
  • (NECN) 7 p.m. – Live primary night coverage anchored by Latoya Edwards and John Daly, featuring R.D. Sahl, Alison King, and coverage from every campaign headquarters
  • (Fox News) 8 p.m. – America's Election Headquarters New Hampshire Primary Coverage, live from Saint Anselm College

Faculty Experts Weigh in on New Hampshire Primary Hot Topics

Every four years, New Hampshire serves as a magnet to politicians and the media as the nation’s first presidential primary unfolds. Saint Anselm College professors weigh in on the latest issues affecting candidates coming out of the Iowa Caucuses. Click on the videos below for their thoughts. For information on these faculty experts or for other media inquires, please contact Laura Rossi at 603-656-7242 or

See the full list of faculty experts here.

Saint Anselm College Associate Professor of History Matthew Masur, Ph.D., offers his thoughts on the importance of the New Hampshire primary and debates as well as the lack of foreign policy discussions among candidates.


Saint Anselm College Assistant Professor of Politics Jennifer C. Lucas, Ph.D., offers her thoughts on the role of Michele Bachmann in the presidential race and how gender issues have shaped recent media coverage.


Saint Anselm College Assistant Professor of Politics Chris Galdieri offers his thoughts on the GOP candidates leading up to the New Hampshire primary.

GOP Debate Week: Tuesday

Amanda Sharon '15 and Ashley Scoville '15 work as runners for ABC News at the Radisson Hotel on January 3.

With four days to go before the Republican Primary Debate on January 7, the campus is soon to become a media maelstrom. In the Dana Center, where the event will be hosted by ABC and WMUR, Christmas wreaths came down and aluminum trusses went up. Lighting technicians hung and cabled 175 lights. Cushing Student Center was becoming FOX News “command central,” and a FOX News studio set was being created in Davison Hall.

Four miles away, in Manchester’s Radisson Hotel, dozens of Saint Anselm students worked as runners for CBS and ABC, laying cable, putting up signs, and setting up chairs and tables. Tom Snow ’14, a politics major, sat in for anchor Scott Pelley on the CBS set and has also sat in for TV talk show host Charlie Rose. Tomorrow morning, he and Gabriella Servello ’14 report for work at 4:30 to work the “green room” before the 7am show airs.

It’s fairly calm right now, one runner remarked, but once the candidates and journalists arrive from Iowa, where the caucus is taking place today, they expect to be literally running.

Check out the complete photo gallery below.


Creating A Conversation

Friday morning, following the conclusion of the Cory Booker town-hall, three Saint Anselm College staff huddled for a discussion. The campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman had approached the Saint Anselm College Republicans to sponsor (with the New Hampshire Institute of Politics serving as host) a Lincoln-Douglas style debate (we settled on calling it a conversation), and the time had come to decide where we would assemble an interested audience, the media, and the candidates.

It would be appropriate to mention at this point that by Friday morning, there were hundreds of requests for seats, and members of the foreign press from Germany, Switzerland and Japan had inquired about covering this event.

"What do you think?" asked Neil Levesque, Executive Director of the NHIOP.

We settled on relocating from the NHIOP auditorium to the Dana Center stage, and so started approximately 72 hours of phone calls, emails, meetings and countless spreadsheets and seating diagrams.

In a 12-hour marathon on Saturday, the audience was assembled, email confirmations were sent, and our media list grew to more than 50.

Sunday featured email conversations about finding matching American flags for the backdrop, buying 200 credentials at a local Staples, and figuring out how to accommodate the press list as it surged towards 100.

As we all signed off our iPhones and iPads around midnight on Sunday, we saw a story from the BBC: "Republicans Gingrich and Huntsman to hold epic debate." (No stress to live up to expectations!)

Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman plan to hold a debate styled on the historic 1858 tussles between Abraham Lincoln and Senator Stephen Douglas.

Their campaigns say the debate, to be held on Monday 12 December at St Anselm College in New Hampshire, will provide a detailed exploration of their positions and views for the country

As Monday dawned, Saint Anselm College did what it does best: welcome our guests with the highest of hospitality: from offering a family on an admission visit with a private tour of the hall as the set was under construction, to greeting "Campaign Carl" of Fox News Channel as an old friend who spends so much time on campus he knows us by name too.

The press assembled, the audience filled in, the candidates appeared on stage.

For 90 minutes, two candidates discussed the issues on the same stage where Humanities lectures are offered four days a week, and where in early January, the full candidate field will appear for our ABC News, WMUR debate.

Following a brief press conference, Jon Huntsman walked up to the coffee shop, entering to a round of applause, and ever-so-briefly interrupting students from their dinner, or studying (it is finals week, after all) to say hello, and ask how exams were going. The candidate walked behind the counter to greet the staff (and grab a few french fries).

And then it was over.

Campaign vehicles headed out to the next event, the media filed their video, stories and photos, and the college staff enjoyed an ever-so-brief moment of pause.

No time to rest though, the primary, and our next debate, is less than a month away. Just another day in "America's Classroom"

Students Tell Their Stories to the Wall Street Journal

After her morning exam, English major Amanda Brahm sat down in the NHIOP and told a Wall Street Journal reporter about an experience she will never forget: standing in for presidential candidate Mitt Romney during rehearsals for the June 13 Republican primary debate on campus. She learned the candidate’s position and gave accurate answers to the moderator (a classmate standing in for CNN chief national correspondent John King). Meanwhile, technicians did sound and lighting checks in preparation for the live national broadcast.

Amanda Brahm

Amanda Brahm stands in for Governor Mitt Romney at the June 2011 presidential primary debate.

The reporter, Jennifer Levitz, wanted to know what it is like to be at Saint Anselm College during a presidential election cycle. These students had numerous up-close-and-personal experiences to relate.

“I have friends who go to college in Washington, D.C. and they’ve never had experiences like this,” said Lyndsay Robinson. “I’ve met every single candidate at least three times.”

Although she is a Romney supporter, Robinson will be assisting candidate Newt Gingrich during this afternoon’s Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Jon Huntsman.

Jake Wagner talked about being an intern in the Huntsman campaign. The passionate politics major and Huntsman supporter (with a minor in campaign management) has been a political addict since the age of eight, and is executive director of the Saint Anselm College Republicans.

Unlike Robinson and Wagner, Brahm is more interested in the election process than in a particular candidate.

As the students chatted with the Wall Street Journal reporter, MSNBC’s broadcast of political coverage played on the NHIOP’s wide screen TV in the background. For Saint Anselm students who want to get a closer look at politics in progress, the opportunities are unlimited.

Saint Anselm, ABC, WMUR to Host Primary Debate

Every four years, Saint Anselm has a tradition of extending our Benedictine hospitality to presidential primary candidates, the news media, and the general public for nationally televised debates.

Saint Anselm College will once again play this important role by hosting a Republican debate with ABC and WMUR, to be held the Saturday evening prior to the New Hampshire primary. The debate will air nationally from 9 to 11 p.m.

ABC hosted the final Granite State presidential debates at Saint Anselm in 2008 (see photos) – an event that brought Republican and Democratic candidates on stage together for the first time, only days before the first-in-the-nation votes were cast.

From ABC News:

  • ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos to Moderate Debate from Saint Anselm College with WMUR Anchor Josh McElveen
  • Debate to Air in Primetime at 9:00 PM/ET on the ABC Television Network
  • Excerpted Debate to Re-Air the Following Morning on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”

ABC News and WMUR-TV, ABC’s Hearst-owned affiliate in Manchester, NH, are joining forces once again to host a Republican presidential candidate debate in New Hampshire just days before the Granite State’s first in the nation primary — a critical moment in the Republican nomination process. It will be the only broadcast network debate in primetime before the primary and will take place on the Saturday night preceding the primary from 9:00-11:00pm/ET. The debate will air live nationally on the ABC Television Network and locally on WMUR-TV and will be moderated by ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos; they will be joined by WMUR-TV anchor Josh McElveen.

The debate will stream live on, Yahoo!, and ABC News Radio, the nation’s largest commercial radio news organization, will carry it live on its stations. ABC News will re-air an excerpted version of the debate the following Sunday morning on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.”

The candidates will be asked about the critical issues the country faces in front of a live audience at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Eligibility criteria for a candidate’s participation will be posted on later this week.

ABC News and WMUR-TV co-hosted back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates in 2008 at the same critical point in the 2008 primary season and have enjoyed a long partnership covering “First in the Nation” politics in New Hampshire. In 2008, more than 9 million viewers across the country tuned in to watch the Democratic debate and 7.35 million for the Republican debate. The debates were also among the highest-rated programs in WMUR-TV history.

When the debate was announced in December, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said, “The days between Iowa and New Hampshire have often been make-or-break for candidates, and we look forward to putting the crucial questions of the day to the contenders for the Republican nomination. We are confident that voters in New Hampshire, and across the country, will be able to make even better decisions after watching this debate.”

“WMUR is proud of our history of partnering with ABC for presidential debates” said Jeff Bartlett, WMUR-TV President and General Manager. “We are looking forward to producing another informative debate just days before the First in the Nation Primary and again providing New Hampshire voters with a critical look at the field of candidates,” Bartlett continued.

About WMUR-TV & Hearst Television

WMUR-TV is the leading source of television news in New Hampshire, reaching more than one million people, and is the largest commercial television station in the state. is the most viewed New Hampshire web site for local news. An ABC affiliate, WMUR is owned by Hearst Television, Inc.

Hearst Television Inc. owns 29 television stations and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company’s television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of the largest U.S. television station groups. Hearst owns 13 ABC affiliated stations, and is the largest ABC affiliate group. The Company owns 10 NBC affiliates, and is the second-largest NBC affiliate owner, and also owns two CBS affiliates.

About ABC News

ABC News is responsible for all of the ABC Television Network’s news programming on a variety of platforms: television, radio and the Internet. Its flagship program is “World News with Diane Sawyer” with other programs including “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” “Primetime,” “20/20,” and the Sunday morning political affairs program “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” With an average television and radio audience of 180 million people in a given month, ABC News surpasses the competition. More than 2,400 affiliate stations broadcast ABC News Radio’s global news coverage. In addition, ABC News NOW is a 24-hour news and information network currently available to 44 million users across cable, broadband, and mobile platforms. NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, provides live and packaged news, sports, and weather reports, as well as footage of news events, to 200 ABC affiliates and more than 30 domestic and international clients.