Saint Anselm College is a nationally ranked, Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college in Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States. Founded in 1889 by Abbot Hilary Pfrängle, O.S.B. of Saint Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey, at the request of Bishop Denis Mary Bradley of Manchester, New Hampshire, it is the third-oldest Catholic college in New England. Named for Saint Anselm of Canterbury (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109), the college continues to have a fully functioning and independent Benedictine abbey attached to it, Saint Anselm Abbey. As of 2015, its enrollment is approximately 2,000.
According to the college, the student body is selected not only for their academic abilities but also for their personal character. The college's academic curriculum requires several philosophy and theology courses as well as the new "Conversatio" program. The administration's commitment to an anti-grade inflation policy helped the college receive national media attention from the Fox News Channel in 2006, as well as a Tier 1 ranking from U.S. News and World Report, which in 2016 ranked the college 112th among national liberal arts colleges, with an admissions rate that is deemed "selective" at 73.7%. U.S. News & World Report also ranked the college as the most popular New Hampshire venue for presidential candidates.Forbes magazine has ranked St. Anselm as the 85th best college in the nation, as well as the 40th in the Northeast. In 2015, Saint Anselm was recognized by Time magazine as one of the "50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges" in the nation.
Since the 1950s, the college has played an important role in the "first in the nation" New Hampshire primary, and has served as the national stage for many future presidents, candidates, and supporters. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon each delivered important policy speeches there. The college has been home to several national presidential debates which have attracted extensive media attention. The Washington Post recently referred to Saint Anselm College as "the Benedictine college with a box seat on America's most riveting political theater".
In 2013, Dr. Steven DiSalvo, the former president of Marian University was named the 10th president of Saint Anselm. DiSalvo replaced Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B. after 24 years of service to the college. Father DeFelice was the longest serving college president in the state of New Hampshire. In 2015, Dr. DiSalvo announced that the Saint Anselm had applied to enter the exploratory phase of NCAA Division III membership for all athletic programs.
The first bishop of Manchester, Denis Mary Bradley, invited the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey, to form a college and preparatory school in his diocese. The monks that came to Manchester from Saint Mary's were primarily of German descent. This is due to the fact that Manchester was heavily populated with French Canadian and Irish immigrant mill workers, and Bradley was unable to find a suitable religious community that would not stir up ethnic tensions. The German monks accepted, and founded the third Catholic college in New England. On August 1, 1889, the New Hampshire legislature approved the incorporation of the Order of Saint Benedict of New Hampshire “for religious and charitable purposes, for the education of youth, for establishing churches and conducting services therein.” This historic date marked the founding of Saint Anselm College. A six-year curriculum in philosophy and theology was developed. In 1892, as Alumni Hall neared completion, a fire destroyed the college on a cold winter night in February. The fire was most likely caused from an ember from the heating stove's gate as it was not closed properly. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt because of the fire. The monks were forced to rebuild the college, spending considerably less money on the construction, as they had received only $55,000 from the Insurance Commissioner of the State of New Hampshire. To save money, many bricks were salvaged from the previous structure and pieces of granite were cut from large granite rocks still visible on the current quad. In 1893, the current building that remains the center of campus was completed; the fire delayed the first academic semester by one year. The monks rebuilt the college, and on October 11, 1893 the college was officially rededicated. To avoid the possibility of another fire, a power house, which today serves as the college print shop, was constructed separately from the building. Two years later, in 1895, the New Hampshire legislature granted Saint Anselm College the right to bestow standard academic degrees upon its graduates. In 1912, the bell tower and ivy were added to the building; in 1923, the college's second chapel (the first being located on the second floor at the present-day business office) was constructed as a connecting wing. The second chapel serves today as the Alva deMars Megan Chapel Arts Center.
The Abbey Shield was designed by Pierre de Chaignon la Rose of Harvard University. It incorporates the personal coat of Saint Anselm of Canterbury and the first seal of the state of New Hampshire. In 1927, by a monastic vote, the shield design was incorporated as the official shield of Saint Anselm Abbey and the college. The drops in each quadrant represent the three drops of blood on Anselm's coat of arms, and the sheaf of five arrows is taken from the first shield of the State of New Hampshire, representing the five original counties of the state. Hence, the Abbey Shield has been interpreted as Saint Anselm of New Hampshire.
One goal of the early college was to be a self-sufficient institution. The college had a farm that was over 100 acres (0.40 km2) in size, complete with chickens, pigs and cows. The farm also included a full vegetable garden which extended from the lawn of Alumni Hall to the current parking lot located between Joan of Arc Hall and Davison Hall. Due to the hard work of the monks and several lay members from the local community, the college was agriculturally independent of the local community. Fr. Bonaventure Ostendarp, O. S. B. founded the Studio of Christian Art in 1893 in order to sell paintings to local Catholic churches throughout the region. The current Raphael House of the Courts dorms was the original art studio for the monks, built in 1895.
The Benedictines who established Saint Anselm founded a preparatory school, as well. The preparatory school was a prestigious boarding school for elite men from around New England. In 1935, the monks decided to close the preparatory school to save money for the college's expansion. A notable alum of Saint Anselm Preparatory was Connecticut Senator Thomas J. Dodd.
In 1942, Saint Anselm became one of the institutions selected by the War Department for training of Army Aviation cadets. Thousands of young men were sent to the college to receive training and education before entering World War II. Cadets trained on large open fields which were located directly behind the present-day Coffee Shop. The U.S. government paid the college for training the cadets, and after the war, the college acquired two prefabricated government buildings which have been transformed into the modern-day coffee shop and bookstore. During World War II, several members of the monastic community served as Army chaplains; their names are inscribed on a monument in front of Alumni Hall dedicated to all graduates who have served in the armed forces. Also inscribed on the monument is the Latin and English versions of the Benedictine community's song. For more information see Saint Anselm Abbey Community Song.
Saint Anselm came out of the tumultuous decade of the 1960s with no major disturbances or riots on campus despite various bomb threats called into campus, often from parties outside the college. Fr. Placidus Riley, O.S.B. successfully led the college through these challenging times. Despite the backlash against the U.S. military on college campuses nationwide, the presence of a National Guard armory did not result in any major problems. However, in May 1970, final exams for that year were made optional as students showed support for the students of Kent State after the massacre of several unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War. Students, faculty and members of the monastic community held prayer services and rallies throughout campus after the shootings.
The Institute of Saint Anselm Studies was founded in 2000, and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics was founded in 2001. In 2009, the college lost a notable trustee, Dominic DiMaggio, an All-Star center fielder for Boston Red Sox who served on the college's Board of Trustees from 1978 to 2009.
Saint Anselm's campus has been noted as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States, exemplified by the Princeton Review's number #17 "Most Beautiful Campus" ranking in 2011. The campus is situated in Goffstown, New Hampshire, with a portion of the athletic fields occupying the adjoining town of Bedford. The mailing address for students and faculty is Manchester, New Hampshire. There are a total of 60 buildings on campus, which spans over 450 acres (1.8 km2). Since 1977, over 40 buildings have been built. The oldest building on campus is Alumni Hall, which was originally constructed in 1891, and rebuilt in 1893 after a fire; at that time, the building was the entire original school.
Within the next ten years, there are plans to change the current roads and re-route the traffic flow of the entire campus.
Alumni Hall was constructed by the Benedictine monks and local contractors from 1891 through the winter of 1892; the building was designed by Patrick W. Ford, an Irish-American architect from Boston. Nearing completion in February 1892, all that remained was for workers to continue to plaster the interior walls; sadly, a fire which was most likely caused by a heating stove's gate not closed completely, sparked an ember and destroyed the entire structure. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt because of the fire. The monks were forced to rebuild the college, spending considerably less money on the construction, as they had only received $55,000 from the Insurance Commissioner of the State of New Hampshire. In an effort to save money, many bricks were salvaged from the previous structure and pieces of granite were cut from large granite rocks still visible on the current quad. In 1893, the current building that remains the center of campus was completed; the fire delayed the first academic semester by one year. To avoid the possibility of another fire, a power house was constructed separately from the building. Farmland complete with livestock, beanpoles and tomato plants lined the present-day quad and adjacent fields, as the monks were completely self-sufficient. In 1912, the bell tower (the inside is pictured to the right) and ivy were added to the building; in 1923, the college's second chapel (the first being located on the second floor at the present-day business office) was constructed as a connecting wing. Today this second chapel is the college's Chapel Arts Center, which hosts art exhibits and other cultural events. It still boasts ornate stained glass windows and painted ceilings.
Today, Alumni Hall houses faculty offices, administrative offices, the Chapel Arts Center, a women's residence hall named The Streets, and several "smart classrooms". Beneath the Chapel Arts Center is a photography lab, darkroom, and several faculty and student publication offices. Beneath "The Streets" and the bell tower are the offices of the Dean of Students, the Registrar's Office, and the Office of Residential Life. Until 1919, the college consisted solely of Alumni Hall. Before this expansion, the monks lived on the second floor and students lived on the third and fourth floors. The first floor and basement had classrooms, a library and cafeteria.
The Abbey Church is the liturgical center of the college. It is frequently cited as the "heart of campus." The upper church allows the college community to join with the monastic community for the daily celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The lower church permits smaller groups of the community to assemble for worship and houses the Lady Chapel, the Saint Basil Byzantine Chapel, the former offices of Campus Ministry (relocated to Cushing Center), and meeting rooms. The Lower Church is the location of the weekly 9 p.m. Mass held on Wednesday nights. The original monastery was Alumni Hall. An interim monastery existed between 1919 and 1955 in what is now Joseph Hall, adjacent to Alumni Hall. The current monastery, built in 1955, is staffed with only a cook, as the monks perform all other tasks such as cleaning, maintenance and upkeep. Having four floors, including a basement, the monastery can house up to one hundred monks; as of 2012 approximately 30 rooms were filled. The Dean of the College and several members of the board of trustees live in the monastery, as they are practicing Benedictine monks. Since 2012, Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B has been the fifth elected Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey. Male students frequently dine in the monastery as guests; they are required to comply with the Benedictine rule of silence while eating, which allows for contemplation and prayer. The monastery has a refectory, a smaller guest refectory, a smaller chapel, two welcoming rooms near the main entrance and is complete with elevator access to all four floors. The monastery also serves as the mother house for the Woodside Priory School and the abbot serves as the spiritual father for the monks who live there. Saint Anselm Abbey is a member of the American-Cassinese Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation. Saint Anselm Abbey was founded from Saint Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey.
The Saint Anselm College Geisel Library has three floors and over 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of space housing books, resources and electronic equipment. The library is complete with several reference desks, over 30 computers, and the Institute of Saint Anselm Studies. On the second floor, there are three enclosed study areas; two are group study rooms that are available for student use, and the third is named the Creaghe Room, a locked, faculty-only study.
Geisel Library's collection of over 200,000 books originated in a sack of books brought by Father Hugo Paff, O.S.B. from Saint Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey; these books are still in the library and date back to the mid- to late-19th century. The college's first library, shaped around this initial collection, was situated on the first floor of Alumni Hall. During the early years of the college, Benedictines served as librarians on an ad hoc basis, but by 1929, Saint Anselm had its first official librarian, Father Cuthbert Redmond, O.S.B. New books were purchased under Father Edwin Davitt, O.S.B. By 1937, Saint Anselm could boast 8,000 books in several mini-libraries, as well as the main repository, by this time located on the second floor.
The college performed a self-study in 1950 that revealed the need for a larger library. Joseph Geisel, a prominent Manchester businessman, contributed $500,000 in stock, and in 1959 the college broke ground on Geisel Library; the library opened its doors in the fall of 1960. The 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) library featured reading rooms, study areas, a reference center, a music room, seating for 385 students, and space for 100,000 volumes. Two expansions, one in 1973 and the final in 1992, each increased the library's area by 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2). In 2012, the college updated several areas of the library; the computer work stations were moved, and new desks, tables, lamps, paint, couches and chairs, as well as the addition of two cutting-edge "media:scape" tables, which are designed to facilitate online group work, were added. In addition, Internet Technology (IT) has moved its Help Desk to the library.
The Dana Center for the Humanities is the premier performing arts center on the campus of Saint Anselm College. The center was home to the nationally recognized humanities program, "Portraits of Human Greatness", and is also the headquarters for the student theater group, the Anselmian Abbey Players. The Anselmian Abbey Players have been a center of theater, culture and music on campus for over 60 years. This tradition began in the fall of 1949 with a production of "Career Angel". Since then, this student-run organization has enjoyed a long record of excellence. The Abbey Players offer students the opportunity to develop their artistic talents both on and off the stage, stressing the importance of self-esteem, teamwork, and leadership. The Dana Center also hosts many touring companies throughout the year. These performances include classical theater, contemporary dance, concerts, and films. These performances attract visitors from throughout the region. On stage, international and domestic performers stage both traditional and modern programs ranging from contemporary Indian dance to Piedmont blues to Russian classical music.
34 buildings on campus are devoted to student housing, with approximately 95% of the student body living on campus. The majority of freshman males live in Dominic Hall, while most freshman females reside in either Joan of Arc Hall (commonly referred to as JOA) or Baroody Hall. Dominic Hall is a freshman dorm, located adjacent to the Coffee Shop and in close proximity to Alumni Hall and Bradley House. Dominic Hall houses over 205 students, offering mostly doubles, very few singles and several "quads", or four-person rooms. Dominic is affectionately nicknamed "Dirty Dom"; however, new lights, windows, doors and ceiling tiles have been installed and the custodial staff cleans the hallways and communal bathrooms five days a week. Joan of Arc is a female freshman residence hall where double-type rooms predominate. However, freshmen may be placed in any residence hall on campus. The Lowers are located near the NHIOP at the bottom of Saint Anselm Drive; these apartments were built in the mid-1990s and have a kitchen, one and a half bathrooms, a family room and bedrooms. A similar setup is available in Uppers; however, these dorms are slightly newer and are the favorite of seniors because they are located closer to central campus. Traditionally, residence halls have been single sex, though this began to change in the 2007–2008 academic year, when Brady Hall had female residents on its third floor while the bottom two floors were male. Hilary, Bertrand and Brady Halls are some of the largest on campus, as they can house over 120 students each. Holy Cross Hall, formerly named Building M has mostly singles and very few doubles; these rooms connect to a central hallway, two bathrooms and a large common room to form a "Pod".
The campus underwent a substantial facelift in 2009, as new faculty offices and instructional spaces were created within the newly renovated Saint Joan of Arc Convent, which is now known as Joseph Hall. Joseph Hall is named after the third Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey and former Bishop of Portland, Maine, Bishop Joseph John Gerry. At an estimated cost of $2.5 million, Joseph Hall has a Bloomberg trading room, where business students learn to use a Bloomberg terminal for real-time tracking of financial markets. Constructed in 1919, Joseph Hall served as the first monastery outside of Alumni Hall for over 100 Benedictine monks. In 1955, when the current abbey was built, the Sisters of Saint Joan of Arc, from Quebec, Canada moved in from Bradley House (across campus), and the building was renamed the "Saint Joan of Arc Convent." Their departure in 2008 ended over 50 years of service to the college, as the sisters were cooks, seamstresses and performed other domestic services for the monastic community.
The college opened a $2 million, 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) fitness center in February 2009. The addition to Carr is a three-story glass center, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the baseball and football fields, constructed on the south side of the building. The additions brought 37 cardiovascular machines, 39 strength pieces and 7,000 pounds of weights. Connecting to the addition are three indoor basketball/tennis courts equipped with scoreboards and a sound system. The basement of Carr has the varsity gym, football locker room, general locker rooms and administrative offices for the athletic department. In 2012, the college spent 1.3 million dollars by installing a synthetic turf field at Grappone Stadium, and added lights for nighttime practice.
Construction began on "New Hall" in the summer of 2013. The project was expected to cost over $9.5 million and is situated near the lower entrance of campus in back of Brady Hall. The dorm is able to hold 150 students, and has expanded the residential options for undergraduates and should eliminate the need for triple occupancy rooms. The dormitory's common spaces are air-conditioned to a certain extent, while the individual rooms are not air-conditioned. "New Hall" also features student-friendly amenities such as a recycling room, bike storage, general storage space for students, and an elevator. Additionally, over 3,000 square feet (280 m2) is dedicated to common space, including modern kitchenettes and individual study areas on each floor.
A new parking lot has been constructed on college-owned land between Sullivan Arena and privately owned Clarke Farm in Bedford. This parking lot has replaced the former Joan of Arc parking lot, which was located between the Dana Center, Davison Dining Hall, and the Joan of Arc dormitory (JOA). The former parking lot was torn down, and a grassy open quadrangle was constructed during the summer of 2012. A grotto has been built between JOA and Gadbois Hall and was dedicated in late 2014, with the placement of a religious statue. The quadrangle is yet to be named, and has new lights and walkways; the centerpiece is a large granite seal of the college. The project is the first place on campus where electronic gates have been installed. The gates are used to cordon off the roads of the new quad during the regular semester and can be opened for emergency vehicles and during move in/out days.
Saint Anselm College RECYCLES was a greening movement which started on campus in 2009. Up to that time, recycling was limited on campus, and students had to resort to their own methods of recycling containers and other recyclables in dorms. An impromptu recycling program—Saint Anselm College RECYCLES—was started through the Knights of Columbus and the Club Soccer organization that served the Uppers section of campus, every Saturday, averaging around 650 pounds of material per week. In the 2010 spring semester, this plan funded by Club Soccer and the Knights of Columbus provided over fifty recycle bins, purchased from the city of Providence, Rhode Island. In the spring of 2010, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics installed seven recycling bins throughout its facilities. Inspired by this student-led activity, the college's physical plant purchased 120 bins for all of the apartments in the Uppers, Lowers and Falvey and Collins Houses. In the fall of 2010, Physical Plant installed five Waste Management recycling dumpsters throughout campus. Campus-wide recycling is planned by 2013.
On May 22, 2010, Saint Anselm had its first "Green Graduation". A proposal submitted by the three student founders of Saint Anselm College RECYCLES, Eric Ricci, Ryan McCarty, and Kevin McIntyre was accepted by the executive vice president of the college, Dr. Suzanne Mellon. Programs were printed on recycled paper, recycling containers were available for usage on the quad, plastic cups replaced bottled water, and water canisters replaced the large amounts of plastic required in previous years.
According to the college website, Saint Anselm "seeks to help you develop into a precise and critical thinker, articulate and clear communicator, and an active and compassionate citizen." Saint Anselm used to require the completion of a nationally recognized two-year Humanities program. The "Portraits of Human Greatness" program began freshman year and would end at the completion of a student's sophomore year. Seeking to develop a well-rounded student, the College replaced the program with the "Conversatio" lecture series. However, this has caused significant outcry from some alumni, charging that this "new humanities program" is too watered down. After the addition of "Conversatio" in 2014, the number of classes taken by full-time students dropped from 5 classes to 4 classes per semester, with the credit hours of each class increasing. By studying the humanities, comprising art, science, literature, philosophy, and theology, faculty and students attempt to understand profound issues, specifically focusing on the human condition. In addition, three philosophy and three theology courses are required in order for a student to graduate. Two out of the three required courses for philosophy are "Nature and the Human Person", which details the philosophy and psyche of the human being; "Ethics", which discusses issues ranging from medical to sexual ethics; and an elective of the student's choosing. One of the required theology courses is "Biblical Theology", which is an overview of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
While the college does not have an established "Honor Code", there is a "faith based honor code", which requires students to remain faithful to the college's mission, faith and identity.
Saint Anselm College has resisted what the college sees as the grade inflation trend at many of America's college's and universities. At Saint Anselm, the top 25% of the class has a 3.1 GPA; the median grade at the college is around a 2.5 GPA. While the Dean's List at most schools begin at a 3.5 GPA, Saint Anselm awards students with the honor at a 3.0 GPA. According to a 2006 Fox News article, former Dean of the College Father Peter Guerin, O.S.B., is quoted as saying that today's "parents may view universities as a consumer market in which they're in a way paying for the diploma.... Students who attend class on a regular basis and are paying tuition feel that they should be receiving that A, even if they have not deserved it." Some professors and administrators believe that inflating grades makes it harder for students to realize their academic strengths and weaknesses and may encourage students to take classes based on grade expectations. The practice also makes it harder for parents and students to determine whether or not the grade was earned. A curriculum committee was set up in 1980 to meet with the academic dean and review the grading polices on a monthly basis. The previous president of the college, Father Jonathan DeFelice, is quoted as saying, "I cannot speak for everyone, but if I'm headed for the operating room, I will take the surgeon who earned his or her 'A' the honest way".
The majority of the applicant pool is from the New England area. The selection process is composed of a comprehensive review of the applicant's high school transcript to determine whether he or she has taken the most challenging courses, personal recommendations from teachers and guidance counselor, an essay, and extracurricular involvement. As of 2010, SAT/ACT scores are optional for applicants. The acceptance rate is 67%, and labeled "selective" by US News and World Report. The college's applicant pool is relatively small, around 3,500 students, and the retention rate of Saint Anselm students from freshman to sophomore year is 76%. The average accepted high school GPA is a 3.2 on a scale of 4.
In 2015, Saint Anselm was recognized by Time magazine as one of the "50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges" in the nation. St. Anselm was ranked #18 among liberal arts colleges in the country for the best return on investment (ROI) according to "Payscale.com". In the same vein, the College was named #171 by The Economist's ranking of over 1,000 colleges, for best economic value. U.S. News and World Report's 2016 college rankings ranked Saint Anselm #112 in the nation.
In 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Saint Anselm as the 85th best college in the United States as well as 76th for private college and 40th in the Northeast. Recently, Saint Anselm was listed #100 among national liberal arts institutions that Kiplinger's judged as offering the best value. The Princeton Review's Best 373 Colleges publication has described Saint Anselm as "one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education." The Princeton Review describes the college as academically challenging, but rewarding, with "passionate professors" who make time to work individually with students. The college was also cited for providing opportunities for community and political engagement on its "absolutely gorgeous" campus, which earned the school the #17 "Most Beautiful Campus" ranking. The college was ranked #10 in the nation for the quality of food in The Princeton Review's 2015 rating. St. Anselm was ranked 20th on The Princeton Review's list of "Most Religious Students", and 12th with best "Gown and Town" relations. U.S. News & World Report has continually named Saint Anselm as one of the country's "Colleges with Conscience" for several years. The Washington Monthly ranked Saint Anselm College 153rd among "Liberal Arts Colleges" in 2011. In 2009, the Saint Anselm College Choir was the 8th most-searched college choir under Google search. In 2001, USNWR ranked Saint Anselm as #3 on the list of "Most Comprehensive Bachelor's Program".
Saint Anselm has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 18 students. Saint Anselm does not have teaching assistants or graduate assistants. Saint Anselm has 145 full-time faculty and 62 part-time instructors; almost all faculty members (90%) have terminal degrees in their respective fields.
Saint Anselm College offers majors in 32 subject areas. The following majors are available: Accounting, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Environmental Science, Finance, Fine Arts, French, History, Liberal Arts and Engineering, Liberal Studies in the Great Books, Mathematics, Natural Science, Nursing, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Theology, International Business, International Relations, Physics, and Education.
In addition to the one major required for graduation, students can also pursue as many minors as their course schedule allows. Awarded to a limited number of students, the courses required for a minor are fulfilled through a student's elective courses. Saint Anselm offers the following minors: Asian Studies, Catholic Studies, Communication, Computational Physical Science, Education, Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, Forensics, French, German, Gender Studies, Greek, Human Relations and Work, International Studies, Latin, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, Neuroscience, Public Policy Studies, Russian Area Studies, Spanish, Sports Studies, and Web Design.
Some majors and minors offer special academic programs. Completion of these programs does not result in any minor or other recognition. If a student wishes to enter a professional school after graduation, he or she may undertake one of the pre-professional programs offered. Internships are required for some majors, where students can experience life outside of the classroom, however any student can enroll in an internship for elective credit. Saint Anselm participates in an archaeological excavation program allowing students to travel to Italy and unearth ancient Roman treasures. For prospective engineers, the college has agreements with other schools through the cooperative engineering program.
Pre-professional programs include Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine/Pre-Dental/Pre-Veterinary, and Pre-Theology. Starting freshman year, students are paired up with advisors who will help the student decide which courses to take and offer general guidance throughout their time at Saint Anselm. However, pre-professional students often complain about the quality of their advisors, as they are often labelled as inexperienced, and many students choose to side step the process entirely. The program culminates with a "pre-professional interview" where three professors hold a mock professional interview with a student.
Archaeological excavation – The Classics Department sponsors an excavation at Castel Viscardo, a city near Orvieto in Italy. Faculty and students from the college are excavating a site that was occupied from the early Etruscan to the late Roman periods. The excavation have yielded many historical and archaeological finds; Saint Anselm College sends over 25 students each summer to the Coriglia excavation, just outside town.
The Cooperative Engineering Program is a five-year cooperative liberal arts and engineering program in affiliation with the University of Notre Dame, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, The Catholic University of America, and Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. Three years are spent fulfilling undergraduate liberal arts courses at Saint Anselm, and two years are spent at one of the universities above for an engineering degree.
Saint Anselm College participates in the following national and international honor societies. Invitations from these societies are organized through each academic department, as students are usually invited membership by junior or senior year.
Delta Epsilon Sigma, the Catholic equivalent to Phi Beta Kappa, is the oldest honor society at the college. Open to all majors, the Tau Chapter, founded in 1940, accepts only 40 members from the senior and junior classes.
Other societies include the debate honor society Delta Sigma Rho, international social science honor society Pi Gamma Mu, history honor society Phi Alpha Theta, economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon, nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau, Spanish language honor society Sigma Delta Pi, French honor society Pi Delta Phi, psychology honor society Psi Chi, politics honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, and biology honor society Beta Beta Beta. The Dean's List of Scholars is an internal honor society accepting students that fulfill its requirements of a 3.0 semester GPA in at least five classes. Only the top 25% of the school generally qualifies for the list. Members receive a card of congratulations, signed by the Dean of the College.
Latin Honors upon graduation are:
Since 1896, Saint Anselm graduates have participated in nearly exactly the same graduation ceremony.
Commencement weekend begins on Friday afternoon as members of the senior class gather in the upper church of Saint Anselm Abbey for the annual honors convocation. The senior academic honors convocation begins with an invocation, said by the Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey, and is followed by the conferral of academic awards, read by the Dean of the College. Virtually every academic department has an award to present to a senior of that major. Next the President of the college awards each Summa Cum Laude graduate; within this elite group the Chancellor's medal is awarded to the graduate with the highest academic grade point average.
The convocation is followed by the celebration of the Eucharist during a Roman Catholic Mass, which includes a homily delivered by the Abbot. The mass concludes with the singing of the Saint Anselm College Anthem as each graduand exits the church to meet their family and friends outside of the church and on the surrounding grounds for photographs and a reception in the Carr Center.
The Saint Anselm College Anthem was written by Father Augustine Kelly, O.S.B., Dean of the College, and composed by Father Bede Camera, O.S.B., director of the Saint Anselm College Choir and Choirmaster of Saint Anselm Abbey. It is sung at the conclusion of the Eucharist during Orientation, Opening of the school year, Family Weekend, Baccalaureate Mass, and the final 7 p.m. Mass of each semester by the Saint Anselm College Choir.
The convocation is followed by the celebration of the Eucharist during a Roman Catholic Mass, which includes a homily delivered by the Abbot. The mass concludes with the singing of the Saint Anselm College Anthem as each graduand exits the church to meet their family and friends outside of the church and on the surrounding grounds for photographs and a reception in the Carr Center.
On the morning of commencement, Alumni Hall is outfitted with patriotic red white and blue banners and flags. Commencement exercises begin each year at 1:50 pm as members of the senior class gather in the Stoutenburg Gymnasium and process through the campus, crossing by the Cushing Center and Hilary Hall and arriving at Alumni Hall for the commencement ceremony. The graduating class processes onto the quad to the designated seating area directly in front of Alumni Hall as a hired brass ensemble plays the Pomp and Circumstance March. If the weather is inclement, commencement takes place in the Thomas F. Sullivan Arena. The academic processional of the College's Mace, color guard, graduands, members of the monastic community, and the faculty can take over twenty minutes. The national anthem is performed by a student or students selected. The performer is usually a member of the Saint Anselm College Choir. Next, a student selected by the administration delivers the coveted student address that he/she submitted for consideration. This is followed by the College President's address. The faculty award of the year from the Saint Anselm College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors is presented to a deserving faculty member. The student award for service and citizenship is presented to a community service-minded senior in recognition for an outstanding community project. This award is not given every year, only when there is consensus among administration that a particular student is deserving. Honorary doctorates are then conferred among selected honorary degree recipients. After the keynote address by one of the honorary degree recipients, the graduates are awarded their degrees of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. After the benediction, graduates flip their graduation tassel to the opposite side of their cap and process out to the recessional song as the Abbey bells resound throughout campus. Finally, family and friends meet with the new graduates to take photographs.
The academic costume worn by graduates consists of a gown, hood, and cap. Graduates have short pointed sleeves and a three-foot hood lined with the college's blue and white colors. Honor cords or sashes are not allowed to be worn during the ceremony; this rule has come under fire in recent years. Dress of the faculty differs from the graduates as the colors of their caps and gowns are dependent on the professors' alma mater. The Saint Anselm College Mace was hand carved from black walnut, and designed and executed by the Trappist monks of St. Joseph's Abbey. One of its striking features is the cross surmounting the mace, which is patterned after the cross of Saint Anselm Abbey Church; another is the seal of the college, mounted on the round head of the mace. Encircling the shield is the legend Sigillum Collegii Sancti Anselmi - 1889, meaning "Seal of Saint Anselm College". The diploma measures 16" x 19" and is written in Latin. The following is a translation of the Latin text which appears on the diploma.
Saint Anselm College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It holds membership in the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the National Catholic Educational Association, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Saint Anselm is a member of the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities, as Father Jonathan DeFelice was a co-founder of this organization in 1993. Saint Anselm is on the approved list of the American Chemical Society and of the New Hampshire State Board of Education for teacher training. The baccalaureate program in nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and fully approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. The Department of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs of the National League for Nursing and the Nightingale Society. The Continuing Nursing Education program is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
Marc Ambinder, political editor of The Atlantic, described the role Saint Anselm plays in national politics by saying, "no one runs for president without speaking at St. A's New Hampshire Institute of Politics." U.S. News & World Report also ranked the college as the single, most popular location in New Hampshire for presidential candidates to visit. For over the past forty years, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) has played host to hundreds of presidential aspirants that have delivered policy speeches at Saint Anselm College. It was founded on the basis that "educated and engaged citizens are vital for a healthy democracy." The NHIOP houses the Politics department, as well as providing classroom space for use by all departments. The institute is credited with raising the national profile of the college by incorporating the college in the New Hampshire primary, the first primary of the United States presidential election.
The Institute was founded in 2001 through a nine million dollar grant which was secured by then U.S. Senator Judd Gregg from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The idea of the Institute came from a series of conversations between Professors Kuehne and Manuel of the politics department and assistant vice president Anne Botteri. All involved believed in the potential that the college could harness from the New Hampshire primary through the college's traditions and location. In December 1995, Fr. Jonathan DeFelice asked Professor Manuel, as chairman of the politics department, to chair a committee to study the question and to make recommendations. A proposal was presented to the board of trustees by fellow trustee and former Massachusetts Senate president Kevin B. Harrington. Passing by a unanimous vote, the Institute was constructed in 2000 and dedicated on September 7, 2001.
The Institute consists of a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) building built in 2001. The Institute contains six classrooms, four seminar rooms, an auditorium, television studio, offices for the college's department of politics and Institute administration, the Common Ground cafe, a research center, and a computer lab. All of the classrooms are "smart classrooms" equipped with interactive whiteboards, LCD projectors, and built in audio and video equipment. The television studio is the only live video production and broadcast studio in the Greater Manchester area. Television journalists can interview individuals, including Saint Anselm's experts, politicians, business and civic leaders, remotely from the studio without requiring a TV crew on site or the source to travel to the network. Operated in partnership with VideoLink, the studio is equipped with ReadyCam technology that allows VideoLink to control the camera and lighting remotely from their Boston headquarters.
The Washington Post recently referred to Saint Anselm College as "the Benedictine college with a box seat on America's most riveting political theater", as the college and institute have both played major roles in the New Hampshire primary. CNN contributor and former Harvard Institute of Politics chair Jennifer Donahue was the institute's political director from 2002 to 2009. The current director of the institute is Neil Levesque.
The Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador Program is an academic program through the New Hampshire Institute of Politics; it is named after the late Massachusetts State Senator Kevin B. Harrington, who was a member of the Saint Anselm College Board of Trustees and an instrumental force in the creation of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics itself. Student Ambassadors play an important role in supporting special events, giving tours of the institute, welcoming and introducing presidential and congressional candidates, public figures and a range of scholars who headline the institute's special events and public programs.
The Public Advisory Board, established by Father Jonathan DeFelice in 2008 seeks to help the Institute expand its role in both state and national dialogues. Board members include U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (Chair), former United States Congressman Paul Hodes, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (Vice-Chair), 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, Time magazine's Mark Halperin, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, and John Bridgeland, member of the White House Council for Community Solutions.
The college has hosted numerous national debates and campaign rallies since the 1950s. In 2003, Saint Anselm hosted a debate between the candidates for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2004 presidential election, and served as the Primary headquarters for the Fox News Network. Similarly, in June 2007 the college hosted two national debates, sponsored by CNN, for candidates of the Republican and Democratic Party. In 2008, the college hosted the back-to-back ABC/Facebook/WMUR debates on January 5, 2008. Saint Anselm College students volunteered and became "runners" for the Fox News, CNN and ABC debates; students have had the unique opportunity to meet many Presidential candidates and media personalities. In his welcoming address to the class of 2012, President Father Jonathan DeFelice said, "Almost from the first day of classes you will have the opportunity that many other college students will not have – to meet candidates and media experts, political reporters and analysts from all over our country." On June 13, 2011, the college partnered with CNN, WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union Leader to host the first Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire for the 2012 campaign. Similarly, in January 2012, the college hosted an ABC national debate. On August 3, 2015, the college partnered with C-SPAN and a long and unusual list of co-sponsors to host a nationally-broadcast candidate forum, three days before the first officially-RNC-sanctioned debate on FOX.
The institute has attracted notable speakers, including then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and former presidents of the United States George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, and John F. Kennedy.
President John F. Kennedy gave a historic speech at Saint Anselm College on March 5, 1960, regarding America's conduct in the new realities of the emerging Cold War. The speech was the first time that Kennedy detailed how American foreign policy should be conducted towards African nations, noting a hint of support for modern African nationalism by saying, "for we, too, founded a new nation on revolt from colonial rule." According to a Time magazine article from February 8, 1960,
"...a motorcade of students from St. Anselm's College gave him an earsplitting welcome from 35 automobile horns, then mobbed him with such enthusiasm that Jack had to climb into an open convertible in order to be seen. Afterward, the college kids dragged out a reluctant donkey (rented for $20 by the efficient Kennedy organization), then followed Kennedy into a supermarket, waving homemade college-humor signs (PUT JACK IN THE WHITE SHACK, PUT A NEW JOHN IN THE WHITE HOUSE)."
While at the college, Kennedy said the famous line, "I forgot my Nixon button."
The day after declaring his candidacy for the 1968 election, President Richard Nixon's first stop was at Saint Anselm College where a reception was held. At the college, on February 3, 1968, Nixon unveiled his campaign strategy regarding the Vietnam War by saying, "let's help them fight the war, and not fight the war for them." The ramifications of this policy, first voiced at the college had a profound effect on the 1968 presidential campaign and the war in Vietnam.
Hundreds of presidential candidates have toured and spoken at the college over the past fifty years. More recent speakers have ranged from current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the 2008 Republican nominee John McCain. In the weeks before the 2008 election, John McCain's comeback campaign returned to New Hampshire where McCain held a rally in Sullivan arena in front of a crowd of over two thousand students, faculty, staff and visitors from the community. A group of eight students painted the word "M-A-V-E-R-I-C-K" across their chests and lined up next to each other atop the stands behind McCain.
In March 2010, the former head of the U.S. Central Command and four star U.S. Army General David Petraeus lectured at the Dana Center for the Humanities through a NHIOP sponsored program; the change of venue was required because the Institute's auditorium could not accommodate the six hundred plus students, faculty and staff in attendance. This lecture in particular generated national media attention as rumors spread about Petraeus planning to run for the 2012 presidential election. Petraeus highlighted how America has begun to implement the same counter insurgency strategy which worked in Iraq to Afghanistan.
The following candidates have participated in one of the many national debates held by the college over the years – the current President of the United States Barack Obama, former New York senator Hillary Clinton, Arizona senator John McCain, Jon Huntsman, Kansas senator Sam Brownback, former Alaska senator Mike Gravel, Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, former Democratic nominee for the 2004 election, John Kerry, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, General Wesley Clark and many more.
Former Republican candidate Sam Brownback's visit attracted the negative attention of the national media as the image of Brownback at the podium speaking to a mostly empty room epitomized his failing candidacy. In 1972, the eventual Democratic nominee for United States presidential election George McGovern visited the college and after his speech jokingly declared he would become a vice presidential candidate, as he was clearly the front runner.
Inside the Institute's main hallway hangs over one hundred images that represent the college's role in the political process; former Missouri congressman Richard Gephardt once recognized a picture of an elderly woman holding a sign "Gephardt for President" in a rather emotional moment as his own mother. It is not uncommon to run into current New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen or then-senator John E. Sununu, New Hampshire governor John Lynch, former New Hampshire governors Judd Gregg, Craig Benson and Steve Merrill in the hallways, guest lecturing in classrooms or leaving the politics department after conversing with faculty; some faculty are politicians – New Hampshire Senator Lou D'Allesandro is a faculty member of the politics department.
Many of the modern media personalities have lectured at the institute on topics ranging from their predictions during the 2008 New Hampshire primary to hosting live campaign coverage on the quad, as seen in the adjacent image. Fox News Channel's Brit Hume and Christopher Wallace both reported live from the "Fox-Box" in both 2004 and 2008 as Alumni Hall served as a backdrop for the primary. For the 2012 Fox News New Hampshire Primary coverage, the college showed live shots of Alumni Hall and reported live from Davison Dining Hall. The former anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, Peter Jennings had reported live from the north side of Alumni Hall during nightly broadcasts of his show during the primary. CNN's well known personality Wolf Blitzer was the moderator for the national 2007 debates held in the college's Sullivan Arena., ABC News correspondent and television personality Barbara Walters has visited the college on several occasions, hosting the presidential national debate in 1984. Bob Schieffer, the host of CBS's Face The Nation broadcast live from, "historic Saint Anselm College's Alumni Hall" in June 2007 to interview then candidate John Edwards and his former wife Elizabeth Edwards; in addition to this interview, Mr. Edwards has visited the college on numerous campaign stops talking with students and dropping by classrooms in the institute building.
Journalists who work for many major media outlets stop by the college in the years between the primary when in the area. Time magazine's editor-at-large and political analyst Mark Halperin is one of twenty or so members of the Public Advisory Board set up by the President of the college, Father Jonathan DeFelice Washington Post columnist, and Senior Research Fellow E. J. Dionne lectured in 2007 at the Institute and spoke during an American Government politics class. and Senior editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol.
In August 2012, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan held a town hall event for 3,000 plus people on the college quad. The event was covered by all of the national media outlets not only because it was Mitt Romney's 100th town hall event, but it was the first time since announcing that Paul Ryan would be his running mate, that the two appeared in New England. As is often with television "live shots" from the Alumni Hall, the Abbey bells tolled at 11:00, interrupting Paul Ryan during his remarks. This caused Romney to quip, "Only a Catholic guy (Paul Ryan) would be able to get the bells to toll just at the right time at Saint Anselm".
The Meelia Center is one of the many outlets available for students to volunteer in the Greater Manchester community. Since 1989, the Meelia Center has allowed Saint Anselm College students to mobilize their talents and energies to assist 14 community partnerships and more than 30 other community service agencies throughout New Hampshire. Annually, some 850 students, faculty, and staff volunteer more than 16,000 community service hours. The Princeton Review has described the Meelia Center as "the nerve center of Saint Anselm's bustling service community", adding that "the center, according to the school, 'employs nearly sixty student service leaders, who in turn recruit, place, and support over 200 volunteers and 210 service learners each semester who perform weekly service in over thirty community agencies. An additional 350 volunteers serve in occasional one-day service events. In 2010, the Meelia Center alone accounted for the coordination of 20,000 service hours by Saint Anselm students.'" New students are introduced to the service commitment through the New Student Day of Service. As part of freshman orientation, students are sent in teams of thirty to partnership sites and other community non-profit agencies. Upperclassmen work throughout the summer to organize these orientation events that involve anywhere from fifteen to twenty sites around New Hampshire.
Service learning is one of the fastest growing community service outlets at the college; students enjoy being able to accomplish community service while receiving credits in the classroom. Thus, students can learn in class while also learning and experiencing things in real-life situations. Eleven academic departments and more than twenty courses at Saint Anselm offer service-learning opportunities.
Saint Anselm College competes at the NCAA Division II level in 20 men's and women's varsity sports. The college offers baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, tennis, field hockey and softball programs open to all students. Saint Anselm's sports teams are known as the Hawks; their colors are blue and white. The Hawks participate as a member of the Northeast 10 and ECAC conferences in most sports. Football returned to the Hilltop in 1999 after a 58-year hiatus brought about by the onset of World War II. The college's most recent standout was Michael Geary '05, a 2003 2nd Team All NE-10 offensive lineman. One of the college's greatest athletes was Ray "Scooter" McLean; he was coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1953 and 1958 and an NFL player for the Chicago Bears, winning NFL Championship Games in 1940, 1941, 1943 and 1946. The college's athletic teams are known as "The Hawks".
Saint Anselm is known by locals as a "hockey school" as both the men's and women's teams have earned championships in their respective conferences. The men's team has won 8 Northeast-10 Conference championships, (four in a row) most recently by defeating Franklin Pierce University in 2013. The Hawks performance in the 2012 Championship game set NE-10 records for most goals scored and largest margin of victory in a championship game. The women's team has earned the title of ECAC champions for two consecutive years, by defeating Holy Cross College. In the 2012-13 season, the women held a record of 19-4-4 including a victory over Norwich University ending their 40-game win streak and earning them 3rd place over all in the D-III ECAC East standings. The campus has a multimillion-dollar, 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2) ice arena, named after Thomas F. Sullivan. It is located next to Davison Dining Hall, and has a capacity of 2,700 fans.
Saint Anselm offers over 100 student organizations on campus, including arts & culture organizations, performance groups, sports groups, political organizations, religious organizations, and social action groups. The Student Activities Office encourages and is available for students wishing to develop an organization not yet established at Saint Anselm. Clubs on campus include The Knights of Columbus, Alpha Phi Omega, Abbey Players, Campus Activities Board, Classics Society, The History Society, Democrats, Republicans, Green Team, Italian Club, Dance Club, Muslim Student Association, Jazz Band, Organization for Life, Mock Trial, Psychology Club, and Yearbook Club. An example of the college students being active in the local community is that the Saint Anselm College Knights of Columbus, Council 4785 in Manchester, New Hampshire won the 2009–2010 National Community Activity Award for creating a comprehensive recycling program at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women. The Campus Activities Board (CAB), a student-run organization, runs several committees that oversee campus-wide activities and student services. In 2008, CAB organized singer Howie Day, in 2009, the band Third Eye Blind performed at the college. Jason Derulo and Matt Nathanson performed there in 2010.
The Saint Anselm Crier, founded in the early 1960s as "The Anselmian Crier" is the student newspaper of Saint Anselm College. It is published twice monthly when school is in session. The Crier won the 2008–2009 First Place Scholastic Newspaper Award from the American Scholastic Press Association. In 2009, The Saint Anselm Crier adopted new terminology designating the publication as the "independent" student newspaper instead of the "official" student newspaper of Saint Anselm College. This was done to separate student opinion from official college news released by Saint Anselm's public relations department.
The Hilltop, founded in 2009, was an independent student newsletter. It was published bi-weekly, and sought to provide substance over entertainment and integrity over controversy, as some students had supported this publication over the "Crier." claiming the latter's quality had deteriorated. In the Fall of 2010, "The Hilltop" merged with "The Saint Anselm Crier" after an agreement was made at the urging of the "Crier's" advisor, Fr. Jerome Day, O.S.B., PhD. who claimed that Saint Anselm College is not large enough for two student newspapers. "The Hilltop's" staff agreed to become part of the "Crier's" staff and "The Saint Anselm Crier" will attempt to focus on its quality, including a page called "The Hilltop" devoted to substantial issues.
The Saint Anselm Whiner, founded in February 2010, is an underground joke newspaper independently published by a group of anonymous students. It is published bi-weekly. The Whiner parodies The Crier and The Hilltop and lampoons various Saint Anselm College issues. The motto of the Saint Anselm Whiner is "Unreliability You Can Count On."
The Quatrain, published annually by a small group of students with the help of the English Department and the printing office, is a collection of students' poetry, short stories, and artwork (photographic and otherwise) that is collected via submissions over the course of the academic year and is freely distributed to the student population near the end of the second semester.
The Shank, published each semester, is the History Department's journal consisting exclusively of students' work. The journal is open to all students regardless of their major, as long as the paper submitted was written in a history class.
Lucubrations is the cultural magazine for the Saint Anselm Community. It publishes all forms of creative content including art, music, photography, literature, poetry, philosophy, commentary, and video from students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the college. It was founded in 2009 by student Dana Nolan (Class of 2011). It is published online at http://lucubrations.org . Submissions are published on an ongoing basis and also collected into digest issues two times a semester, for four issues per academic year. The word lucubrations is based on the Latin word lucubrare and means study by candlelight, nocturnal study or meditation, and the writings or thoughts that result.