While many New Hampshire-born men and women have achieved greatness, only one has attained the pinnacle of political leadership. From 1853 - 1857, Franklin Pierce proudly served as the 14th President of the United States.
More than a century later, a visionary group set out to charter a college uniquely dedicated to preparing future leaders. The name for such an institution was clear to all - Franklin Pierce. The State Legislature chartered the College on November 14, 1962.
Frank S. DiPietro who also served as the first president of the institution founded Franklin Pierce University. Originally located in the center of the town of Rindge, the school began by sharing the town's library and study facilities. In the institution's founding year, Frank DiPietro also bought the hilltop estate overlooking Pearly Pond where the University's main undergraduate campus is located today.
The first class of students enrolled in 1963. This inaugural class consisted of 97 students supported by nine faculty and administrators. As the institution began to expand in size and reputation, Frank DiPietro maintained a vision that "only the small college can provide the intimate relationships between those who learn and those who teach."
In recognition of its place in higher education, Franklin Pierce College was formally recognized as a University on July 1, 2007. The name change to Franklin Pierce University reflected the growth of undergraduate opportunities at the Rindge campus, the addition of graduate-level degrees, including doctoral programs, and the institution's expanding global reach. In 1965, the state legislature granted the college statutory authority to grant baccalaureate degrees. Since then, Franklin Pierce has grown in breadth and depth of programming. Through the 1990s and early 21st century, Franklin Pierce increased its undergraduate academic offerings. The University currently maintains three centers for graduate programs, located in Manchester and Lebanon, New Hampshire and Goodyear, Arizona.
In 2019, the University completed a re-organization of academic affairs, and launched the College of Business, the College of Health and Natural Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The new structure organizes academic programs by related graduate and undergraduate disciplines, and prioritizes seamless faculty connections and curricular pathways for our students.
The Colleges give prominence to our growing programs and help students and prospective students find their place and their passions at Franklin Pierce. We continue to prioritize advising and mentorship, internships and opportunities for experiential learning that lead to job opportunities for our students.