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Frank DiPietro, founder of Franklin Pierce, dies

  • Franklin Pierce founder and president Frank DiPietro, Jamie Birge
  • FPU, rindge, dipietro, 10th, cake

Franklin Pierce University’s founder and first president, Frank S. DiPietro, Ed.D., died on Friday, more than 50 years after the college was founded.

According to a Facebook post on the university’s official page, funeral arrangements are still being taken care of for DiPietro.

University officials could not be reached for comment by press time Monday.

DiPietro, who lived in Fitchburg, Mass., made his mark on Rindge when he began the small, liberal arts college in 1962. After heading up Stevens Business College in Fitchburg in the 1950s and 1960s, DiPietro saw an opportunity to build his own school from the ground up.

DiPietro wanted to offer more chances for baby boomers to have higher education, who were then coming of age. With $50,000 split between four business partners and DiPietro, Franklin Pierce College was born, beginning with just under 100 students and using the town library, according to a 2012 Ledger-Transcript article. Seeing that using current town infrastructure wouldn’t last, DiPietro purchased the 216-acre property overlooking Pearly Pond in 1963, which has remained the college’s home since. DiPietro remained the institution’s president until 1975, and was chancellor from 1975-1980.

With expanded opportunities and graduate programs, the institution became Franklin Pierce University in 2007, according to the school’s website.

More than 50 years since its inception, DiPietro is still connected to the institution that has strived over the years to build up students through close-knit community. In the Facebook post delivering the news of DiPietro’s death, Franklin Pierce University wrote this phrase:

“The entire Franklin Pierce University community owes a debt of gratitude for the life of Dr. DiPietro, who was dedicated to providing educational opportunities for others, and to the vision of providing a close mentoring relationship between those who learn and those who teach.”

Comments from former students followed the post, thanking the late DiPietro.

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