Rudra Aryal takes over as Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary president

Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club Past Presidents Bill Coleman, left, and John McCarthy, right, pass the gavel to Rudra Aryal during a ceremony at Cathedral of the Pines Thursday night.

Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club Past Presidents Bill Coleman, left, and John McCarthy, right, pass the gavel to Rudra Aryal during a ceremony at Cathedral of the Pines Thursday night. COURTESY PHOTO—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 07-01-2024 12:01 PM

On Thursday evening, Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Presidents John McCarthy and Bill Coleman conveyed the gavel to the club’s new president, Rudra Aryal, in a ceremony which included officially naming the new club officers and board of directors.

Aryal moved to Jaffrey in 2015, and became a member of the Rotary Club in 2021. Originally from Nepal, Aryal moved to the United States to pursue his doctorate in physics, and currently serves as a physics professor at Franklin Pierce University. He said community service has been part of his daily life since he was young. Since coming to Jaffrey, he has been involved in volunteering, including giving a presentation about artificial intelligence at the Jaffrey Public Library.

“Mainly since my childhood, I have loved being involved in volunteer activities. Roadside cleaning, cleaning in school areas, planting trees,” Aryal said. “Since my childhood, that was my passion -- working with the community.”

Aryal said once he took up the faculty position at Franklin Pierce University, he knew that he wanted to get involved with the wider community outside of the campus. It was then that he discovered the volunteer possibilities through the Rotary Club. He said the Rotary’s involvement in the community, including the local school system through Conant Middle High Schoo’s Interact Club, environmental activities such as roadside cleanup and being involved in community events such as Jaffrey’s 250th anniversary celebrations, were deeply appealing.

“This is the best position to meet my new community. I decided to join the Rotary,” Aryal said.

Aryal said the projects the Rotary works on are decided collaboratively by its executive committee, but the main goal of the club is to “work with the community, for the community.” He said one of his goals as president is to create more opportunities to engage with the public about international topics, and organize volunteer efforts to support them, such as the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. He also is looking to organize support for locals in need, either through systemic problems or an acute emergency.

He said he would also like to see more multicultural events in the community, celebrating residents’ different backgrounds through sharing dances, clothing and food.

During Gavel Night, the Rotary Club presented the Paul Harris Fellowship Award to Kim Mooney, the outgoing president of Franklin Pierce University. The award was in recognition of her contribution to the community during her presidency.

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The club also announced the official roster for its new executive committee, including Bill Coleman as treasurer, Bob Schaumann as secretary, Gail Therriault as head of charitable giving, and Sheila Bergeron, Donna Senechal, Lori Rautiola, Russell Gaskamp and Bill Raymond to the board of directors.

The Rotary Club is accepting new members. Anyone is welcome to attend a weekly Rotary Club meeting, which features different speakers, to see what a meeting is like. Contact Aryal at aryalr@franklinpierce.edu, or visit the club website at jrrotary.org.

The next meeting, a club assembly, will be on Thursday, July 11, at the Cathedral of the Pines at 7:15 a.m., which will include planning for the upcoming year. The board of directors will meet on Wednesday, July 10, at 8 a.m. at the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce to discuss possible upcoming events before the general assembly. 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.