Mooney installed as FPU president

  • Franklin Pierce University president Kim Mooney, who has been president since August of 2016, was installed officially on Saturday. Photo by Andrew Cunningham

  • A line of bagpipers lead the procession to FPU president Kim Mooney’s installation on Saturday. Photo by Andrew Cunningham

For the Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:13AM

A Scottish bagpiper led a procession of delegates of associations and institutions of higher education from across the country, followed by Franklin Pierce University faculty, Board of Trustees members and administration. They walked through the DiPietro Library Courtyard down to the Fieldhouse where hundreds of students, faculty and guests had gathered.

It was an impressive procession -- one to match the occasion of Franklin Pierce University installing its first female president: Kim Mooney.

Fellow alumnus and former chairman of the Board of Trustees Lloyd Astmann opened the installation ceremony Saturday, telling the audience that “when the time came to search for a new president, immediately Mooney’s name was put at the top of our list. She was experienced, understood Franklin Pierce from her many roles as a student, alumnus, trustee, provost and interim president,” said Astmann of Mooney, who graduated from FPU in 1983 and has been at the helm since August of last year. “She was grounded, focused on student success, bright, and we felt Kim had the bones to guide and lead Franklin Pierce into its next chapter.”

When Mooney spoke to the audience Saturday morning it was clear that her connection to Franklin Pierce University from her many roles is what distinguishes her as the sixth president.

“So, like many of you my own connections to Franklin Pierce, to its people, its programs, to its beautiful natural setting, to the mountain and to its unique place in higher education run long and deep,” Mooney said. “This connection, as you’ve heard, has given definition to over 35 years of my life and the arch of our shared history brings us here today.”

Mooney is the first female president of the university.

“It really does mean something. You listen to the stories about how President Mooney was here for the changes of Franklin Pierce University. I feel like I’m in that same position. I feel like we are experiencing history,” said John Massaro, in an interview after the installation,

Jessica Harpell, president of the class of 2020, addressed the audience from a student’s perspective, and demonstrated the bond that Mooney has created with the students on campus.

“To steal one of her phrases, President Mooney is a part of our DNA. Students are both inspired and delighted that one of our own, who earned her own undergraduate degree here, went onto graduate school and achieved academic and professional success elsewhere has ultimately returned home to assume the presidency of this terrific educational institution,” Harpell said.

As Harpell finished her speech and walked back to her seat, Mooney reached out for Harpell’s hand in a moment of thanks.