Less than ten miles down the road from SNHU on our NECHE Road Trip, we pulled into beautiful Saint Anselm College.
St. A’s, as it is fondly known to locals, is a Benedictine liberal arts college of about 2,000 students. Founded in 1889, it is the third oldest Catholic college in New England and sits on 450 rolling acres just south of Manchester. Ranked #102 in national liberal arts colleges by USNews & World Report, Saint Anselm is known across the region for its strong and challenging academic programs.
A fully functioning and independent abbey is embedded on campus, with 25 monks who play an important role in the life of the college. Until 2009, when the college and the abbey legally separated, the monks had the primary responsibility for leading the college and even today some governance issues remain to be resolved.
I was able to spend a delightful hour with Saint Anselm’s 11th President, Dr. Joseph Favazza. Joe took the reins about 18 months ago and is still loving the job. He’s incredibly proud of St. A’s students, faculty and staff. When I asked him just what part of being President he was able to enjoy during this time of the pandemic, he quickly replied it was the chance to leave his office, don his mask, and walk around campus, greeting and meeting each person he encountered.
One of the most remarkable things about this relatively small school is the role it has played in national politics for well over fifty years. With the New Hampshire primary always being first in the country, Saint Anselm’s has hosted presidential debates, critical policy addresses by sitting Presidents, and just this past February, the first Democratic Party primary debate.
Take a few minutes and listen to my conversation with Joe. You’ll enjoy.