University Students, Faculty and Staff Start Each New School Year by Climbing Nearby NH Mountain

Grand Monadnock Climb Annual Tradition at Franklin Pierce University

5-Sep-2018 11:05 AM EDT

Academy Communications

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    Credit: Franklin Pierce University

    Franklin Pierce University President Kim Mooney reads from Willa Cather’s “My Antonia” with students who hiked to the summit of Mount Monadnock.

Newswise — Franklin Pierce University is located near the base of New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, known for being featured in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau--and often cited as the most-climbed mountain in North America. Each year, students and staff at Franklin Pierce mark the start of the fall semester with a group excursion to the top—the annual Grand Monadnock Climb—which will take place this year on the morning of Sunday, September 9th.

“Mount Monadnock is such an iconic natural landmark in our region, and the yearly event to ascend to the top of the mountain together is an important part of our student experience,” says Kim Mooney, president of Franklin Pierce, who has taken part in the fall hike, over the years, and who first climbed Mount Monadnock decades ago as a student at Franklin Pierce.

Doug Carty, the university’s director of recreation, notes that the surrounding vista from the peak is a “must-see” experience for all first-year students, who are joined by upperclassmen, faculty and members of the university staff. “Many of our students don’t have mountains in their back yard, so to climb Monadnock is a unique accomplishment,” he says, “and new students really enjoy this event as part of a supportive campus community.”

The annual ascent of Mount Monadnock has been a tradition at Franklin Pierce for close to its 55-year history. Freshmen comprise the bulk of the student population who make the September climb together to scale the peak of the celebrated New Hampshire mountain that serves as a backdrop to their university’s campus.

Carty explains that many of the students call their parents when they reach the 3165-foot summit. “They are truly proud of the accomplishment, and I see nothing but smiles on top,” he says. 

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