Rivier University, 1933-2021


The Passing Scene
For many, the journey has traversed decades.
For others, the journey has scarcely begun.
For all, the journey has been transforming.
1933 – Formal opening of Rivier College in Hudson, NH. Founded by Sr. Madeleine of Jesus, p.m. with 7 faculty and 3 students.

Sr. Madeleine of Jesus, p.m. President: 1933-47

1934 – Rivier College enrolls 24 students: 19 residents and 5 commuters
1935 – Pope Pius XI bestows his Papal Blessing on Rivier College
– New Hampshire State Legislature formally charters the College
1936 – First degree conferred on B.Ed. transfer student, June Fortune
1937 – First Commencement exercises with 3 students receiving degrees
– First issue of College News
1938 – College granted permission to accept international students
– Centennial anniversary celebration of Saint Marie Rivier’s death
1940 – Visit by author Mrs. Corinne Rocheleau Rouleau, who later donated her personal collection to Regina Library
1941 – Transfer of Rivier College campus from Hudson to Nashua, NH
– The new campus includes four tracts of land with four buildings
1942 – Visit of Cardinal Villeneuve of Quebec following his visit with the Oblate Fathers in Hudson, NH
1943 – Expansion of College in Molloy Hall for classes
1944 – Installation of Our Lady – Queen of the Campus in the Sunken Garden behind Madeleine Hall
1945 – Launching of the Rivier College Guild
– First building constructed on campus: Auditorium/Classrooms (now Memorial Hall)
– First graduation on campus
1946 – Expansion with the construction of St. Joseph Annex for chemistry lab and rooms
– Departure of Sr. Madeleine of Jesus for France; she returned in the autumn of 1947Sr. St. Pascal, p.m. President: 1947-53
1947 – Visit of Vatican Prelate, Cardinal Tisserant
1948 – College accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges
1949 – Former auditorium becomes Chapel
1950 – First issue of the Rivier Literary Magazine
1951 – Expansion with the renovation of the cafeteria
1952 – Organization of the Graduate Division
1953 – New Hampshire Legislature grants Rivier charger to confer master’s degrees

Sr. Marie Carmella, p.m. President: 1953-55

1954 – Dr. Jeannette E. Vidal ’37 awarded Magnificat Medal by Cardinal Stritch
1955 – Golden Jubilee of Sr. Madeleine of Jesus, Foundress of Rivier College

Sr. Adelard-Marie, p.m. President: 1955-57

1956 – Grant received from the Ford Foundation
1957 – Gift of the Monsignor Gilbert’s book collection to the Library

Sr. Clarice Dion, p.m. President: 1957-69

1958 – Celebration of Rivier’s 25th anniversary: Sr. Madeleine of Jesus was the Guest of Honor, and Mrs. Rose Kennedy was the Keynote speaker
1959 – Regina Library and Mendel Hall built
1960 – Guild Hall, a dorm for resident students, constructed
– Alumnae Office established; College has approximately 1,200 alumnae
1962 – Louis Pasteur Hall built with chemistry and physics labs
1964 – Construction of Trinity Hall, a dorm for resident students, and Dion Center
– First Humanities series offered to the public
– First Honorary degrees awarded at Commencement
1965 – Death of Sr. Madeleine of Jesus, p.m., Foundress of Rivier College
1966 – First R-AID Day begun by Susan Zator ’66
1967 – Construction of Adrienne Hall Administration building

Sr. Gloria Lemieux, p.m. President: 1969-73

1972 – First study abroad for French, Art & Civilization students
1974 Sr. Doris Benoit, p.m. President: 1974-80
1976 – Presentation Hall constructed as a Sisters’ residence; now used as a student residence
1980 Sr. Jeanne Perreault, p.m. President: 1980-97
1981 – Non-Traditional students begin studies
– First Alumni Association craft fair held
1982 – New wing and renovations completed in Memorial Hall
1983 – Celebration of Rivier’s Golden Jubilee
– Nursing programs introduced with the establishment of a collaborative venture with St. Joseph Hospital
1984 – Muldoon Health and Fitness Center constructed
1986 – Credit for prior learning initiated
1989 – Rivier partners with Sunset Heights Elementary School in Nashua “Adopt-a-School” program
1990 – Buddy Program & Project H.U.G. initiated
– First “Heritage Day” celebrated
1991 – School of Undergraduate Studies becomes co-educational with 35 men enrolled as full-time students
1993 – Construction of the Education Center
1994 – Education Center dedicated by Bishop Leo O’Neil, Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire
– Peace & Justice series launched
1996 – Bi-Centennial celebration of the Founding of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
– Project “So-Prepared” (a service learning program) initiated
– College on World Wide WebSr. Lucille Thibodeau, p.m. President: 1997-2001
1997 – Outreach for Black Unity Partnership Charter signed
– Elderhostel at College
– RISE (Rivier Institute for Senior Education) program inaugurated
– First edition of Rivier Community Chronicles
– Annex added to Louis Pasteur Hall and renamed Sylvia Trottier Hall
1998 – Dedication of Sylvia Trottier Hall by Bishop Francis Christian, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of NH
– Academic structure reformatted from four to two schools
– Sr. Helen Prejean speaks about the death penalty
– Renovation of Molloy Hall for Administration
1999 – Maya Angelou speaks about her life experiences
2000 – Construction of New Dorm for resident students
2001 Dr. William Farrell, First Lay President: 2001-11
2002 – Enchanted Forest dedicated at the Early Childhood Center
– First lay President appointed: Dr. William Farrell, Ph.D.
– Inauguration of the 11th President on August 26, 2002
2003 – Rivier celebrates Seven Decades of Excellence
– Seminar Series  “Living the Mission” begun
2004 – Rivier’s first-ever capital campaign
– Richard Harrington retires after 39 years of teaching biology at Rivier
– Oct. 14, environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. brings his message to Rivier
– New campus signage unveiled
2005 – Accelerated executive M.B.A program in organizational leadership offered
– Collaboration between New Horizons and Rivier College established
– For the first time Rivier honors a charitable organization versus an individual at Commencement
– Rivier’s Raiders unveil a new athletics logo
– Rivier continues to add to its online classes
– Rivier launches its new website
– Rivier celebrates the 20th anniversary of its nursing programs
2006 – The McLean Center for Finance and Economics was opened within the College’s Academic Computer Center in Sylvia Trottier Hall
2007 – Construction of new wing and renovation of the existing Regina Library
– New five-year Psychology Program is launched
2008 – Celebration of Rivier’s 75th Anniversary
– “Lasting Impressions”, a Buy-a-Brick project is launched by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations
– Launch of Rivier’s first doctoral degree program: Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning
2009 – Renovation of Athletic Field: installation of artificial turf, introduction of men and women lacrosse and women field hockey
– Opening of the new Clinical Psychology Lab
– Updates made at both Trinity Hall and Guild Hall
– Two Facebook pages initiated: one for alumni and one for prospective students
– Fritz Wetherbee, reporter for WMUR TV’s New Hampshire Chronicle, serves as Commencement speaker May 16, 2009
– Sr. Lucille Thibodeau, p.m. publishes Crucible and Charism: a biography of Sr. M. Madeleine of Jesus, p.m. founder of Rivier College
– Ed.D. classes begin in fall semester
2010 -Rose H. Arthur, Th.D. retires as Executive Director of RISE (Rivier Institute for Senior Education)
-The Muldoon Center expansion is completed
-President William Farrell, Ph.D. announces his plan to retire at the end of the 2010-11 school year
– A Presidential Search Committee is established
– Rivier establishes an online academic calendar
– Dr. Joseph Allard, Vice-President for Academic Outreach, retires
– Rivier hosts visiting faculty from universities in China
– Online courses become available to Rivier students
2011 – Sr. Cecile Gamache retires as Assistant Finance Director

Sr. Paula Marie Buley, IHM President:  2012 – Present

2012 – Rivier College officially becomes Rivier University
– Office of Global Engagement is established
2013  – Rivier celebrates its 80th Anniversary
– Launch of Rivier’s 2nd doctoral degree program: Doctor of Psychology in Counseling and School Psychology
– Global Scholars Honors Program is initiated
2014 – Gateway projects transform Rivier’s Campus
– Resurrection Chapel is renovated and rededicated
– Learning Commons is created
2015 – Heritage Plaza is dedicated
– Rivier launches Doctorate of Nursing Practice program
– Partnership with The Learning House; Rivier University Online begins
– Exchange Program with Beijing City University for Biotechnology
2016  – IT Partners with Ellucian
– Employment Promise Program Initiated
– University receives $650,000 National Science Foundation Grant
– Launch of Rivier’s 3rd doctoral degree program: Doctor of Nursing Practice
2017  – University launches Vision 2020 strategy and the Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development
– Clement Street buildings and landscape renovations commence
2018  – University receives $2.04 million Health Resources and Services Administration Grant
2019 – University breaks ground on construction of Science and Innovation Center, the hallmark of Vision 2020
– Joanne Merrill Field and Linda Robinson Pavillion are dedicated
2020 – Science and Innovation Center is dedicated
2021 – University launches men’s and women’s ice hockey
– $1 million donation launches Projects Excel and Elevate to renovate Sylvia Trottier Hall
2022 – Saint Marie Rivier Canonized by Pope Francis on May 15, 2022
– Rivier begins celebration of 90th anniversary (2022-2023)
– Renovation of Sylvia Trottier Hall transforms business and nursing education
– Opening of the Nursing Simulation and Clinical Education Center
– The University breaks ground on Riv Village, apartment style suites