CNN Hosts Historic Town Hall at Saint Anselm

Manchester – Five major candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination gathered in the Dana Center Monday night for a CNN special event. The event was sponsored by the Harvard Institute of Politics and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. The participants in Monday night’s town halls included Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN). Each of the candidates was given one hour to answer questions from young voters planning to participate in their states Democratic primary, and present their plan for new American leadership. Healthcare, education, and climate change dominated the conversation as candidates fielded questions about their commitments to provide a better standard of living for Americans.

The evening began with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s town hall moderated by Chris Cuomo. A three-term senator from the state of Minnesota, Klobuchar was one of the most experienced speakers of the night and referred frequently to her experience as a county attorney. She distinguished herself as one of the most moderate candidates of a  crowded field of over fifteen major candidates by refusing to endorse the notion of tuition-free college as well as Senator Sanders “Medicare for All” legislation. She declared herself a “realist” who did not support radical and impractical policies but joined each of the other candidates in advocating for the Green New Deal; a measure Republicans call extreme and unrealistic. She also discussed the need to reform the criminal justice system and suggested increased use of drug courts to curb repeat drug offenses rather than lengthy prison terms. Klobuchar, when asked whether or not she would support impeachment for president Trump, she avoided the question and referred instead to the Senate’s role in the impeachment process as jurors and not prosecutors.

The second town hall with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts featured a very similar question regarding impeachment, to which the Senator responded by saying “There is no political inconvenience when it comes to the Constitution of the United States.” Warren argued that congressional leaders have a civic duty to hold the President accountable and Congress should set politics aside to do what’s right. Warren also proved herself to be an impactful candidate with her proposal to alleviate student debt for millions of Americans and make higher education tuition-free. Warren also advocated for sweeping economic reforms including her “ultra-millionaire tax” which would fund the majority of her initiatives. She cited the reluctance of lawmakers to reform the American economic system because “when your ears are stuffed with money it’s hard to hear.” Senator Warren’s recollection of her mission during her Senate campaign to quite simply make an impact and inspire young women to be leaders also resonated with the audience. She said that during events and parades she would seek out young girls and women, kneel down and say to them “Hello, I’m Elizabeth and I’m running for Senate because that’s what girls do.” Overall, Warren set the tone for the night as each of the following candidates echoed her sentiments about the need to support middle and working-class Americans and provide more educational opportunities for students.

Senator Bernie Sanders followed Warren with an equally fiery rendition of his main talking points: economic reform, Medicare for all, and climate justice. As one of the most anticipated candidates of the night, Sanders received resounding praise when he said: “The United States is a climate leader, but we’re leading in the wrong direction.” However, audience members and political pundits criticized Sanders’ comments regarding voting rights for incarcerated Americans. When asked whether or not Sanders believed that perpetrators of sexual assault or the Boston Marathon Bomber should receive the right to vote, he gave a response which left some in the audience upset. He said that all Americans deserve the right to vote, and it is important to the future of our democracy that we protect the ability to participate in society. Following the event Bentley Warren, a Saint Anselm Sophomore, commented on Sanders remarks by saying “Sanders surprisingly proposed that incarcerated individuals deserve the right to vote while imprisoned, including sex offenders and domestic terrorists, which I believe was a rather unpopular move on his part and will become an attacking point for opponents like Pete Buttigieg.” He was right; when asked if he agreed with Sanders later on in the night, Buttigieg criticized the move and argued that while in prison felons should not be allowed to vote, but upon their reintroduction to society, their rights should be restored.

Sander’s also pushed back on Senator Warren’s claim that the House should move to impeach President Trump. Sanders was more focused on a bigger picture; “If for the next year all the Congress is talking about is ‘Trump, Trump, Trump,’ and ‘Mueller, Mueller, Mueller’ and we’re not talking about health care and raising the minimum wage to a living wage and we’re not talking about climate change and sexism and racism and homophobia and the issues that concern ordinary Americans — I worry that works to Trump’s advantage.”

Senator Kamala Harris of California highlighted the opposition of Republican congressional leaders and the low likelihood that impeachment would pass in the Senate. She said that people needed to be “realistic about what might be the end result. But that doesn’t mean the process shouldn’t take place.” Harris’ second most notable answer came when asked whether or not she supported monetary reparations for African Americans. She avoided answering the question directly, as did Senator Sanders, but both candidates said they would support Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s bill to study the effects of reparations. Audience members noticed a trend in Harris’ answers to their questions when she began to repeat the phrase “I think that’s a conversation we need to have.” Though she did avoid some questions, Harris’ managed to outline a plan for her presidency focusing mostly on Medicare, climate and criminal justice reform.

A town hall with Mayor of South Bend Indiana Pete Buttigieg moderated by Anderson Cooper concluded the night. Buttigieg was unique in many respects among the night’s candidates and the audience took notice. “It was clear that Mayor Pete Buttigieg stood out as the crowd favorite for his direct and simple answers,” said Chris Millet a Freshman at Saint Anselm “[he] did not sound like a politician as he did not use the same rhetoric as the other four candidates did.” When asked whether or not he believed President Trump should be impeached after reading the Mueller report he stated plainly, “I think it’s pretty clear he deserves impeachment.” Moderator Anderson Cooper pointed out Buttigieg’s lack of a clear plan and platform. Mayor Buttigieg responded by saying that he believed he’d made his positions clear on a variety of topics, and the absence of a platform section on his website did not make him a candidate who lacked beliefs.

This event provided Saint Anselm students with a unique opportunity to engage with candidates in a discussion of the issues important to young Americans. Candidates continuously labeled young voters as one of the most progressive, passionate, and politically active generations in recent history. Junior Abby Roden said, “Youth voices are so often overshadowed or underestimated, it was nice to see my generations questions at the forefront of discussions for a change.” Students walked away from the five-hour event with a better understanding of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, and a stronger appreciation for the democratic process. Saint Anselm has created a standing tradition of being a very politically active campus, and students should be proud of such a tradition.

Student Wants to Know “Why You so Obsessed with Me?”

A second-semester freshman student complained today that one of her classmates is “so obsessed” with her. The student, Hillary Topper ‘22, said that ever since arriving in her journalism class, Annie Crier ‘19 has been overly focused on what she’s doing.

“It’s really the weirdest thing,” she complained. “I just showed up here ready to contribute to my journalism class. I’ve worked really hard. I do all my research, I go out of my way to do the best work I can, and yet, Annie is always breathing down my neck.”

When asked to corroborate her accusations with more specific anecdotes, Topper had a list of things to share. “A few weeks ago, I decided to start trying to talk more in class, so I would sometimes make witty jokes to prove my point. Annie was pretty quiet all year, but the second I started making jokes – she did, too!”

Other students in the class agreed with Topper’s version of events. “Look, Annie Crier’s a cool girl. I’ve had a lot of classes with her because she’s a senior, and she’s ya know – she’s always there. She’s a dependable friend. But I mean Hillary Topper is just great! She brought all this new energy to campus, and I mean her jokes are hysterical. She’s not trying to impress anyone, she’s just doing her thing. Then, Annie started making jokes and well, they’re just kind of awkward.”

The obsession has moved beyond personality and into school work, Topper reported. “The other day I handed in a reflection on what I’ve learned this year. The next day, Annie had her own reflection on the same topic. It’s just so weird to me.”

Perhaps most frustrating for Topper is the fact that Crier remains the teacher’s pet. “All I’m saying is I have every right to be in this class, and yet, it seems like my professor keeps favoriting Annie. They don’t even read the papers I turn in.” Topper explained that when she goes to get help from faculty, administration, and even fellow students, they shut the door in her face (sometimes literally!)

“I just don’t understand why we can’t get along,” complained Topper. “Campus is big enough for us both.”

Annie Crier ‘19 did not respond to our requests to comment.

Ex-Pope Labels Sexual Revolution as Cause of Church Abuse Crisis

Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 and has since remained largely quiet on Church affairs. (Photo by Paul Haring, CNS)

Earlier today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a letter condemning the sexual revolution of the 1960s for causing the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal. The letter, a nearly 6,000-word essay, was published in a German newspaper before an official English translation by the Catholic News Agency was released and is controversial on two grounds: the content of the letter and the circumstances of the letter.

Benedict laments that the 1960s brought about a series of actions that proved catastrophic to both traditional ideas of morality and Catholic dogma. While the former Pontiff does not specifically point to a cause of the moral decline, he does list several examples of its presence. The first is the West German government’s decision, in 1967, to promote a more complete sexual education for students. The largest aspect of that policy was the film “Helga – On the Origins of Life”, which controversially was one of the first films with full nudity to show all aspects of a pregnancy. Benedict wrote “Sexual and pornographic movies then became a common occurrence, to the point that they were screened at newsreel theaters.” He also blames the clothing the 1960s for, in conjunction with pornography, causing violence.

One of the most controversial lines from the letter relates to pedophilia. Benedict wrote “Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ‘68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate.” Later on in the letter, Benedict seems to say that pedophilia was not an issue until the 1980s. Many have rebuked that claim as objectively false, as pedophilia remains a crime in most of the world with a significant social taboo.

The ex-Pope also discusses the decline of traditional Catholic moral theology. He points to the Second Vatican Council, convened by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1962, as a leading cause of the decline, lamenting Vatican II shifted the focus from moral theology’s basis in natural law to a Scripture-based belief. Benedict wrote “Consequently, there could no longer be anything that constituted an absolute good, any more than anything fundamentally evil; (there could be) only relative value judgments. There no longer was the (absolute) good, but only the relatively better, contingent on the moment and on circumstances.

Another comment from Benedict that has drawn criticism is the claim that “In various seminaries homosexual cliques were established, which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in the seminaries.” Benedict seems to be blaming the Queer Revolution of the 1960s on the sexual abuse crisis the Catholic Church has faced since the 1990s, which is a slight variation on the traditional comment that legalizing homosexuality will lead to sexual miscreants (“What’s next – people marrying their dog?” the argument used to go).

At the time, then-Bishop Josef Ratzinger was one of the most conservative Catholic theologians. Apparently, Benedict, claims, to the point his work was black-listed by the new, more liberal bishops, writing, “Perhaps it is worth mentioning that in not a few seminaries, students caught reading my books were considered unsuitable for the priesthood. My books were hidden away, like bad literature, and only read under the desk.

Benedict begins to close out the letter by presenting “solutions” to the crisis. Not the crisis of priests sexually abusing young children entrusted to their care, but the larger sexual freedom “crisis.” “Our being not redeemed is a consequence of our inability to love God,” Benedict argued. “Learning to love God is therefore the path of human redemption.”

Besides the content of the letter, the circumstances of the letter have sparked controversy. Benedict is the first Pope emeritus in 500 years. His 2013 resignation, citing poor health, put the Church in relatively unchartered territory. At the time, Benedict declared that he would live the rest of his life in quiet prayer and contemplation in an Italian monastery. For the most part, he has held true to that statement, only making appearances in the Vatican to celebrate major Church events with Pope Francis.

That is, until this letter. Benedict writes that he was inspired by the conference held by Pope Francis earlier this year to address the systematic problems that lead to the Catholic sex abuse scandal. That conference, in turn, was sparked by the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell for a series of charges relating to his sexual abuse of young boys in the 1980s. In the letter, Benedict seems to indicate that he had spoken to several Vatican officials before releasing it, including the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis.

Catholics around the world are unsure of how to respond to the letter from the former Pope, similar to how they reacted when Benedict announced his resignation six years ago. It is a tenant of Catholic belief that when a Pope is elected, he is elected by the College of Cardinals acting through Divine inspiration. How does someone stop being God’s chosen representative on Earth? How should Catholics treat the letter from Benedict? Does it have the same weight as a letter from the sitting Pope? This is unclear, and the fact that Pope Francis seems to have been aware of the letter and not objected to its release raises more questions than answers. The sentiment of Benedict’s letter also contradicts the standard messaging of Pope Francis, “who has often said abuse results from the corrupted power of clergy.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict has faced a series of critiques for his handling of the Church’s sexual abuse crisis during his eight-year pontificate.  While he did remove many accused priests from the Church, he was perceived by many as slow to respond to the crisis as it grew.

In his letter, Benedict does not address the victims of the crisis directly and does not apologize or express sorrow for what was done to them.

#WhyIWrite: Jackson Peck

I first became politically active in my first few years of high school. The 2016 presidential election was in full swing and my news feed was full of advertisements, slogans, soundbites, and articles about the candidates. One of the videos I watched was an advertisement for Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign in which he said: “Our job is not to divide, our job is to bring people together.” This statement, to me, was incredible. It seemed every heart and voice in America was asking “why is it that we’re so divided?” or “why can’t we compromise?” and there was an independent senator from a small rural state telling me that the best thing we could do as citizens and as people was to stick together.

This moment is why I write. In each position, classroom, and workplace, I keep in mind the phrase “Our job is not to divide, our job is to bring people together.” Collaboration and cooperation among citizens is the hallmark of our society and the ability of those citizens to be informed and educated is of the utmost importance. Perhaps one of the greatest liberties given to us in this country is the freedom of the press, and it is with a free press that we are able to monitor and hold accountable those who lead us.

When I was approached and asked to begin working for The Hilltopper, I was excited by the opportunity to pursue truth, investigate conflict, and report on the issues that matter to Saint Anselm College students. The Hilltopper was founded as an independent news source tasked with bringing uncensored and up-to-date information to students about issues happening on campus. It is for that reason that I am so excited to be joining this team. The Saint A’s community is strong, but our strength relies on our ability to understand what is going on around us. An informed student body who discusses issues is the best thing that can be afforded to a liberal arts school, and I am proud to write for an organization which does just that.

The Hilltopper is focused on dignity, inclusivity, and transparency. There is no better mission for an organization charged with such a valuable task, and my belief in the power of communication is what has drawn me here. Our job is not to divide, our job is to bring people together. If we can do that accurately, effectively, and honestly than we will all benefit. This is why I write.

Editorial: Here to Stay

This past year has been a privilege and an honor. When we began The Hilltopper last April, it was specifically in response to frustration with a platform that enabled and empowered rape culture but our launch was driven by many larger forces.

The day we bought the website, we could not have anticipated all that we would cover in the next year. We didn’t know we would report on discrimination against the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus because of his sexuality. We really never thought we would quote a monk saying “What the fuck?” We didn’t know we would be the space to publish the words of TEDA president Matt Solomon ‘20, after trans* and gay pride flags were removed from campus in a seemingly discriminatory way. We never could have guessed that we would have to investigate the layoffs of 13 staff of the college or claims of Title IX violations.

On our one-year anniversary, we want to take a few moments to address that original frustration that led us to where we are, but first we want to acknowledge one truth: the work is not done. We’ve received many questions, some well-intentioned and some hopeful of our demise, about what will happen when the Editors-in-Chief of The Hilltopper graduate. Here’s our answer: we are here to stay.

For the last year,  we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and we want to extend an explicit and gracious thank you for this support. It has reassured us that our mission is necessary and valuable on campus. We also want to address the feedback that has not been as positive.

When we receive negative feedback, it is typically from people who believe that our work will cause harm, most frequently to their personal reputation. People seem to be worried that their name will be next in the spotlight. Additionally, people in perceived positions of authority frequently refuse to comment, specifically when they have titles such as “dean,” “chief,” or “director” in front of their names. We are worried that people have forgotten, or are ignoring, the value of receiving news from multiple sources.

In an era of fake news, we are committed to reporting reality and giving a voice to people and issues that are continually silenced. For that reason, we will not allow our students, faculty, and staff to forget the value of engaging with multiple sources of information. We especially believe that, being at a somewhat prestigious institution, it is important to work outside the often rigid structures. Additionally, we protect the right to work outside of an institution that is controlled by the Catholic Church, especially considering the moral crises within the Church. These beliefs enable us to bring the best possible news coverage to our readers.

Providing the best possible news coverage means adhering to our core values, one of which is inclusivity. We began The Hilltopper with a mission reduced to two simple words “for everyone.” We have covered numerous stories that affect students who are often silenced or ignored by our college’s administration. We are proud of each of those stories. It is our responsibility as a campus news source to be inclusive, but we are also committed to respecting the dignity of the individual. That is why we have chosen to embrace the Paradox of Tolerance. It is the idea that in order to create a truly tolerant society (or campus), we must be intolerant of intolerance. The Hilltopper is not a place for hate speech or for those beliefs that invalidate the dignity of life.

Yet, we recognize that writing about inclusivity is only one part of the equation, and we recognize the myriad privileges based on our social identities that have allowed us to create The Hilltopper and speak out in the way that we do. Going forward, we hope to see the staff of the paper grow to include students of color, students in the LGBTQ+ community, international students, and students with other diverse identities. We trust that our new Editor-in-Chief, Jackson Peck ‘22, will do all he can to make sure that The Hilltopper lives up to that ideal.

We have found that living up to this ideal is best achieved outside the expectations of the institution, and that is why we continue to work as an independent news source. It is humbling that numerous people have felt safe coming to us to share their truths with the broader campus community and, really, the world. Because of these brave people, we have been able to provide valuable insight into issues like the Grand Knight’s removal, the summer layoffs, and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community. It is no coincidence, we believe, that these people have felt safe coming to us – an independent news source beholden to no one and no thing besides the mission statement we wrote more than a year ago.

When writing that mission statement, we did so with the intention of bringing transparency to this institution. In the spirit of James Baldwin, we insist on the right to criticize Saint Anselm College perpetually precisely because we love it more than any other academic institution in the world. Critiquing the institution that educates you, whether it be Saint Anselm College or the Catholic Church, is not a bad thing.

Moving forward, we need you. We are proud of what we have been able to build, but there is still a lot of work left to do. If you are interested in writing for The Hilltopper, please reach out to Jackson Peck ‘22 ( If you would like to be a financial supporter of The Hilltopper and ensure its continuation for years to come, please contact Nick Fulchino ‘19 (

Above all, we want to say thank you. To our readers, our donors, our writers, our supporters. We would not exist without you; we exist for you. Thank you for trusting us as your news source. We’re The Hilltopper, and we’re here to stay.

Faculty Claim Violations of Title IX

Our very own Women’s basketball team has just made history for Saint Anselm College, claiming their first ever East Regional title. After being seeded seventh in the team’s first shot in the Elite Eight, upsets to three teams brought the Hawks to the gold. Their final record was an impressive 22-10. This is not the only East Regional title Saint Anselm College has earned this year, as a few weeks earlier our Men’s basketball team brought home the same title. Their season ended with a record of 25-5.  

Though both teams earned the same title, they did not earn the same recognition. After their East Regional wins, both the men and women’s teams traveled to compete for a national title. Both fell short, and the season came to a close. On the way back to campus after the conclusion of their seasons, the two teams had very different experiences. The men’s basketball team took a private flight back to the Manchester airport and were welcomed back to campus with a police escort. The women’s basketball team flew commercial and had no escort back to campus. The difference did not go unnoticed by the student body. “I mean it is true that they made it one game further than us, but we were making history too…I felt disregarded…” said Jenoyce Laiyan, a sophomore on the women’s team. “But, I would like to say I am proud of the guy’s team for making it that far!”

The situation was referred to by a staff member as a “complete lack of acknowledgment of the success of Women’s Basketball…”. Questions and concerns were raised by staff and community members to athletics, senior administration, and communications, all to be left unanswered. A petition was quickly presented to the community by Professor Brian Penney.  The petition was created in hopes that it would “…get the administration to acknowledge the discrepancy in treatment and to provide a proper chance for the community to officially welcome the women’s basketball team.”

The petition being circulated by Professor Brian Penney had been placed on hold as of Thursday afternoon as new information has brought some light to the subject. This is still an issue, as there have been no announcements from administrators as to when or if an event will be scheduled; however, Professor Penney conveyed to The Hilltopper that he had been in contact with Saint Anselm’s NCAA Compliance Director, Courtney McGrath and she provided more information.

After a tournament game has concluded the NCAA flies players out as soon as possible, and options for flights are based on location and availability. In the case of the men’s team, the NCAA scheduled a private plane back to Manchester. The women’s team was scheduled a commercial flight into Boston. Professor Penney said that in either case “The NCAA pays for and arranges for this; it is not the choice of the school.” He also said that scheduling a police escort “is easy to set up if a team arrives in Manchester, but not if they arrive in Boston as the women did.”

Although some concerns were clarified and resolved the issue of providing an adequate reception still stands. Some students and faculty are still upset by the lack of recognition for our women’s basketball team once back on campus, and some questions remain unanswered. New information presented Friday morning led to a renewed effort. After being told that the athletics administration has still not committed to holding an event faculty members are demanding action. These demands include:

  • Acknowledgment of the unfairness of treatment with a campus-wide e-mail for the men;
  • And an alternate, well-advertised event for the campus to celebrate women’s basketball

Additionally, the petition states that this inaction is “a violation of the Title IX provisions for equal publicity for women’s teams.” There has yet to be any response from administrators, but this does not mean that students and faculty can not help resolve the issue. As said by Professor Penney “We are a strong community and the goal is to properly celebrate our athletes who worked so hard and had a fantastic season. None of this should reflect on the men’s team, who had their own fantastic season, deserved a celebration, and were not part of any of these decisions.” As individuals and as a community we can celebrate all of our athletes by congratulating them on their success this season.

The Hilltopper, and Professor Penney reached out to Athletic Director Daron Montgomery and Director of Communications and Marketing Michelle Adams O’Reagan. They have yet to comment.

This article was researched and written with assistance from Kate Shubert.

DiSalvo Says He’s “Going Out on Top” as He Leaves for Endicott

President Steven R. DiSalvo speaking at the 2015 Commencement. (Photo by Saint Anselm College)

Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo had a long list of goals for Saint Anselm College when he arrived on campus five years ago. He wanted to increase the school’s visibility and produce a strong brand, create greater financial stability, and upgrade the campus’ infrastructure. According to DiSalvo, he has achieved all of these things.

DiSalvo set out to utilize the New Hampshire Institute of Politics to improve name recognition of the college and strengthen Saint Anselm’s brand. “It clearly worked,” DiSalvo said.Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Saint Anselm College played a prominent role.  Campus visits increased 46% after the primary season.

He also discussed  the extensive upgrades to campus infrastructure that have occurred  under his administration. Since the construction of the Living Learning Commons, the campus has grown to include the grotto, a new campus entrance, and the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex. Additionally, the college has updated the plaza in front of Alumni Hall and is currently working on updating classroom spaces across campus.

Yet one of the accomplishments of which DiSalvo is most proud is also the most controversial. He is excited that the college has experienced greater financial stability under his administration. DiSalvo says he and his team achieved this goal by increasing enrollment, improving the retention and graduation rates, and unveiling the Faith in the Future campaign, which is near conclusion.

In particular, DiSalvo notes the growth of the college’s endowment. The year before he arrived at the Hilltop, Saint Anselm’s endowment stood at $83 million. Today it stands at $157 million. The interest on that endowment is used to offer financial aid packages to students. As DiSalvo prepares to leave, Saint Anselm is better positioned to attract a more competitive field of applicants because of this increase.

Some of that financial stability came about as a result of the college’s decision to eliminate 13 positions, a story The Hilltopper first reported on in May 2018. In his first on-the-record interview with the paper about the issue, DiSalvo explained the reasoning behind the  decision. “When we looked at budget forecasting,” DiSalvo said, the administration could see there was going to be stress on the budget. “The board’s direction,” he explained, “was to address that last year.”

DiSalvo insisted that the process was handled well. “That exercise was handled professionally, gracefully, and we worked with those individuals to make sure they had everything they needed to find a landing spot,” he said.

He also pushed back against the idea that the decision was done through a top-down approach. “Each department head,” he explained, “was charged with finding at least one full-time position they could live without. So it was really up to the department heads to determine which positions they wanted to focus on.”

This statement contradicted previous understanding of the firing process. According to an August article from the New Hampshire Union Leader, “DiSalvo informed the Union Leader that the 13 eliminated positions were decided by the administration with input from the institution’s vice presidents.”

Further, DiSalvo maintained that the impact on students always remained at the forefront while the decisions were being made. “We wanted to make sure the student experience was central,” he said.

In retrospect, DiSalvo said, he would have held off on announcing the voluntary resignations of the Vice President of Administration and the Vice President of Student Affairs. “Those were separate from the 13 and because they were announced at the same time, people assumed those positions were eliminated but they weren’t,” he explained. Overall, he maintained that the process was handled “pretty well.”

DiSalvo believes that, because of a number of factors, Saint Anselm is on firmer financial footing than when he arrived five years ago. That success combined with greater brand recognition and the upgrades to infrastructure that he initiated have contributed to Saint Anselm entering the Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report. DiSalvo says that entering the top 100 is his proudest accomplishment here from his time on the Hilltop.

DiSalvo admits to falling short in one category. He had hoped to establish a program for advanced degrees. “I think it’s critically important that the next president move that forward,” he said. As DiSalvo explained it, “By offering graduate programs, there’s greater financial stability.” He continued, “Knowing what I know now about the stress on the current infrastructure for undergraduates, the only other way to grow is at the graduate level. And that’s what I would have done had I stayed.”

Now, as his time at Saint Anselm comes to a close, DiSalvo prepares to take what he called the “great logical next step” in his career, being inaugurated as the seventh president of Endicott College. The college made the announcement via a video posted to their Twitter account at 6:15 AM on March 27th.

After being “recruited by several institutions,” DiSalvo decided on Endicott for a number of reasons. Mostly, the college represents a new challenge for Saint Anselm’s outgoing president. He noted that he is moving to a larger school of more than 5,000 students. In addition to a greater student body, Endicott consists of nine separate schools and has double the operating budget with about 30% more employees. He was further drawn to Endicott’s experiential learning component. Students there are required to take internships, beginning freshman year, and the program culminates with a full-semester internship during a student’s senior year. He said he very much likes the “entrepreneurial approach” that Endicott takes to ensure its students’ success. Additionally, Endicott allows DiSalvo to remain in New England, where his family has called home since arriving in New Hampshire in 2014.

As DiSalvo leaves the hilltop, he is confident in his legacy at Saint Anselm College. He sees now as the right time to move on, confident in what he’s accomplished and excited for what lies ahead at Endicott. “The comfortable thing would be to stick around where you know everybody and try to coast it out,” he said, “but I am also a big believer – if you look at my track record – I don’t like to overstay my welcome. I really did feel that I’m going out on top, given everything we were able to accomplish.”

DiSalvo intends to begin his time at Endicott as he began it here at Saint Anselm – with a listening tour. He hopes to meet varying constituencies across campus in an effort to understand their expectations for his presidency. He said that every Thursday night during his first year as president he sat in the pub to meet with whichever members of the faculty came to talk with him. He joked that the process would be easy to replicate because “[Endicott] also has a pub on campus!”

Meanwhile, the search for DiSalvo’s successor continues. The Search Committee has yet to bring finalists to campus for on-campus tours and interviews. It is likely that a new president will not be named until after that process is complete. DiSalvo said his on-campus interview was on April 15th.