Board of Trustees welcomes 3 women among 7 new members


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The seven new members of the Board of Trustees smile for a photo with Dr. Joseph Favazza, President of Saint Anselm College.

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm College Board of Trustees has recently welcomed seven new members to the board. Filling seven empty roles, the new committee members were selected and appointed this summer. With seven new perspectives being added to the committee, President Favazza spoke about the new trustees and the importance that their newly appointed roles fulfill. 

To those who may not be familiar with the Board of Trustees, they have “what we call a fiduciary responsibility for the college,” President Favazza explained. This essentially means that they have “oversight to make sure the college remains financially viable and true to its mission,” and governance focused on “strategic priorities for the college and its future.” Crucial work is done for the college by the board, so ensuring that all roles are filled effectively is of great importance. 

Members are appointed “to three-year terms that can be renewable for up to three terms,” so it turned out that seven spots opened for recruitment. Two of the seven members are returning to the board:  Roger Jean and Beth Kelly. 

Roger Jean previously served on the board until 2020 when his term was completed. Roger graduated from Saint Anselm in 1970, and for those who might not know, “he’s got a little building down there named after him,” referring to our Roger and Francine Jean Student Center. Beth Kelly “completed her term in 2021” and has now rejoined the board. Kelly was a member of the class of 1983.

The other five members new to the board include Dr. Kara Pitt ‘88, David Collins ‘77, who is a long time member of the Saint Anselm Community, and Beverly Grappone, whose son attended Saint Anselm College and graduated in 2004 and passed away tragically in 2015.  Robert “Bob” Dunn Jr., who works as the director of public affairs for the Catholic diocese in Manchester, and Fr. Stephen Lawson O.S.B., a 2008 graduate and member of the monastic community, round off the class of new trustees.

The new members official day of appointment was October 14, 2022.  Although the newest members attended meetings prior to their first official day, the 14th was when their duties commenced. The process of appointment, however, came sooner. 

President Favazza explained how the process starts with a trusteeship committee of the board, “which brings forward a list of potential names for the board.” That list is then discussed by the board, and they do

“more research on them…then the trustee committee tells me and Abbott Mark to get in touch with them to see if they’re interested,” said Favazza.  If they are interested, the board then decides. Board appointments can come through the monastery as well, and though the process is similar, “in that instance the decision comes from the monastery.”

A lot of thought goes into choosing people for roles on the board, as they look for certain qualities in the individuals. “When we look for new members, we try to identify any gaps in the experience, skillset, and knowledge of the board,” Favazza said. All areas of expertise are necessary in providing for the college’s needs, and the board and the President of the college seek people with “diverse backgrounds and experience” and “who are very much committed to the Catholic and Benedictine mission.”

Duly noted by President Favazza is that new members “bring a new energy and new perspective to the board, which is really valuable.” The board’s different backgrounds of expertise experiences are used to “reengage the rest of the board to have their voices.”  As seen in many other aspects of our community, diverse experience produces diverse perspectives, all of which play a part in supporting the college to the fullest extent. Pleased with the decisions of the newly appointed members, President Favzza shared that he feels “really hopeful that the new board members will contribute the best they can to the college.” With deep ties to the college for most of the new members, they are aware of how important their role is. Favazza has complete faith in the new members, adding that he’s “really glad they’re a part of it. There’s a good mix of experience.”