Archival photographs, Past and present

How’s the Air up There?

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” — Sally Mann

It’s always fascinating to see something familiar from a different angle, and equally interesting to see how a place evolves over time.  We thought it would be fun to share these aerial photographs of Rivier, taken through the years:

Mid – 1950’s
1957, with notations
Detailed photo, 1964
aerial 1971
Archival photographs, Commencement

Commencement: Looking Back and Moving Ahead

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.  You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

Another academic year has come to a close.  The campus is quiet this week; we trust that this means our students survived Exams and are now off enjoying summer vacation.  And our members of the class of 2018 are looking forward to Rivier’s 83rd Commencement, which will be held this upcoming Sunday.

To our Graduates: As you focus on the bright future before you, we hope you look back fondly at your days here at Rivier.  We are pleased to have been a part of your journey in life, and grateful for the connection we will always share.

To “connect the dots” between our past and present, we’d like to share a few photos of Rivier’s earliest graduates:

Rivier College, Class of 1939
Rivier College, Class of 1940
Commencement program 1936 part 2
From the cover of Rivier’s Commencement Program in 1936. This is the entrance to the original campus in Hudson, New Hampshire. The Presentation of Mary Academy now occupies the site.
Rivier College, Class of 1943. This photo was taken at Rivier’s original campus in Hudson; the site is now Presentation of Mary Academy.



Archival photographs

Don’t Stress. Do your Best. Forget the Rest.

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” — Dr. Benjamin Spock

Final Exams are about to begin, and although we do our best to provide “Relaxation Stations” to our students, there is a little bit of tension in the air.   All we can say to our students today is: we wish you success, and we have confidence that you will make it through and reach your goals.  Study hard, take a deep breath, and conquer those tests!

In honor of exam week, we thought we’d share a vintage photo of some Rivier students studying hard, circa 1940.

Rivier students studying for exams, c. 1940




Archival photographs

A Tranquil Place

“Wisdom grows in quiet places.” — Austin O’Malley

This April has been unseasonably cold and icy thus far, even by New Hampshire standards.  But, hopefully, warm spring days will come our way, and we can enjoy some of the lovely outdoor spaces on Rivier’s campus.   Our Sunken Garden, located behind Madeleine Hall, is one such spot.  It has undergone a few changes over the years, yet has always been a lovely, peaceful area:

The Sunken Garden, c. 1955
Sisters praying, c. 1955
Sisters praying, c. 1955
A tranquil scene in the sunken garden, 1989
“Lasting Impressions” bricks, commemorating Rivier’s 75th Anniversary, 2008
The original “Rivier College” Arch was relocated here in 2014; as referenced in our earlier post, Beginnings



Archives On Display

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places, where other people see nothing.” — Camille Pissaro

It is no secret that we are proud of our Archives collection. This month, we are pleased to have some of the Archives’ artifacts on display here at Rivier University.  We invite you to stop by the Regina Library, and take a look!IMG_20180403_083408758

Alumni, Archival photographs, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary

Travel…With a Mission

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” –Confucius

Those of us who are fortunate enough to travel to other parts of the world, do so for many reasons.  In 1996 and 1997, Sr. Jacqueline LeBlanc (then head of Campus Ministry) led Mission trips to Haiti, where she and the group ministered to the poor and the ill.

There are two photo albums in the Archives detailing this trip:  The participants saw unimaginable illness, devastation and poverty….yet they also found love, friendship and beauty at every turn.  Below are just a few photos from these trips:


Blessed Anne-Marie Rivier, Sister Madeleine of Jesus, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary

Heritage Day: Two Women

“I have come to kindle a fire…” –Blessed Anne Marie Rivier

Today, we celebrate the heritage of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, and of Rivier University.    There is much to explore in regards to the Sisters, the University, and the many people who have made it what it is.  Ultimately, though, Rivier’s history comes down to two women, born generations apart, who shared a vision of education, faith, and charity. : Blessed Anne Marie Rivier, the Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, and Sister Madeleine of Jesus, who founded Rivier.

In honor of Heritage Day, we thought it appropriate to share two artistic renderings of these two great women:

Plaster plaque of Anne Marie Rivier, made by Bernarde and Nieri.


sr madeleine statue
Wooden statue of Sr. Madeleine of Jesus, pm. Sculpted by Elise B. Tougas, ’48 in 1983
Archival photographs, Special events

Star Struck

“Celebrities are just like anyone else….they put their pants on one leg at a time…” …this is certainly true, but even the most self-possessed among us must admit some level of admiration for their talents and experiences.  Have you ever met a celebrity?  What was that experience like?

Back in the 1990s, Rivier hosted or sponsored a number of famous folks for our community.  Here are just a few of those special events.  Enjoy!

Billy Joel provided “An Evening of Questions and Answers….and a Little Music” on May 2, 1996.
George Carlin brought his unique comedy act to Nashua on November 21, 1996.
Ted Williams attended the Tamposi Dinner in 1997.
Rivier sponsored this LL Cool J concert in 1998.
Maya Angelou visited Rivier in 1999 and spoke about her life experiences.

Merry Christmas from the Archives

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” — Hamilton Wright Mabie

Ready or not, the Christmas season has begun.  In the coming weeks, many of us will start purchasing Christmas-themed postage stamps and writing out our Christmas cards (no need to discuss those over-achievers who sent theirs the day after Thanksgiving), thus reconnecting with loved ones near and far.

Of course, we can certainly choose to send electronic Christmas cards. We are busy people, and e-greetings are convenient, economical, and environmentally friendly.  And ultimately, what matters is that we send good cheer to our loved ones; the format of said cheer is far less important.

But we admit: there’s something sweet and exceptionally heartwarming about receiving a paper Christmas card.  A paper card is a special keepsake; it says “I thought of you. I took some time to write to you.”  Old-school Christmas cards are a tradition that cannot be easily deleted.

Here are some lovely examples of Christmas cards sent by Rivier’s administration in past years:


Alumni, Music, Student talent

Perfect Harmony

“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done / Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.” — The Beatles

The Beatles weren’t the only musical game in town back in the early ‘sixties.

The Expresso 6 was a group of Rivier students, which included: Pat Burns, Jane Comeau, Mary Lyn Devan, Margot Desjardins, Ginny Joyce,  Lea Legasse, and Susan Zata.  These young women performed popular folk tunes on campus; in May 1964, after several years of live performances, they recorded an album of their favorite songs.  We at the Archives are fortunate enough to have an autographed copy.

Front cover of “The Expresso Six” album. Did you recognize Memorial Hall in the background?
Liner notes for “The Expresso Six,” complete with photos taken on the Rivier campus.