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, Past and present


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Traditionally, a university’s archway serves as a threshold, both literally and metaphorically.  Step through those gates, and you are welcomed on to the physical campus…and you begin whatever journey is meant for you.

We welcomed our students for the Fall 2017 semester last week. We hope that each of them feels comfortable and accepted as they each begin their respective paths in life.

Here is a look at Rivier’s original “welcome sign.”

The Rivier College Arch at its original location, circa 1941. This was taken before the City of Nashua widened the Daniel Webster highway. Resurrection Chapel is on the right hand side, behind the trees; Madeleine Hall is visible behind the car.
In 2014, the original arch was relocated to the entrance of our beautiful Sunken Garden
Commencement, Past and present

Commencement: Celebrating Endings and Beginnings

“All real education is the architecture of the soul.”  — William Bennett

The campus is fairly quiet this week. Final exams for the Spring semester are over; the dorms are mostly vacant.   Those of us who are still coming to work are pleased at the bounty of parking spaces.   And yet, there’s an air of anticipation and elation here on campus, too:  Rivier University’s 82nd Commencement Ceremony is just a few days away.

Here are just a few things that have changed over the years: Rivier has gone from being a College to a University; from women-only to co-educational.  Commencement exercises were once held on the original campus in Hudson; now they are held at a large arena.   Once upon a time, one could only watch the graduation in person; now, it’s live-streamed for many more to virtually “attend.”

Here is one thing that doesn’t change: The excitement about the possibilities ahead for our graduates.

Here is some memorabilia from Rivier’s Commencements past: from the very first Commencement in 1936, to Archbishop Desmond Tutu being honored in 2000:


Commencement 1943
Rivier Commencement Program, 1943. Note that the program is in both French and English here.
Comencement Week Activities 1981
Schedule of activites for graduating seniors, 1981
Commencement 19802 srs faculty
Sisters and Faculty at commencement, c. 1981
Baccalaureate mass 1994
Program from Baccalaureate Mass, 1994
Commencement TUTU
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Honoree, 2000
Archival photographs, Lent, Past and present, Resurrection Chapel

Past and Present: Resurrection Chapel

“Create a clean heart in me, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”– Psalm 51.10

Crucifix at the Chapel, c. 1950

Ever since Rivier’s beginning, the chapel has served as a place of worship and prayer for students, sisters, faculty and staff alike. It was renovated twice; for the first time in 1963, and again in 2014.  The Lenten season seems like a perfect time to take a look at the chapel through the years.

Altar in the original chapel, c. 1950
Chapel Exterior, c. 1950, prior to first renovation.
Photo from first Chapel Renovations, c. 1963.  Hayward’s Ice Cream stand is in the background, right.  The barn / house on the left is where the Learning Commons currently stands.
Chapel Exterior, c. 1970
2017 chapel
Resurrection Chapel exterior, 2017


Archival photographs, Past and present, Regina Library

Past and present: The Regina Library



To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often. –Winston Churchill

Rivier University’s library was originally housed in Florence Hall until 1958, when the Regina Library was built.  Beginning in 2007, the library began building a new addition, which opened in June, 2008.


Over the years, the Regina Library has added space, resources and services; changes which have better helped it support the educational mission of Rivier University in its efforts to:

educate the whole person in the context of an academic community that cultivates critical thought, sound judgment and respect for all people. This community supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for social, cultural, moral and spiritual development.