Southern New Hampshire University

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Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University logo.png
Motto Summa Optimaque (Latin)
Motto in English
The Greatest and the Best
Type Private, nonprofit, coeducational, nonsectarian
Established 1932[1]
Endowment $16.7 million [2]
President Paul J. LeBlanc[3]
Provost Patricia Lynott[3]
Academic staff
128 (Full-time)[4]
4,372 (Part-time)[4]
Students 61,285 (Total)[4]
3,147 (On campus)[5]
Undergraduates 43,831[4]
Postgraduates 17,454[4]
Location Manchester/Hooksett, New Hampshire, U.S.
43°2′23″N 71°27′14″W / 43.03972°N 71.45389°W / 43.03972; -71.45389Coordinates: 43°2′23″N 71°27′14″W / 43.03972°N 71.45389°W / 43.03972; -71.45389
Campus Suburban 300 acres (1.2 km2)
Colors Blue and gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IINE-10
Nickname Penmen
Sports 19 varsity teams
Mascot Petey Penmen

Southern New Hampshire University, also known as SNHU, is a private, nonprofit, coeducational, and nonsectarian university situated between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire, in the United States. The university is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and also has specialized accreditation for its schools and programs.


The university was founded in 1932 by Harry A.B. Shapiro and his wife Gertrude Crockett Shapiro as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. In 1961, it was incorporated and renamed New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce. The state of New Hampshire granted the college its charter in 1963, which gave it degree-granting authority. The first associate degrees were awarded that year, and the first bachelor's degrees were conferred in 1966. The college became a nonprofit institution under a board of trustees in September 1968, and its name was shortened to New Hampshire College in 1969.[1]

The 1970s were a time of growth and change. The college moved from its downtown Manchester site to the now 300-acre (120 ha) campus along the Merrimack River at the northern border of Manchester with the town of Hooksett in 1971. The college introduced its first Master of Business Administration program in 1974, and now almost four decades later offers more than two dozen specialized MBA programs in fields such as forensic accounting, project management, information technology management, and corporate social responsibility. New Hampshire College absorbed some of the programs of Franconia College, which closed in 1978.[6]

In 1981, New Hampshire College received authorization from the New Hampshire General Court to offer Master of Science degrees in business-related subjects, as well as Master of Human Services degrees. The latter program would eventually be transferred to Springfield College. At the same time, the college opened its North Campus on the site of the former Mount Saint Mary College, which had shut down three years prior. The culinary arts program was established in 1983.[1]

Ultimately, the North Campus was sold,[7] and all its academic programs were reconsolidated onto the main campus. This spurred major expansion of the main campus in the mid-1990s. Construction began on a new residence hall; Webster Hall, home to the School of Business; the Hospitality Center, home to the Quill (a student-run restaurant) and culinary arts programs; and Belknap Hall, now home to the Institute for Language Education, the School of Education, and several university offices. In 1995, New Hampshire College began offering distance learning programs through the Internet. In 1998, academic degrees were expanded to include the Ph.D. in community economic development and the Doctor of Business Administration.[1]

One of the most important events in the institution's history was when New Hampshire College became Southern New Hampshire University on July 1, 2001. A new academic facility, Robert Frost Hall, containing the McIninch Art Gallery and a new state-of-the-art Center for Financial Studies, was completed in 2002. When nearby Notre Dame College closed, three of Notre Dame's graduate education programs and two undergraduate education programs transferred to SNHU.[6] University president Paul LeBlanc is one of the signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment; in 2007, SNHU became the first carbon-neutral university in New Hampshire.[8][9] The 2009-10 academic year brought the completion of two new buildings: the Academic Building and the Dining Center.

The 2013-14 academic year saw the opening of a new 152-room residence hall, Tuckerman Hall.[10][11] In 2013, the university announced that it would be replacing the outdated Shapiro Library with the new 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) Learning Commons. The new facility will house the library, the information technology help desk, a café, and media production services. It opened in the fall of 2014.[12] In February 2016, the university announced it had partnered with SMG for the naming rights to the current Verizon Wireless Arena, which would be renamed to the SNHU Arena beginning in September 2016 for a period of at least 10 years.[13] Also in September 2016, SNHU agreed to absorb the faculty and staff at Daniel Webster College (DWC) and operate its campus for the remainder of the academic year after its parent company, ITT Tech, filed for bankruptcy. SNHU expanded its academic offerings to include DWC's engineering and aviation programs.[14][15] Rather than purchase the former DWC campus, SNHU plans to construct a new science and engineering building to accommodate the new programs by 2019.[16][17]


Robert Frost Hall is located on the main campus in Manchester, New Hampshire.
SNHU's College of Online & Continuing Education offices are located in the Manchester Millyards.

Colleges and schools[edit]

Southern New Hampshire University offers a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs through its multiple colleges and schools.[18][19][20][21] The colleges and schools that compose SNHU are:

  • College for America (CfA)
  • College of Engineering, Technology & Aeronautics (CETA)
  • College of Online & Continuing Education (COCE)
  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education

Honors program[edit]

The three-year Honors Program is a custom-designed, integrated academic experience that is offered over the course of six semesters for business majors. As a result, students earn an undergraduate business degree in three years rather than four. It was started using a challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 1995. SNHU offers similar accelerated programs to undergraduate students majoring in creative writing and justice studies as well.[22]

Regional centers[edit]

Southern New Hampshire University's COCE offers programs both online and at its three regional centers. The university's main campus serves as a regional center, in addition to satellite campuses in Salem, New Hampshire and Brunswick, Maine.[23][24]

After Trinity College in Vermont closed in 2001, SNHU established the Vermont Center in Colchester, which houses the field-based graduate program in education.[25]

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges[26] and is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education Division of Higher Education—Higher Education Commission.[27] The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[28] All sport management programs are recognized by the North American Society for Sport Management,[29] and the hospitality administration program is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.[30]

Nationally, it is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities,[31] the American Council on Education,[32] and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[33] At the state level, it is a member of the New Hampshire College & University Council (NHCUC), a consortium of higher learning institutions in New Hampshire.[34]

Recognitions and awards[edit]

US News & World Report ranks Southern New Hampshire University at #101 in Regional Universities North, and #1 in Most Innovative Schools.[35] Fast Company has named SNHU the 12th most innovative organization in the world in its World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies edition. SNHU ranked with such notable companies as Apple, Google, and HBO, and was listed ahead of such companies as the National Football League, Starbucks, and LinkedIn.[36] Additionally, the university has been repeatedly recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the best colleges for which to work.[37]

The School of Business and the COCE have won multiple "Best of Business" Awards, for Best MBA Program and Best Online Degree Program, respectively. These awards are presented annually by the New Hampshire Business Review.[38] The university's community economic development program received a 2007 New England Higher Education Excellence Award, the Robert J. McKenna award, named for the former Rhode Island state senator and New England Board of Higher Education chair. It is presented each year to an outstanding academic program.[39]

Student activities[edit]

Southern New Hampshire University has almost 60 student organizations on campus. Club types range from academics (debate, history, math, etc.) to community service to the performing arts. The university has a student government association, and also operates its own radio station.[40]


The Penmen Press is SNHU's student newspaper. Other publications include The Extra Mile, the university's official magazine;[41] The Penmen Review, an online creative writing journal;[42] and Amoskeag, a literary journal.[43] Amoskeag is a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses,[44] with issues available in Kindle editions.[45]

Honors societies[edit]

Greek life[edit]


Official athletics logo

Southern New Hampshire University participates in NCAA Division II varsity athletics. The school is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Northeast-10 Conference. The volleyball and basketball teams play at the 2,000-seat fieldhouse within the Athletic & Recreation Complex. The teams' nickname, the Penmen, is an homage to the university's history as an accounting school. The university's mascot is named "Petey Penmen".[46]

Lou D'Allesandro was appointed the first athletic director and head coach of the men's basketball team in 1963.[47] Future NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo coached the men's basketball team during the 1975-1976 season, compiling a 14-13 record and winning the Mayflower Conference championship.[48]

Longtime men's basketball coach Stan Spirou (1985–present) is considered one of the most successful NCAA Division II basketball coaches, compiling a career winning percentage of .652 (522-279), four New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year awards (1993, 1994, 1995, 1999), and was named the National Coach of the Year in 1994 by Division II Bulletin. His teams have averaged 22 wins per season and also have 14 NCAA tournament appearances, four NCAA regional titles, and six NECC tournament championships.[49]

P.J. Carlesimo was head coach of the men's basketball team throughout the 1975-76 season.

In 1989, when it was known as New Hampshire College, the Penmen won their first NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, against UNC Greensboro. In 2002, the men's soccer team returned to the NCAA Division II championship game, but lost to Sonoma State.[50] On December 7, 2013, the Penmen won their second NCAA men's soccer national title, defeating Carson-Newman, 2-1.[51]

SNHU is a recipient of the NCAA Foundation Academic Achievement Award, in recognition of high graduation rates among student athletes. SNHU took home the award for the highest graduation rate among all Division II schools. SNHU also earned the Northeast-10 Conference Academic Achievement Award following the 2001-02 school year.[52]

Men's teams[edit]

Women's teams[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


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External links[edit]