Southern New Hampshire University

"New Hampshire College" redirects here. For the former New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, see University of New Hampshire.
Southern New Hampshire University
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[4]
Academic staff
152 (Full time)[5]
1,642 (Part time)[5]
Students 3,147 (On campus)[6]
60,000 (Online/Continuing education)[7]
Location Manchester/Hooksett, New Hampshire, U.S.
Campus Suburban 300 acres (1.2 km2)
Colors Blue and Gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IINE-10
Sports Baseball, basketball, softball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, volleyball, golf, cheerleading, field hockey, track and field
Nickname Penmen
Mascot Petey Penmen

Coordinates: 43°02′23″N 71°27′14″W / 43.03972°N 71.45389°W / 43.03972; -71.45389 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 Gertrude Crockett Shapiro (his wife) 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.[8]

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.[9]

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 shutdown three years prior. The culinary arts program was established in 1983.[8]

Ultimately, the North Campus was sold,[10] and all its academic programs were reconsolidated onto the main campus. This spurred major expansions to 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, Office of Transfer Admissions, the School of Education and several university offices, including the Office of Admissions. In 1998 academic offerings expanded to include the Ph.D. in community economic development and the Doctor of Business Administration.[8]

One of the most important events in the institution's almost 80-year 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.[9] Paul LeBlanc, the university's President, is one of the signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, and in 2007 SNHU became the first carbon-neutral university in New Hampshire.[11] 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.[12][13] 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.[14] In February 2016, it was announced that the university has partnered with SMG for the naming rights to the current Verizon Wireless Arena which will be renamed to the SNHU Arena beginning in September 2016 for a period of at least 10 years.[15] 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. Underclassmen at Daniel Webster will be given the option of transferring into SNHU, which plans on expanding its academic offerings to include DWC's engineering and aviation programs.[16][17]


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

Colleges and schools

Southern New Hampshire University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a wide variety of certificate programs.[18] These programs are offered through the university's colleges and schools:[19][20][21]

Honors Program

The 3-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

Southern New Hampshire University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs at its five regional centers throughout Maine and New Hampshire.[23] Regional centers are located in:

Accreditation and memberships

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges[24] and is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education Division of Higher Education—Higher Education Commission.[25] The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[26] All sport management programs are recognized by the North American Society for Sport Management,[27] and the hospitality administration program is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.[28]

Nationally, it is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities,[29] the American Council on Education,[30] and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[31] 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.[32]

Recognitions and awards

Fast Company has named Southern New Hampshire University 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.[33] Additionally, the university has been repeatedly recognized by the Chronicle for Higher Education as one of the best colleges for which to work.[34]

Both 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.[35][36]

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.[37]

Student activities

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.[38]


In addition to publishing its own newspaper, The Penmen Press, the university also publishes an official magazine called The Extra Mile,[39] as well as a literary journal called Amoskeag Journal.[40] Amoskeag Journal is a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses,[41] with issues available in Kindle editions.[42]

Honors societies

Greek life


Official athletics logo

Southern New Hampshire University participates in NCAA Division II varsity athletics. The school is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, 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".[43]

NBA Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo coached the New Hampshire College men's basketball team during the 1975-1976 season, compiling a 14-13 record and winning the Mayflower Conference championship.[44] 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.[45]

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 its 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.[46] On December 7, 2013, the Penmen won its second NCAA men's soccer national title, defeating Carson-Newman, 2-1.[47]

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.[48]

Men's teams

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Women's teams

  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Field hockey
  • Cheerleading
  • Track and field

Notable alumni


  1. Edumaritime. "Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) - Supply Chain Management Education".
  2. As of February 4, 2013."U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012 (Revised February 4, 2013)" (PDF). June 13, 2014.
  3. "President Paul J. Leblanc". SNHU. April 23, 2014.
  4. "Leadership". SNHU. February 14, 2014.
  5. 1 2 "College Navigator - Southern New Hampshire University".
  6. "Southern New Hampshire University - Best College - US News".
  7. "About Us".
  8. 1 2 3 "History". SNHU. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  9. 1 2 "Good Company - Southern New Hampshire University: A Leader in Educational Innovation". Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  10. "Hooksett's Mount Saint Mary's to be Converted to Condos" (PDF). Brady Sullivan. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
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External links

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