Saint Anselm College is excited to announce the launch of the Ernie Thorne '34 Scholarship Fund for Racial Equality. Ernie Thorne was the first Black graduate of Saint Anselm College and a lifelong resident of Manchester, N.H. This scholarship will provide financial aid and educational opportunities to underrepresented students from Manchester, Southern New Hampshire, and California.
The idea for the scholarship came from Denis Lynch ’81 and Keith Woolley ’82 in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Lynch and Woolley have made leadership gifts to establish the scholarship and the Hewlett Packard Corporation will be matching all gifts to the fund from Hewlett Packard employees through October 1, 2020.
About Ernie Louis Thorne ‘34
Ernie Louis Thorne graduated from Saint Anselm College in 1934, becoming the first Black Anselmian alumnus. While on campus, Thorne was a member of Delta Sigma Mu, serving as the secretary and vice president, and worked as a reporter and contributing editor for “The Tower” newspaper. After graduation, Thorne continued to live and work in Manchester for the rest of his life where he was a well-known member of the community. At his 70th birthday party, former Manchester mayor Sylvio Dupuis said, “He is one of the few people I know who could have a letter addressed ‘Ernie Thorne, Manchester’ and it would still be delivered to him.”
Thorne worked as a car salesman, driving instructor, and later in life as the bartender and host of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack, N.H. where he met many Saint Anselm students. He regularly attended alumni and sporting events at the College, and served as the vice chairman of the Order of Golden Anselmians. Thorne passed away in 1995 at the age of 85, and his class ring is held in Saint Anselm’s archives.