Welcome to the Gregory J. Grappone ’04 Humanities Institute’s 2020-2021 Big Thought Series: A River Runs Through Us

Whether we are aware of it or not, The Merrimack River—quietly and forcefully-- runs through all of our lives in ways far beyond the water we drink. Join us for a year-long exploration of the geographical, ecological, biological, historical, economic, and cultural relationship we all share with the Merrimack River.


Fall 2021

Date Topic Location
Thursday, September 16,
7 p.m.

The Merrimack River at Risk

Film Screening of the documentary film, The Merrimack River at Risk, followed by a talk and discussion led by Dave Anderson, Senior Director of Education at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. 

Melucci Auditorium of the Jean Center
Wednesday, September 29, 2 – 4 p.m. 

“Rivers of Health” Game Jam with Requity Labs 

Professor Loretta Brady of the Saint Anselm Psychology Department and artists in her “Requity Labs” will host an interactive zoom Game Jam, where participants will collaboratively work to create a game prototype with prepared materials and some creative brainstorming by participants. The goal of the prototype is to establish a playable game that can bring the “River Runs Through Us” lessons to life for future campus members. 

Participate by joining us on Zoom 

Passcode: 769762 

Thursday, September 30,
7 p.m.

Making Nature Work: The Merrimack, History, and How We think About ‘Nature’

Lecture on the environmental history of the Lowell and Amoskeag mills by Professor Beth Salerno of the Saint Anselm History Department. Professor Salerno will explain how the construction of canals and mills, and the legal and social changes that followed, changed our understanding of nature. 

Jean Event Center
Tuesday, October 19,
5 – 6 p.m.

Beyond the River’s Bend: Navigating Your Career Route

This program, co-sponsored with the Career Development Center, uses the river as a metaphor to encourage students in Liberal Arts majors to explore potential careers. The program will feature recent Saint Anselm graduates and is open to all students.

Participate by joining us on Zoom 

Thursday, October 21,
7 p.m.

Blame it on the Rain

Diane Hathaway of the Goffstown Public Library will bring Adam Jacobs, Public Works Director of the Town of Goffstown to speak about the threat to the Merrimack River as paved surfaces and polluted run-off increases, and what might be done to mitigate this on-going threat. 

Jean Event Center
Thursday, November 11,
7 p.m.

Indigenous Peoples and the Merrimack River

Sherry Gould, enrolled member and Tribal Genealogist in the Nulhegan Band of Coosuk Abenaki and Co-founder of Nulhegan’s Abenaki Trails Project will speak about what rivers and wet lands meant to Abenaki people historically and their cultural importance today. 

Dr. Robert Goodby, Professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce University, an archaeologist with over 30 years of experience excavating Native American sites in New England, and author of A Deep Presence: 13,000 Years of Native American History (2021) will speak about what the archaeological record tells us about the importance of rivers to Native Americans. 

Jean Event Center


Program Co-Sponsors 

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, The Goffstown Public Library, Goffstown Public Works, The Millyard Museum in Manchester, The Geisel Library, The Departments of Biology, Criminal Justice, English, History, Physics, Theology at Saint Anselm College.