Saint Anselm College is a nationally ranked, Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Founded in 1889 by Abbot Hilary Pfrängle, O.S.B. of Saint Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey, at the request of Bishop Denis Mary Bradley of Manchester, New Hampshire, the college is the third-oldest Catholic college in New England. Named for Saint Anselm of Canterbury (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109), the college continues to have a fully functioning and independent Benedictine abbey attached to it, Saint Anselm Abbey. As of 2012, its enrollment is approximately 2,000.
According to the college, the student body is selected not only for their academic abilities but also for their personal character. The college's academic curriculum requires several philosophy and theology courses and the completion of a two-year nationally recognized humanities program entitled "Portraits of Human Greatness." The administration's commitment to an anti grade inflation policy helped the college receive national media attention from the Fox News Channel in 2006, as well as a Tier 1 ranking from U.S. News and World Report. For 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked the College 130th among national liberal arts colleges, with an admissions rate that is deemed "selective" at 71%. In 2011, Forbes Magazine ranked Saint Anselm as the 85th best college in the nation as well as the 40th in the Northeast.
Since the 1950s, the college has played an important role in the "first in the nation" New Hampshire primary, and has served as the national stage for many future presidents, candidates, and supporters. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon each delivered important policy speeches there. The college has been home to several national presidential debates which have attracted extensive media attention. The Washington Post recently referred to Saint Anselm College as "the Benedictine college with a box seat on America's most riveting political theater".
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