Last weekend, at the Franklin Pierce University commencement ceremony, Circle Board Member Sylvia Larsen was awarded the Honorable Walter R. Peterson Citizen Leader Award.
As a state senator, Sylvia was New Hampshire's longest serving woman Democratic leader and represented New Hampshire's 15th State Senate District from 1994 through 2014.
The Peterson award is named in honor of the former New Hampshire governor, who also served as the second president of Franklin Pierce University.
As she graciously accepted her award, Sylvia said, “I was fortunate to know Governor Peterson in his retirement as he visited the Statehouse often. We can all learn from Governor Peterson's example of leadership - listening with respect for the viewpoints of others and adding humor to soften the hard edges of serious conversations. Governor Peterson brought a joyful zest to the people in his life. He had the rare ability to weigh serious policy questions and consider the wisdom of laws against how they affect the everyday lives of NH citizens. In my Statehouse years, I worked toward that same goal. So the lesson Governor Peterson leaves us, I now leave with you: listen respectfully, learn compassionately, live joyfully, laugh frequently, and love lavishly."
One of the most amazing elements of this award is that the recipient has the opportunity to designate an organization to receive $2500, and Sylvia selected the Circle Program for this additional honor.
We are so grateful to have such a wonderful and dedicated woman as a part of our Circle Board. Congratulations on this incredible honor, Sylvia, and thank you for choosing the Circle Program as your special organization.