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Gov. John Lynch – The Walter Peterson Forum for Civil Discourse

June 9, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

John Lynch
John Lynch

Governor John Lynch

Former New Hampshire  Governor John Lynch will be the speaker for the Walter Peterson Forum for Civil Discourse, held on Tuesday, June 9th.

Governor Lynch is currently teaching at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In his course The CEO Experience, Lynch emphasizes lessons which public and private sector CEO’s can learn from each other. “Many people in government really don’t understand how business works, and likewise, many business people don’t understand the process of government. By improving the understanding between public and private sector, we have the opportunity to improve the civility of our political discourse.”

During his business career, Lynch served as Director of Admissions at Harvard Business School and President of The Lynch Group, a business consulting firm in Manchester, New Hampshire. Lynch served as CEO of Knoll Inc., a national furniture manufacturer, where he transformed the company previously losing $50 million a year, to making a profits of nearly $240 million yearly. Under his leadership, Knoll created new jobs, gave factory workers annual bonuses, established a scholarship program for the children of employees, created retirement plans for employees who didn’t have any, and gave workers stock in the company.  Before announcing his run for Governor, Lynch was serving as Chairman of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees.

Governor Lynch was (with the exception of John Taylor Gilman, who served from 1794 – 1816), New Hampshire’s longest serving governor. He is considered to be the most popular governor in New Hampshire history, and also ranked among the nation’s most popular governors, enjoying bi-partisan support on many issues.


Mary Anne Gaal

This forum will be moderated by Mary Ann Gaal, Professor of Management/Business at Franklin Pierce University.  Mary Ann holds a Ph. D. in Leadership and Organizational Change, School of Management: Applied Management and Decision Sciences, Walden University.  She also has a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to teaching full time, Mary Ann was the Manager of Capital Construction for the University System of New Hampshire from 1996 through 2009. Presently, Mary Ann is also assisting as Project Manager  for the University System of New Hampshire at the Plymouth State University ALLWell North project.”

This event is free and open to the public, however reservations are encouraged. You may reserve on this web page (below) through our ticketing system, or by calling the Monadnock Center at 603-924-3235.

The Walter Peterson Forum for Civil Discourse

Walter PetersonThere was no one who epitomized the spirit of civil discourse more than the late Governor Walter Peterson. Walter spent most of his adult life as a resident of Peterborough, where he made significant contributions to the community, including serving as town meeting moderator for 27 years. He served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1969 – 1973. In 1975 he became President of Franklin Pierce University, a position he held for 20 years. After his retirement he continued to be involved in the New Hampshire political environment, and was widely respected for his efforts to bridge across partisan divide. Quite simply, he was a voice of reason.

One thing that almost everyone can agree on today is that the manner in which we choose to disagree with each other is increasingly acrimonious. Intelligent, respectful discussion is becoming hard to find. But people are yearning for such experiences. The Walter Peterson Forum for Civil Discourse has been created the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in partnership with the New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University, and in collaboration with the Monadnock Ledger Transcript, to honor Walter Peterson and his commitment to fostering open and honest dialogue among individuals and groups with diverse perspectives.

The Forum presents a speaker whose work and reputation is inspirational to those seeking elevate the level of discussion of civic and political issues.  The presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation which will be conducted in the spirit of deliberative discussion and respectful engagement. The goal is not for participants to advance opinions against each other, but to be willing to consider alternative points of view, and to cultivate the tools that civil discourse requires.

Presenters will have the option of speaking on the subject of civil discourse itself, or of choosing a currently important topic and exploring it in a way that reveals how people might arrive at different viewpoints. Presenters will be asked to provide sufficient information about their proposed topic that a strong press release can be generated, and to work with the Forum producers as needed to refine that message, with the goal influencing the quality as well as the quantity of attendance.


Founded in 1902 as the Peterborough Historical Society, the Monadnock Center for History and Culture has evolved over the last eighteen months with this new name and expanded mission.  Committed as ever to preserving the past and being the custodian of Peterborough’s historical archives, the Center also has a vision for involvement in the forward-looking civic life of the community. The concept for the Walter Peterson Forum for Civil Discourse emerged a means to honor the great contributions which Walter Peterson made to the town, the Monadnock region, and the State of New Hampshire. It also provides a way to extend his legacy through the encouragement of thoughtful discussion.




June 9, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Bass Hall: Monadnock Center for History and Culture
19 Grove St
Peterborough, NH 03458 United States
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