Pappas to deliver NH Institute of Art 2019 commencement address

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New Hampshire Institute of Art

MANCHESTER, NH – The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) announces its 2019 commencement speaker will be U.S. Congressman Chris Pappas. NHIA will also award Congressman Pappas an honorary doctorate at the ceremony, which will take place at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover Street, on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m.

A lifelong resident of Manchester, Congressman Chris Pappas is a local business owner and public servant who has a longstanding record of working to put people before politics. During his time in elected office, Chris also served as an Executive Councilor and State Representative. As the fourth generation owner of a family business that opened in 1917, Chris understands the need to focus on constituent services and delivering results for New Hampshire’s working families and Main Street businesses. 

As a member of the state’s Executive Council, Chris worked with governors of both parties to implement Medicaid expansion, expand treatment and recovery services, approve funding for family planning providers, and support renewable energy and infrastructure projects. He is currently serving his first term as the United States Representative serving New Hampshire’s First Congressional District.

“We’re honored to have Congressman Pappas address our graduates and their families on this historic occasion for both NHIA and NEC,” said New England College President Michele Perkins. “Through his passionate presence on the national landscape advocating for New Hampshire, strong public schools, LGBTQ+ equality, and many other issues important to both our state and the country, he is a role model to many young people aspiring to bring about positive change in the world.”

This will mark the final Commencement ceremony for the New Hampshire Institute of Art, as it announced early last year that it would be merging with New England College (NEC). NHIA will remain in Manchester and become a division of NEC when the merger is complete later this year.

This year’s Commencement will represent the fifth year in NHIA’s 120-year history that it confers graduate degrees in addition to almost 100 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees.

About the New Hampshire Institute of Art

The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) is the oldest and largest non-profit arts institution in New Hampshire, founded in 1898 and today offering undergraduate (BFA, Dual Degree BFA/MAT), graduate (MFA, MAT), and community education programs. In December of 2018 NHIA merged with New England College (NEC) and will become an academic division of NEC when the merger is fully completed.

NHIA and NEC are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and offer courses both on campus and online. NHIA is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). For more information, visit and

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