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Keene college lore credits Margaret Sanger with giving them the college’s motto, “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve,” during a  speech at the college.

According to the verbal history, Principal Wallace Mason invited Sanger to speak to the students at Keene in 1912, when she was known for being a public health nurse and social reformer. At this time the school was known as Keene Teaching School.  During this speech Sanger told the women who attended the school that it was time for them to “enter to learn and go forth to serve.”

Mason liked this statement so much that he got the faculty’s approval to paint it on the west wall of the auditorium as the school motto. Later, it was inscribed on the Alumni Gate as a gift from the classes of 1910-1925.

Although we do not have a record of the speech itself the project does have evidence that Sanger spent time at Robert Pearman’s house, which was located near the college in new Hampshire, during the summer of 1912. The aforementioned speech at Keene may have occurred during this visit.


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