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Dean College has undergone many transformations since its founding in 1865 by Dr. Oliver Dean (1783-1871), a native of Franklin who began his career as a medical doctor but joined the Industrial Revolution, eventually managing the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, New Hampshire. Upon retirement and returning to Franklin in the 1850s, Dr. Dean established the Universalist Church and then Dean Academy, a residential school educating boys and girls from New England and beyond. During this time, the Academy thrived under the leadership of Arthur W. Peirce, affectionately known as “Awpie,” for whom the main campus walkway and science center are named.