This site is best viewed in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or EdgeX

Join Us for Free Cultural Conversations and Events

The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment, and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

View our White Fund Enlightenment past events.

Recent Event

View video on the NECC YouTube Channel.

Building the City of Lawrence: The 175th Anniversary of the Arrival of the First of the Irish Immigrants

Building the City of Lawrence: The 175th Anniversary of the Arrival of the First of the Irish Immigrants

Date: Sunday, September 27, 2020

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: Click here to complete Zoom registration.

Bread Roses
Richard Padova, M.Ed, M.A.

Read more about this White Fund Presentation:

This year, 2020, marks a major milestone anniversary in the rich and storied history of immigration in the city of Lawrence.  In 1845, the first immigrant ethnic group to settle in the city of Lawrence – the Irish – began arriving in an effort to escape the devastating effects of the Great Potato Famine that was ravaging Ireland and to start a new life.  Once here, many of the Irish found employment in construction and built the infrastructure such as the Great Stone Dam and the mills as well as the hand-digging of the canals that was vital to developing the city of Lawrence into the great textile manufacturing center that it became.  This presentation will examine the role of the Irish in the early development of Lawrence and their progression from there.

Richard Padova, M.Ed, M.A., teaches in the Global Studies Department, the Department of Academic Preparation and the Center for Adult Education at Northern Essex Community College.  During the summer, he is a historical tour interpreter at Lawrence Heritage State Park, where he provides museum tours of the visitors’ center, walking tours of the historic mill district and narrated boat tours of the Merrimack River.  Richard has also written three books – First In The Nation: One Insider’s View of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary; Who Are They?  A Look at Vice-Presidential Spouses From Abigail Adams to Karen Pence; and due out this fall, Concession Speech: Portraits of America’s Unsuccessful Presidential Candidates.  Richard is also a member of the Alumni Advisory Board at Northern Essex, Andover Center for History and Culture, Lawrence History Center, Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park, Parish Pastoral Council of St. Augustine’s Church in Andover and the St. Alfio Society in Lawrence.

About the White Fund Enlightenment Series

In the 1850’s Daniel Appleton White served as an Essex County Probate judge and a Massachusetts Congressman. His birthplace was a Methuen farm that would eventually become a part of downtown Lawrence and the campus of Northern Essex Community College. At his direction, money from the sale of a portion of that land would endow a “course of lectures delivered annually designed to enlighten the mind and elevate the character.” His chief concern was “for the advancement and success in life” of the young men and women at work in the textile mills.

The first White Fund lecture was delivered in 1864. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Booker T. Washington were among the mid-century luminaries who graced the White Lecture podium at City Hall on Common Street. Charter trustees Charles S. Storrow, Henry K. Oliver, and Nathanial G. White, for whom the Lawrence Public Library was dedicated, enlisted speakers “tending to the moral and intellectual uplift of the inhabitants of Lawrence.” Today the White Fund Trustees continue this tradition through support of the White Fund Enlightenment Series offered in cooperation with Northern Essex. By Judge White’s design, these presentations are free to the public.

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.

More Information

For additional information or to be added to the electronic mailing list, please call 978-360-3680.

We welcome requests for sign language interpreting and other access requests (i.e. Computer Aided Real Time (CART), food allergies, etc.). Please contact the host of this event for requests, questions or event information, Francellis Quinones, 978-360-3680 or email

Print View
Get Maps and Diretions