Early 1950s


Harry A. B. Shapiro distributes diplomas at commencement exercises, early 1950s

In the early 1950s enrollments in business schools around the country were in decline. Many were forced to close. The New Hampshire School of Accounting and Commerce was not immune to these trends, with day enrollment dropping to a low of 25 students in 1952. This was balanced by an increase in students taking classes in the part time evening program, bringing the total enrollment to 213. Nonetheless, the school was in a difficult financial position.

Further complicating matters was the decline in Harry A. B. Shapiro's health. Mr. Shapiro had had a heart attack as a young adult and was weakened both by his heart condition and the medications available at that time. Gertrude Shapiro took over the book keeping role for the school and began to learn the other aspects of its operation at her husband's urging. Despite his failing health, Mr. Shapiro continued his participation in the Jewish Community Center in Manchester, New Hampshire Chapter of Cost Accountants, and was presidnent of the Manchester PTA Council.


Notice to students of the death of Harry A. B. Shapiro

On September 10th, 1952 Harry A. B. Shapiro stayed home form the school because he was not feeling well. That night, while chatting with a friend, at the age of 48, he passed away. He left a wife with minimal vocational training, a son in college, a daughter in high school, and a school on a shaky financial footing.

Both because of her desire to see her husband's dream of providing good education to accountants succeed and her need to provide financially for her family, Gertrude Shapiro made the decision to continue the operation of the school.

At the dedication of the H. A. B. Shapiro Library in 1972 his niece Frances Pavolo described him as follows:

To education he brought a loving and true dedication. He also brought a unique style of spontaneity and dialogue. For he found great satisfaction in fellowship. How he enjoyed conversation, give and take, humor, wit, not the least his own. It is no wonder a sense of community among his colleagues and students soon developed and is still shared today.