CONCORD, N.H. – The presidents of the University of New Hampshire and its newly minted School of Law raised champagne glasses Wednesday to hail their new relationship.

The new law school was created through a merger of UNH and the Franklin Pierce Law Center, the state’s only law school. Students and administrators at the law school’s Concord campus sported UNH School of Law T-shirts and smiles.

“This is the first day of the rest of the life of this institution,” said John D. Hutson, former Pierce president and now president and dean of the UNH School of Law.

UNH President Mark Huddleston said the merger opens new degree and research opportunities for students at both schools. Programs being considered include a combined undergraduate and law degree program that could be completed in six years rather than seven and a graduate program combining business and law degrees.