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Greetings, alumni and friends of Keene State College! We hope you will enjoy this free monthly newsletter bringing you up to date on campus life and offering ways to connect with the College and one another. (For information on subscribing or opting out, please scroll to the end.)

Open Mike    In the Works
Mark Your Calendar    KSC Athletes Start Spring Training
Why KSC Students Are the Greatest    Just For Parents
We'd Like to Hear From You    Newsline Archive

Open Mike
Mike Maher photoFor 12 years I've sat at my desk in the Barry Alumni Center, tucked away in a small corner office cluttered with more than the usual papers and books. There are shelves of owls of all shapes and sizes, some I inherited with the job and others that have been gifts from alumni, and more I have brought back from distant ports of call. There is original artwork by Roy Brodsky '61 and Etta Merrill '26, and two original seats out of long-gone baseball parks. I have souvenirs of my fraternity days, photos of my wife and me as KSC students, and literally piles of "alumerabilia" I have been given for safe keeping over the years.

I'm a natural collector of stuff, but the primary things I collect and then share in this job are memories and friends. KSC Newsline is an attempt to grow my collection and share it with you. We'll try to send this out every month and help keep you connected to the College and informed about alumni programs and events.

The next big opportunity for you to come back to Keene to see friends and share your collection of memories will be Reunion 2005. Alumni from around the country will gather on campus June 3-5 to celebrate special reunions. Of special note are those graduation years ending in "0" and "5," but all alumni are invited.

There are certain faithful groups of alums from a wide range of classes who come back to campus for reunion every year. These folks are serious collectors of memories. They get to be 21 all over again every time they come back to KSC. We'll have more information for you in the spring, but mark your calendar now for the first weekend in June.

We are working on other opportunities for you to share your collection of memories with other alumni. There is a group in the Merrimack River Valley area of New Hampshire planning gatherings at hockey and baseball games along with after-hours events at local pubs and restaurants.

A group in Boston has been doing this off and on for a few years, and so has a small but active group in Southern California, and we hope to revive some efforts on the New Hampshire seacoast and start something going in central Connecticut.

In Keene, where we have the largest concentration of alumni, we have held gatherings at Margaritas and The Rynborne, receptions on campus, and sleigh rides and tubing parties this winter. If you want to get involved in one of these areas or do something to get alumni together near you, contact me at

Another hot topic for me lately has been planning on moving the alumni center to a new space. We are currently not handicapped accessible and don't have adjacent parking, which makes visiting and volunteering difficult for our older alumni, a group I am rapidly moving toward, and for those alumni and students with disabilities.

Now we have an opportunity to do something about it. We have engaged an architect to evaluate our needs and do preliminary design for a new facility, either a new building or a renovated and expanded house on campus. The details of this exciting project will come into clear focus over the next two months. I look forward to sharing the plans for a new alumni home with you. Regardless of its final form, the alumni center will be a place for collecting and sharing memories.

Alumni link

In the Works

KSC Presidential Finalists Announced
On March 3, presidential search committee chair John Moody announced that four finalists for the position of KSC president had been chosen. They are Dr. Helen F. Giles-Gee, currently serving as the provost of Rowan University in New Jersey; Dr. Andrea Leskes, vice president for education and quality initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities; Dr. Charles M. Lyons, president of the University of Maine at Augusta; and Dr. Ellen-Earle Chaffee, president of Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota. Campus visits are scheduled with each of the candidates later this month. For brief biographies and other information, go to

Campus to Honor Dr. Y with Special Scholarship Fund
From Judy Kalich, Advancement Office: After 11 years of service to our institution, this is Dr. Y's final semester as the President of Keene State College. His commitment to higher education and the students it serves are hallmarks of Dr. Y's time at Keene State.

As a parting tribute we are establishing an endowed student scholarship in his name. The scholarship endowment will provide annual scholarships to Keene State College students in perpetuity - just as those of us who have worked with Dr. Y will forevermore appreciate being part of his administration.

Please join us in helping build Dr. Y's scholarship fund. At this time of year we customarily ask every campus employee to contribute to the KSC annual fund appeal. The focus of this year's campaign is to raise a minimum of $20,000 to fully fund the Dr. Y. Scholarship Endowment.

The contribution total will be announced on May 13 at a campus-wide picnic in Dr. Y's honor. For more information, contact Judy at 603-358-2371 or

The new Zorn Dining Commons rises above the February landscape. Photo by Hal Bernsten. New Zorn Zooms to the Top: A 21st-Century Take on Campus Dining
Construction on the new, $19-million Dining Commons, located between the Student Center and Holloway Hall, began last summer. In February, the final roof support beam was raised, topped off with the traditional good-luck symbolic tree, and the space is being enclosed, to open for business in the fall.

It's a whole new dining experience. The two-story Zorn will have seating for 920 students, a 50 percent increase over the old building, which was opened in 1965 when enrollment was about 1,500 students. At the new Zorn Dining Commons, a student will "check in" with an electronic scan of his or her hand - no more swiping a ID card or explaining how you left it in the dorm. It's just one of the innovations that will revolutionize student dining at Keene State, says Paul Striffolino, director of campus life.

Once scanned in, students will enter a large, two-story atrium with sunlight pouring in through giant skylights. Seven serving areas await them: Granite State Salad Company, Monadnock Grill, Madison Street Deli, Appian Way Pizzaria, Elm City Eatery, Global Cuisine, and Valley Vegan. Most meals will be prepared to order before their eyes by the Sodexho staff.

The new Zorn will also be used as a catering facility for on- and off-campus groups. Part of the downstairs atrium can be closed off to form a room with space for 390 seats. The new facility will also house a staff/faculty dining room and a take-out restaurant for students.

Eat Well, Little Lung Cells: Lung-Disease Research at KSC
A brew of fetal bovine serum and antibiotics might not be everyone's glass of Gatorade, but lung cells thrive on it.

The initial feeding of the cells, which took place in the lung disease research lab in Butterfield Hall last month, was the opening experiment in the $1-million research project at Keene State that will help identify airborne pollutants and investigate their effect on human lungs.

Melinda Treadwell photo According to Melinda Treadwell, assistant professor of technology, design and safety, one of the project's goals is to grow healthy lung cells in the lab. In later experiments, the cells will be exposed to the metal particles present in different types of pollution so researchers can gauge the effect of the pollutants on human lungs.

First, the cells need to grow and reproduce to provide the researchers - including UNH graduate assistant (and KSC graduate) Jaime Ingalls - with an ongoing supply of new tissue. The cells, which are purchased commercially, were stored frozen in a canister of liquid nitrogen. Working under a sterile hood, Professor Treadwell split the cells into three groups and fed them the liquid mix. The flasks of cells and liquid food were put in an incubator, where they will begin growing. A recent check showed that the cells had begun forming a carpet on the floor of their flasks, a good sign, says Melinda.

The Keene State project is one of five funded by a $12-million National Institutes of Health grant to investigate different elements of lung disease in the Northeast. The project is being led by researchers at Dartmouth College.

News link

Science Center photo Mark Your Calendar
Distinguished Lecturers on Campus. What's your pleasure: Creatures that live in underwater volcanoes? Modern pressures on indigenous cultures? The secret life of Shakespeare? It's all at KSC this spring.

Academic Excellence Conference showcases work of students and faculty.

Science Center: our official dedication honors contributors and community partners and celebrates the spirit of scientific discovery.

This spring, Keene State will host a number of dynamic speakers, events of scholarship, and arts and cultural events. For a complete list of events at KSC, visit Note these dates in your calendars now:

Wednesday, March 23
Ewing poster James D. Ewing World Affairs Lecture
Tribal Peoples: The Dilemma of Change
Kirk Endicott and Robert Welsch, professors of anthropology at Dartmouth College and authors of Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Anthropology, will discuss the rights of indigenous peoples who are disrupted by economic development and nation building. The speakers will present case studies from around the world, looking in particular at issues of assimilation and the retention of cultural identity. 7:30 p.m., Mabel Brown Room, Student Center, free. 603-358-2723

Wednesday, March 30, and Thursday, March 31
National Science Foundation - Ridge 2000 Distinguished Lecture

Keene State has been selected by the Ridge 2000 program to host Dr. Melanie Holland, one of its distinguished lecturers. Ridge lecture posterRidge 2000 is a research program that explores Earth's last frontier, the floor of the ocean. Dr. Holland, a faculty research associate in the Department of Geological Sciences at Arizona State University, will speak about microorganisms that live in one of our planet's most inhospitable environments, volcanoes and hot springs that are vented from the sea floor. The implications of this research are considerable: if microorganisms on Earth can live in habitats created solely by volcanoes, then volcanoes on other planets might also support life. A lecture for the public: 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30. Alumni Recital Hall, Redfern Arts Center. "Seafloor Volcanoes, Surly Bison, and the Ecology of Life in Boiling Water." A lecture for the science community: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31. Science Center, Room 101. "The Mid-Ocean Ridge Sub-seafloor: Prime Microbial Real Estate." Both lectures are free. 603-358-2093.

Saturday, April 2
Fourth Annual Academic Excellence Conference

Now in its fourth year, the Academic Excellence Conference is a showcase of student scholarship, research projects, visual arts presentations, and performances. Nearly 100 students will be selected to present their studies in the conference. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Student Center, free. 603-358-2118

Shakespeare posterWednesday, April 13
Janet Grayson/Mason Library Lecture
"Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare"

Professor Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, is a world-renowned scholar of Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies and an admired public humanist. His most recent book, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, was nominated for the 2004 National Book Award, is a national bestseller, and is a readable, scholarly account of the life and times of William Shakespeare. A reception will be held following the talk. 4:30 p.m., Mabel Brown Room, Student Center, free. 603-358-2772

Science Center Celebration and Dedication, March 30 - April 8
To celebrate science at Keene State, activities and lectures from March 30 through April will honor Science Center contributors and community partners and celebrate the spirit of scientific discovery. Starting with the Ridge Distinguished Lecture on March 30 and the Academic Excellence Conference on April 2, the campus will be busy with events focused on the sciences and the dramatic, state-of-the-art Science Center. The celebration culminates on Friday, April 8, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. followed by presentations, tours, and student displays involving community partnerships. for more information, contact Amy Proctor at 603-358-2372 or

KSC Athletes Start Spring Training
It's not just warm breezes, palm trees, and signing autographs. Sports Information Director Stuart Kaufman reveals what really happens at Spring Training.

There may be a blanket of snow covering the campus, but that hasn't stopped four Keene State spring sports teams from getting set for their 2005 seasons. Weeks before teams make their annual spring week pilgrimage to Florida, the work begins.

Baseball players caught dreaming of playing on palm-tree-lined fields under warm blue skies are quickly brought back to reality by 6 a.m. practices at Spaulding Gym. "It's not something we enjoy doing, but it's part of being a baseball player at Keene State," said Ken Howe, who begins his 19th year as the Owls' coach.

The Owls, who are looking to improve on a disappointing 14-23-1 season, will spend five weeks in the gym before heading down to Clearwater, Florida. Playing a 14-game schedule over 10 days, KSC will round the bases at ball fields throughout the area, including Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, the old Philadelphia Phillies spring training site, and Miller Huggins Field in St. Petersburg, the former training facility of the fabled Yankees where legends like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle once performed their hardball magic.

The Owls have had their share of travel woes over the years. Howe recalls the 1993 trip, when the team was stranded in Florida after a late winter blizzard closed Logan Airport in Boston. Howe and 17 players took refuge in the home of the parents of Mike Wilber '93 in Sanford, Fla., to wait out the storm. "Let's hope things go a little more smoothly this year," said Howe.

Like the KSC baseball team, the Owl women's softball team sets up shop in Spaulding Gym before going to their spring-break home in Fort Myers. Jamming 12 games into a seven-day visit, the Owls will not have much time for sun and fun. "It's a fun trip, but all business," said KSC Coach Charlie Beach.

Beach, who directed the Owls to a 29-12 record and the Little East Conference regular-season title last season, won't soon forget his team's first trip to Florida in 1989. While the team was en route to Miami, the airline decided to go on strike. In a quandary about how they would return home, Beach spent several sleepless nights trying to work out the dilemma, eventually finding an airline that would honor his team's tickets for the return flight. But it wasn't that easy.

Beach and the team got an early wake-up call in order to make their 8 a.m. flight from Fort Lauderdale. To save money, Beach decided to drop off the team at the airport in their rented vans, and then, after returning the vans to the airport in Miami (where they originally landed), take a small car back to Fort Lauderdale to meet up with his team.

"When we got back to the airport there was no one at the counter," Beach explained. "It was like a ghost town." In panic mode, Beach finally reached a member of the airline staff, who regretfully informed him that his flight was departing from Miami. Beach quickly herded his team and a pile of luggage and gear into five cabs in hopes of making their flight, scheduled to leave in just over an hour.

Weaving through lines of cars and maneuvering around a traffic jam, the team finally reached the airport with minutes to spare. Jogging from the curb to the gate, Beach and the team made it. "I remember getting to my seat with beads of perspiration coming down my face," Beach said. "I clicked my seatbelt and off we went."

Unlike the baseball and softball teams, the KSC lacrosse squads confront Mother Nature and practice outside on the Owl Athletic Complex field. "I'm a firm believer in taking the boys outside," said Mark Theriault, Keene State's sixth-year men's coach. "Inside lacrosse in February doesn't work."

A veteran team that has made three trips to the ECAC tournament, the KSC men, 11-7-1 last season, are itching to dethrone Eastern Connecticut and claim their first Little East Championship.

After opening their season at Endicott College, the Owls head down to Orlando, Fla., where they will face top-ranked teams RPI and Amherst College. "I like playing at this level," said Theriault. "It sets the tone for the rest of the season." While in Florida, the team will rent three homes and cook their own meals. "They bond like you wouldn't believe," Theriault said. "Everybody has a good time, but don't get me wrong," he added. "We have some very hard practices and everyone stays focused on the task at hand."

The Keene State women also have had an opportunity to get acquainted with their new turf field, installed last fall, before they head for Florida. The turf field is already getting rave reviews, said women's coach Emily Johnson. "The players love it," she said. "They don't have to worry about sliding or getting sand in their shoes."

Basking in the glory of their first ECAC Championship, the KSC women (13-5 last season) will play games against Vassar and Franklin and Marshall College in West Palm Beach.

Why KSC Students Are the Greatest
Volunteering to help others is part of the College culture. During the winter vacation and at Alternative Spring Break, lots of students make a choice to help others (and not just get a tan).

KSC Habitators Return from Guatemala
A trip to Guatemala in January might be a way to escape the New Hampshire winter for some people. For the student chapter of Habitat for Humanity at Keene State, the motivation was a little different.

On January 3, 13 KSC students, two staff, and one Keene community member traveled to the village of Rabinal in Guatemala to build three houses for local families. The expedition was part of Habitat for Humanity's Global Village Program, which is designed to provide educational and spiritual experiences for participants within cross-cultural environments.

The team spent 10 days in Guatemala, devoting five days to learning about the culture and five days to working with the local affiliate in Rabinal, building two homes. Rabinal, comparable in population to Keene, is nestled in a valley in the province of Baja Verapaz, located about three hours north of Guatemala City. A similar team built three homes in Rabinal last year.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Keene State students have taken part in Global Village. Previous trips have taken students to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Students Emily Andreozz, Carolyn Bates, Candice Brown, Nicolle Candido, Jessica Duval, Gail Gulley, Brenna Leveille, Brett Maganzini, David Maher, Anne Mullane, Pam Stinson, Kelly Sullivan, and Jessica Wilkinson; KSC employees Don Hayes, community services coordinator, and Mike Ward, Student Center administrative assistant; and Jan Royer, a member of Habitat for Humanity Monadnock, made the trip.

KSC's Habitat chapter is regarded as one of the country's leading college student service organizations. In 2001, the chapter was selected by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as the New Hampshire program of the year, out of all college service groups in the state, for its contributions to local and Alternative Spring Break projects.

Heading South with Alternative Spring Break
This year marks the 11th year that Keene State students, faculty, and staff are participating in the Alternative Spring Break program, traveling to the South to assist people in need.

According to Joely Ross, about 75 KSC people will participate in six trips this year, including Habitat for Humanity home-building projects in Sea Island and Marion, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia. Student volunteers will also be going to Tennessee, where they will do maintenance work on the Cumberland Trail; and Washington, D.C., where they will volunteer throughout the city. These groups leave Keene on Friday, March 11, and return a week later. During a February trip to Marion, South Carolina, student-teachers worked at a school, assisting teachers with group lessons, science labs, and individual mentoring.

For more information on Alternative Spring Break, contact Don Hayes (, 603-358-2665) or Mike Ward (, 358-2662).

Student Activities link

Just for Parents
Here's a heads-up on preparations for Commencement, May 8.

To parents of graduating seniors: Everyone at Keene State looks forward to honoring you and your son or daughter at graduation ceremonies on the beautiful Fiske Quad, Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m.

A printed brochure giving all of the details of the day will be in the mail to you early in March; information will also be available on the web at

All seniors will be invited to attend our Commencement Fair on April 13 and 14, which provides an opportunity to take care of many of the details of graduation - caps. gowns, honor society cords, class rings, announcements, and tickets for various senior class events. With any luck, you can waltz into Keene on May 8 to enjoy the day with no worries!

Parents link

We'd Like to Hear from You
KSC Newsline is sent monthly by e-mail because it is fast, up-to-date, and (let's be honest) saves on printing and postage. We hope it will be a good way for you to stay current on campus life and feel connected to the College community.

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Ask the Owl
Can anyone tell us about the food served at the original Zorn Dining Commons when it opened in 1966? What did you love? What did you … not love? We'll report back next month and also ask another memory-jogger. Send your fondest food memories to Susan Peery in the College Relations Office,

Submit an Ask the Owl question.
We'll pick a new question every month to answer and keep an archive of the answers on the web.

Tell us what you'd like to read about in future issues.
E-mail: Susan Peery


Updated: July 26, 2007 KSC Photos on SmugMug Subscribe to the KSC RSS news feed Keene State on Facebook Keene State on Twitter Keene State on YouTube

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