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Keene State welcomes the Class of 2010 with a new residence hall, hosts bigwigs and little wigs, and gets ready for a busy fall. This issue of KSC Newsline also seeks Jazz Ensemble members for a reunion and offers reminders of upcoming events on campus.

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The Word Along Appian Way

The Word Is Lughnasadh
If seeing the calendar page for August makes you want to squeeze in as much more summer fun as you can, you can always claim you are observing the old Irish tradition of Lughnasadh, pronounced "loo-NAH-sah," which calls for feasting and sports for the entire month. (Special thanks to writer Shawna-Lee Perrin '94 for supplying that great excuse for goofing off.)

Alas. Keene State is not ancient Ireland. Here on campus, where we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Class of 2010, we've been doing the responsible thing and getting ready for fall and the return to school. No snoozing in the summer sun! Below are a few highlights of recent activities and accomplishments.

KSC Hosts Plasmonics Conference
Science Center photo by Julio Del SestoA group of 120 eminent scientists from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, and Japan converged on campus July 23-28 for a Gordon Research Conference on plasmonics, an emerging field of optics aimed at the study of light at the nanometer scale.

The conference was one of several scheduled worldwide to create an international forum for presenting frontier research in science and technology. Attendees met in the new Science Center, enjoyed meals in the Zorn Dining Commons, and lived on campus. Dr. Gordon Leversee, dean of sciences and social sciences, noted it was "very exciting to have this level of science and scientists on campus."

New Residence Halls Feature Sustainable Design
Construction crews and finish carpenters are on track to complete One Butler Court, a new 216-bed residence hall. A model of sustainable design, the energy-efficient building makes ample use of windows, skylights, inviting common areas, and well-designed living suites to accommodate groups of six, eight, or ten students.

The brick-clad building (230,000 bricks, give or take a few) will open the weekend of August 26-27. On a recent visit, we saw painters applying coats of "Vanilla Ice Cream" latex paint and plumbers installing countertops (made from recycled bottle tops) and sinks in the galley kitchens.

Meanwhile, Pondside III construction is also progressing well and the new hall will be available for the second semester. The plan is to move Fiske Hall residents to Pondside III (located at the end of Bruder Street) in December to allow for extensive renovations to the venerable older hall.

Campus map showing the locations of One Butler Court and Pondside III.

Catapulted into Summer
If you were on campus this summer and thought some students looked awfully young, you were right. KSC's first "Kids on Campus" program brought first- through eighth-graders here for two weeks to cook, learn Spanish, practice yoga, create science experiments, and even build a catapult.

Highlights: Professional magician BJ Hickman '75 taught a class on magic, which culminated with a magic show put on by kids for teachers and parents. The Science Extravaganza class built a "solar bag" that rose high above the Quad. And students in the Movie Production class had so much fun they nearly forgot to eat lunch!

Program coordinator Heather Jasmin of Continuing Education has more ideas for next year's program. She is also planning a day-long session in November to bring the kids back to campus. Details will be posted on

While you are there, check out the noncredit and weekend offerings for adults, including a chance to learn the secret recipe for Martino's spaghetti sauce from Donna Matthews herself.

Hooray for Hollyhocks
Photo by Hal BerntsenHollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are a hallmark of summer on campus, blooming profusely for weeks on end in colors ranging from creamy yellow to pink, peach, rose, purple, and almost black, and adding a sturdy vertical element to the gardens.

Campus Gardener Joe Britton believes all of the hollyhocks on campus are related to ones planted years ago near the heat plant by boiler operator "Chick" Chickering. (Today it is too shady there for the plants to bloom.) Long-time gardener Chris Feiker, who designed many of the permanent flower beds on campus, transplanted the hollyhocks about 15 years ago, and they have reseeded themselves vigorously. Joe said hollyhocks are nearly care-free plants as long as they get at least six hours of sun a day.

The KSC hollyhocks are all single varieties (having a single layer of petals in each blossom). If you see a dry seedpod on the sidewalk once the plants have finished blooming, you can take it home to see if your own garden will be as hospitable to hollyhocks as the campus is.

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Road Construction News
Straight talk about the roundabout or other projects impacting travel on or near campus.

Check it out here:

Mark Your Calendar
August 26
         New Student Move-In Day
More information

August 28
         First day of classes
More information

September 5-October 15
   Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery    Art = Body + Mind
More information

September 18
7:30 p.m Mabel Brown Room,
Student Center
   9th Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture:
Wolf Kahn, "Growing Up Privileged, and Jewish, in Nazi Germany"

More information

October 14-15
         Parent and Family Weekend,
Fall Honors Convocation

October 20-21
         Homecoming and
City of Keene Pumpkin Festival

More information

Just for Alumni
A first-ever reunion is brewing for all members of Keene State's Jazz Ensemble, which has been tooting its horns since the early 1970s. Former music major Brenda Thomas is hoping to organize a get-together in Keene next June. If you ever played in the group, music major or not, please e-mail Kay MacLean in Alumni Relations, Kay will keep you in the loop on reunion plans.

KSC Connections
Alumni to Alumni

Your classmates miss you! Please send your news to your class secretary (see any print issue of Keene State Today), or to Barbara Hall, class notes editor (

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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Updated: October 9, 2006 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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