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The Word Along Appian Way Open Mike Ask the Owl
Mark Your Calendar Just for Alumni Athletics
We'd Like to Hear From You KSC Connections Newsline Archive

The first mild days of March help propel the campus headlong toward spring and graduation. This issue of KSC Newsline brings word of exciting events on campus and important work being done by students and alumni.

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The Word Along Appian Way

New Provost Named at KSC
Dr. Emile C. Netzhammer III, dean of arts and humanities at Buffalo State College of the State University of New York, has been named provost of Keene State after a national search. Netzhammer's appointment will begin July 1. He will lead Keene State's academic program and also serve as KSC's second-highest-ranking administrator, under President Helen F. Giles-Gee. For details on this new position at the College and Dr. Netzhammer's academic background, click here.

Making the Most of Spring Break
For KSC sophomore Allison Goldberg and about 75 other KSC students, the week of spring break (March 11-19) will be spent helping out in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi. It's Allison's second trip south this year. In January, she, along with Patrick Alley of AmeriCorps and 13 other students, traveled to Mississippi to help two families in a hurricane-ravaged town. It was a memorable experience.

"We drove down and stayed in a church in Mobile, Alabama," Allison said. "We slept on church pews. Every morning, we drove for about an hour to Gautier, Mississippi." Half of the KSC group traveled to a building site, while Goldberg's group went to meet "Kitty."

"She was a young woman living in a trailer in her backyard. She had asthma and arthritis and wasn't allowed back into her house," said Goldberg. "Her husband died about a month or so before we got there. Everyone said it was probably because he was in the house so much that the mold infested his lungs."

Instead of rebuilding Kitty's home, their job was to finish what Hurricane Katrina had started – pulling it apart. "Our job was to gut the house so they could rebuild it," Goldberg said. "We had to take out all the furniture. We tore down the walls, took the insulation out, and pulled up the carpeting and the plywood. Then we had to bleach it to get rid of the mold. We had to wear certified facemasks because the mold was so rampant. Even then it was pretty gross."

The job had its compensations. "Kitty's neighbors provided amazing meals," Goldberg said. "There was homemade cornbread, pulled chicken with barbecue sauce, and delicious quesadillas."

Goldberg said that it was wonderful to see how much her group could accomplish in just a week, but it was even more heartening to see the strength of the community members. "There were billboards everywhere," she said, "saying, 'We will rebuild this community. We will make it stronger.'"

Goldberg, who is thinking of majoring in sociology, said she wants to work with other cultures and travel as her vocation. For now, she is heading back to Mississippi to help. "There is still so much work to be done," she said. She and fellow student Rachel Ladd will be accompanied by John Halter of the KSC Business Office.

Four other KSC student groups are also making the most of Alternative Spring Break. Three groups are going to South Carolina, where they will participate in Habitat for Humanity building projects; the fourth group is heading out to do maintenance work on the Cumberland Trail in eastern Tennessee.

Cassandra Ricard, a sophomore at Keene State and intern in the College Relations office, contributed this piece.

Fighting for the Cure at 18,506 Feet
Photo: Mount ElbrusLaurie Normandeau '94, whose ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro was described in the Winter 2005 issue of Keene State Today, has another mountain in her sights: Mount Elbrus in the western Caucasus mountains of Russia. At 18,506 feet, it is Europe's highest peak and the legendary place where Prometheus was chained by Zeus as punishment for bringing fire to humans.

Laurie, an experienced mountaineer, is again raising money to help fund breast cancer research at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), a leading nonprofit, independent institution ( Each member of the climbing team commits to raising at least $10,000, in addition to being responsible for his or her own travel expenses. Laurie raised more than $16,000 for cancer research when she climbed Kilimanjaro.

To prepare for the climb to the snow-capped peak, Laurie will train in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, honing her technique and practicing skills rarely required at her home in Cummington, Mass., such as crossing glaciers and crevasses. Elbrus requires more technical skills than Kilimanjaro, and the weather will be much colder for more of the climb. But as Laurie writes, "I go willingly and with excitement for this awesome opportunity to be in Russia and on the highest mountain in all of Europe!"

Photo: Mount Elbrus route She also goes in memory of relatives and friends (including her own mother and grandmother) who have fought their battles with cancer. She will carry a banner embroidered with the names of those being honored by donors.

As of early March, Laurie had already raised $8,000 in donations to the cancer center. If you wish to contribute toward breast cancer research or help Laurie raise her own expense money (another $5,000), please write to her at 97 Mount Road, Cummington, MA 01026, e-mail, or contribute online at Laurie will be keeping a journal of her climb and will send us an update when she returns.

Ask the Owl
Newsline's Question of the Month

Photo for Ask the OwlThis photo was taken on the Keene Normal School campus around 1915. The small wooden building attached to the greenhouse is on the KSC campus today, minus the pointed cupola. Where is the building, and what is it used for?

If you know the answer, please e-mail We'll draw one name from among all the correct answers and will send the lucky winner an official KSC baseball cap.

Answer to last month's question.

Last month's Ask the Owl posed this question: What were the names of the three mini-houses that were taken down for construction of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery in 1991?

Photo: Owl Pennant We stimulated quite a few synapses on this one! Strictly speaking, Brendan Denehy '84 was the first to answer correctly, followed in short order by Nancy Balla, Deb Butler, Tracy (Smithers) Davis '85, Tom Richard '80, Mike Caulfield '93, Russ Cobb '92, and Dave Brigham '87. Mike Maher will put all of their names in a baseball cap and draw the lucky winner.

They all agreed on the mini-house names – Bass, Belknap, and Kennedy. Here are a few anecdotes and memories:

  • "I remember the day those houses came down. At 11 a.m. I walked past them on the way to a meeting and saw a tractor in the yard. About 45 minutes later I walked back to find three piles of rubble. Vern Baisden, who was director of Campus Safety at the time, commented on the number of rats that ran out of the houses when they came down!" (Brendan Denehy)
  • "Memories? Anecdotes? Probably nothing that should be printed here!" (Tracy Davis)
  • "It's quite likely that the College saved lives by razing them, given their condition toward the end!" (Tom Richard)
  • I lived in Belknap my freshman year, 1986. One of the many extracurricular activities we engaged in was a protracted fruit-throwing war with the residents of Bass. We would take fruit from the Commons, let it "age" for a few days – or weeks – then at a pre-determined time fling open the door and bombard the side of Bass with various over-ripened bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes. They of course would respond with their own coordinated fruit barrage. It was a great time to be at KSC!" (Russ Cobb)
  • "I lived in Bass for the second half of my freshman year (1983-84) and then in Kennedy for the remainder of my time at Keene. We had some great times in Kennedy, which was the de facto headquarters of my band, The Toastmen. Lots of fun parties, some jam sessions, and the occasional study session. Unfortunately, Kennedy is also where I watched the Red Sox lose the '86 World Series to the Mets." (Dave Brigham)

Ask the Owl graphic    Suggestion graphic

KSC Athletics
Keene State Runners Are National Champions
Breanne Lucey. Photo byTom Dahlin/NCAA Photos.At the NCAA Division III championships in Northfield, Minn., on March 11-12, Owl women raced and leaped to impressive victories. Senior Breanne Lucey from Keene, N.H., won the 800-meter race with a time of 2:13.78, after an exciting battle with North Central (Ill.) College's Amber Driven.

"Breanne and Driven were stride for stride the entire race," said KSC Coach Peter Thomas. "Driven made a move at the end, but Breanne was able to hold her off. She was thrilled with her performance."

With little time to enjoy her victory, Lucey was back on the track joining teammates Jennifer Adams (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Sarah Miller (Walpole, N.H.), and Krystin Gavin (Brimfield, Mass.) to win the national Division III title in the 4000-meter distance medley relay in 11:56.45, beating out Wisconsin-Platteville by more than a minute.

Thomas said Gavin gave KSC the lead and Lucey brought the championship home. "Lucey knew she had the leg speed to open it up and on the final lap she just pulled away."

Lucey and the DMR team join four KSC athletes who have won national titles. Paul Trocki earned the honor in the decathlon in 1979 and Rob Edson was a cross country Division II national champion in 1989. From 2001 to 2003, Mary Proulx and Mark Miller won a combined nine national titles. Miller claimed all four of his championships in the 1,500-meter event. Proulx, a five time national champ, won two each in the 3,000 and 5,000 races, and one in the 10,000 event.

Earlier in the day, Crystal Blamy finished fourth in the high-jump competition with a mark of 5' 5.25". The junior from Walpole, N.H., becomes the first Owl to earn All-America honors in the event.

Keene State finished the championship meet tied for fourth place with 26 points. The athletes won a combined seven All-America honors. "It was an awesome day and an awesome weekend," said Thomas.

Mark Your Calendar

A Convergence of Great Events
Spring is always busy on campus, but this year brings an unusually rich schedule of lectures, conferences, and other cultural events. Here are just a few.

March 21
7 p.m. Mabel Brown Room, Student Center    "It's 2006: Do We Know Where Our Children Are?"
This Sidore Series discussion on the status of at-risk children in Cheshire County brings together a panel of distinguished local advocates and specialists on children and families.

March 22
7:30 p.m. Alumni Recital Hall, Redfern Arts Center    Playing for Peace
A concert by violinist Ealain McMullin (Country Donegal, Ireland) and pianist Reem Abu Rahmeh (Amman, Jordan) and others to benefit the Playing for Peace scholarship fund.
Call 603-358-2168 for tickets and information

March 29
4 p.m Mabel Brown Room, Student Center    17th Annual Mason Library Lecture
Frederick Wiseman, renowned documentary filmmaker, presents sequences from several of his films.

April 1
8:30 a.m.–
5 p.m.
Student Center and Science Center    Academic Excellence Conference
An all-day showcase for student projects and presentations, representing all disciplines at the College.
7:30 p.m Redfern Arts Center    Hamlet
Performed by the Aquila Theatre Company. Shakespeare's compelling tale of ambition, love, revenge, and madness.
Call 603-358-2168 for tickets and information

April 7-8
Schedule To be announced    Shining a Light on Poverty
A conference for teachers, administrators, and the public focusing on how poverty affects education at all levels. Information at

April 8
8 a.m.–
5 p.m.
Redfern Arts Center    15th Annual New England Storytelling Conference
More information:
Registration required

April 28
2 p.m. Spaulding Gymnasium    Inauguration
Inauguration of Dr. Helen Giles-Gee as the ninth president of Keene State College. More information:

Open Mike
Mike Maher, director of Alumni and Parent Relations, reports on Reunion plans.

We're gearing up for Reunion Weekend, 2006, scheduled for June 2-4. Alumni with class years ending in "1" and "6" will be celebrating special anniversaries, whether it is the Class of 1956 celebrating its 50th or 2001 celebrating its 5th.

Some classes are already planning special events, and the reunion committee is hard at work setting up a schedule of events and get-togethers for everyone.

The key to ensuring you have the best time is to contact the people you want to see and get them to join you in Keene.

The weekend will include a wine tasting, barbecues, class gatherings, the popular parade of classes, the annual reunion luncheon, campus tours, a music tent, the President's Garden Party, a "Red and White Night" dinner and dance, and the President's Brunch.

One special event will gather alumni who have participated in community service programs and Habitat for Humanity over the years. At the annual reunion luncheon on Saturday, two of their own, Don Hayes and Jason Crooks '96, will receive awards.

Watch for the reunion brochure in your mailbox in early April. It will have all the details and a registration form. Most meals and lodging will require advance reservations.

Alumni Awards will be presented at the annual reunion luncheon on Saturday, June 3. Recipients are:

  • Ruth Doan McDougall '61 – Alumni Achievement Award
  • Jason Crooks '96 – Alumni Inspiration Award
  • Jody O'Brien '82 – Sprague Drenan Award
  • Don Hayes – Outstanding Service Award.

KSC Connections
Alumni to Alumni

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
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Updated: March 14, 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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