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The Word Along Appian Way Jeff's Journal      
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Keene State graduates the class of 2007, some 900 strong. This issue of KSC Newsline also offers news on summer construction projects, our brand-new Honors Program, and more.

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The Word Along Appian Way

900 Receive KSC Degrees
Kenneth Jue photo by JJ Prior Nine hundred students participated in the Keene State College Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 6. It was held outdoors on Fiske Quad under beautiful skies. Commencement speaker Kenneth Jue of Keene, who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, gave the Commencement address. Jue, who is chief executive officer of Monadnock Family Services and a nationally recognized leader in innovative community mental health programs, spoke about generosity. He recounted many acts of kindness toward him, starting with early childhood experiences, and encouraged the graduates to be mindful of those incidents in their own lives and to extend generosity toward others they will meet in their work and personal lives.

New Perspectives at the Cohen Center
Paul Vincent photo by F.J. Gaylor.What began humbly in 1983 as the Holocaust Resource Center has grown into a world-class center for study and outreach and is now a powerful force for establishing Keene State as a center of academic excellence. And that exciting growth has just taken another big step forward.

"When I was first hired at Keene State in 1985, Chuck Hildebrandt was instructing Sociology of the Holocaust, the College's only offering in Holocaust studies. I took over the center in 1998 teaching a course called Nazi Germany, which included coverage of the Holocaust," explained Paul Vincent, current director. The Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies is now one of the nation's oldest Holocaust resource centers with an impressive offering of materials, workshops, classroom presentations, and a summer institute for educators. The center also supports a minor in Holocaust Studies and is expanding its role to include genocide studies, including the current atrocities in Darfur.

Now the directorship is being split into two positions. Dr. Vincent will retain his title as Coordinator of the Holocaust Studies Program and Professor of Holocaust Studies, and Dr. Henry Knight, formerly Applied Associate Professor of Hermeneutic and Holocaust Studies at the University of Tulsa (Okla.), will step in as the center's new Director. While Dr. Vincent will concentrate on scholarship, academics, and teaching, Dr. Knight will focus on fund-raising and programming. He will also teach one or two courses each year.

First Dr. Vincent will head to Washington, D.C., in late August to assume a prestigious five-month research fellowship with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, the academic component of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Vincent will conduct research on U.S. refugee policy from 1938-1941. After his fellowship in Washington, he will continue his research at the Center for Jewish History in New York City and at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, before returning to Keene State in 2008.

For Extra Credit:
Q: What folkie singer/songwriter-turned-academic/clergy teamed with songwriter Tom Paxton to write "Hardly Ever Again?"

A: Keene State's soon-to-be own Hank Knight, who has just been hired to direct the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies.

Construction Zone
Fiske HallThe big projects this summer are the renovation of Fiske Hall and the Fiske Annex, and the creation of the Madison Street parking lot.

Fiske hasn't been significantly updated since its construction in 1914-15. Now, in the capable hands of Pierre LeBlanc ('78) and his company, Engelberth Construction, Inc., it has been completely gutted to allow for more comfortable, larger rooms and upgraded facilities. Where it once used to house about 100 students, it will now hold 85 when it's finished. Besides vast improvements to the rooms, there will also be better bathrooms and fire safety systems. The building will get a new slate roof, designed to last far beyond the lifespan of anyone reading this.

Great Hall, fondly remembered by many alums as the social heart of the building, will be refurbished to reflect its historic character. The business and financial offices in Fiske Annex are also under renovation. All the work at Fiske should be completed by mid-August.

Those who haven't been on campus for a year or so will see that the wrecking ball has taken Merrimack House and the Alpha Pi Tau House to make way for the new 50-space Madison Street parking lot on Winchester Street between Madison and Blake Streets. The lot should be ready for the first cars by September.

Speaking of Construction…
Construction began May 23 on a roundabout at the intersection of Main, Winchester, and Marlborough Streets. The project should be finished by November 1.

Check for a detour map, tips on finding a parking spot, and other information.

New Honors Program – Where the Best and Brightest Flock
Photo by Julio Del Sesto.KSC will welcome a group of excellent students into its new Honors Program this fall. Inspired by the new Integrative Studies (IS) Program, a committee of interested faculty and staff worked hard to develop a vision of Honors at Keene State, based upon the College's "dynamic progression to a new level of academic excellence," as the Strategic Plan predicts.

In their entering semester, Honors students will enroll in one of two designated Honors Thinking and Writing sections. In the spring of 2008 and each semester of their sophomore year, they will enroll in designated Honors IS Perspectives sections. In their junior and senior years, respectively, Honors students will participate in a study-abroad experience and share a senior capstone IS course. Residential students may choose to be housed together in a living/learning community for their first year.

To date, Keene State has received portfolios from and welcomed 38 high achievers into the new program.

Keene State Scores Stellar Sports Season
Photo by Julio Del Sesto. It's been a big year for athletics at Keene State. Every team the College has fielded has either qualified for postseason tournaments or had an individual team member qualify for postseason competition.

Women's softball head coach Charlie Beach got his 500th career win with the Owls' opening-round win over Southern Maine in the LEC tournament earlier this month. This great season ended on May 12, when the Owls lost a tight 2-1 game to Wellesley College in the NCAA Division III Softball New England Regional Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island.

May 12 also saw hot lacrosse action as two unbeaten and nationally ranked teams met at the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship in Springfield, Massachusetts. Number 3 Western New England College scored six unanswered goals in the deciding third period for a 13-5 victory over number 17 Keene State College before 1,235 fans in a second-round game. The KSC laxmen had a 16-0 season going into the tournament and set a record for most wins in a season and most consecutive victories.

A historic Keene State College baseball season that saw the Owls make their inaugural NCAA postseason appearance came to an end with a tough 18-3 loss to Little East nemesis Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) in the championship round of the New England Regional Tournament in Harwich, Massachusetts, on Sunday, May 20. For the latest news on your favorite KSC team, check out

Mark Your Calendar

For details of all events go to

Jeff's Journal

Reunion: A Bit of Deja Vu
I took part in my first Commencement exercises as a staff member recently. It was a strange experience donning cap and gown once again, and I found myself transported back to 1988 and again to 1999 when I earned my bachelor's and master's degrees.

With Reunion Weekend 2007 (June 1-3) just around the corner, we hope this year's graduating class, as well as classes from five, 15, 25, and even 50 years ago, will recall that Keene will always be "a place to remember, a time in our lives." Moreover, as the gates at the College's front door - Appian Way - remind us, "Enter to learn, go forth to serve."

We hope, too, that our newest alumni - along with those returning for Reunion Weekend - will remember their alma mater when considering places to serve. Whether it is serving as a career mentor, running for a position on the KSC Alumni Association Board of Directors, or volunteering to serve on a college committee, staying connected is paramount.

Enter to learn, go forth to serve - and stay connected!

Veterans Monument - Dedication Ceremony
Join us Saturday, June 2, 2007, at 3:30 p.m. as we dedicate the KSC Veterans Monument during Reunion Weekend. The ceremony, featuring guest speakers and musical selections, pays tribute to the honorable service of alumni and current students who have served in peacetime and war with the dedication of "Stars and Stripes," a sculpture designed by artist Rob Lorenson.

Here We Grow Again
If you're a regular visitor to the Alumni Office's web pages, you've likely noticed several changes and enhancements, including the expansion of Alumni Marketplace merchandise, a section to stay informed about the work of the KSC Alumni Association Board of Directors (we are here to serve you!) as well as a section to help us locate lost classmates. If you have suggestions for other changes you'd like to see, please let us know.

Add the perfect accent to your car's license plate and show your KSC pride with a quality chrome-plated metal frame. The top displays the KSC motto, "Enter to learn, go forth to serve," and the bottom says "Keene State College."

Let 'em know they're behind a person of distinction! $15 for one frame, plus $5 shipping, or $25 for two frames, plus $5 for shipping. Orders by phone: 603-358-2369 or 800-KSC-1909.

And the Winner Is…
Congratulations to Rachel Surrency '99 of Spring Hill, Florida, whose entry was selected from among those who suggested the winning name of the soon-to-launch alumni online community. For her selection, Rachel received what every fashion-conscious alumnus(a) desires - a KSC sweatshirt. Watch for the launch of MyKSConnections later this summer.

Save the Date!
Squash any other plans you may have for Saturday, October 20, 2007, and come back to Keene. Once again, we join two big events in one great weekend - Homecoming and Pumpkin Festival!

Just for Parents
Light Summer Reading
The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations is pleased to announce a new summer reading program for parents.

Mirroring Keene State College's summer reading program for first-year students (where reading and discussing a challenging, diverse text is integral to the campus community), the parents' reading program begins with the idea that greater parental understanding of a student's college experience can lead to increased communication and a more mutually beneficial relationship between parent(s) and student, as well as between parent(s) and Keene State College.

By the time Parent/Family Weekend (September 28 to 30) arrives, we hope parents will have read Marjorie Savage's You're On Your Own (But I'm Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years. During Parent/Family Weekend, KSC faculty and staff will join with parents to discuss the book. For more information, e-mail

KSC Connections
Alumni to Alumni

Please send your news to your class secretary (see any issue of Keene State Today, in print or online) or to Sarah Johnson, Class Notes editor, at

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: May 23, 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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