KST Cover
Time and Again
Centennial Memories of Keene State College 1909-2009
Do You Remember the 1960s?

1960s tie dye image Changes at the Top

1960s peace sign photo
Peace was on the minds – and clothes – of students in the 1960s.
By the early 1960s, both Plymouth and Keene joined a national trend for teachers colleges to become state schools. Keene Teachers College became Keene State College in 1963, acknowledging its status as a public liberal arts college.

President Lloyd Young left in 1964, and Roman "Jay" Zorn took his place as KTC became KSC. Zorn was successful at attracting a more highly educated faculty, with a desire to create a "Little Ivy" in a state system, but he did butt heads with the faculty, too, and he stayed at Keene State only five years. Leo Redfern replaced Zorn in 1969.

Lloyd P. Young photo
President Lloyd P. Young
   Roman Zorn photo
President Roman "Jay" Zorn

1960s tie dye image Student Life: questioning, activist, casual
(and all those men!)

Student life was changing, too. If the first few years of the decade seemed tacked on to the 1950s, the second half of the 1960s earned its reputation as an age of activism and social unrest.

Miss New Hampshire1962 photo
Margaret Wass '65 was Miss New Hampshire in 1962 and Miss Congeniality in the Miss America pageant. In 1965, another KSC student, Cheryl Leigh Buffum '65, won the Miss New Hampshire crown.

1960sOwl mascot image
The Keene State College mascot is seen in various forms; this is how it appears in a Kronicle from the 1960s.
During Zorn's tenure, the traditionally female-dominated student body equalized to almost 50-50. The College expanded rapidly: Eight new professors were hired in 1964 to teach that large incoming class. The same year, the College Senate was formed with three student representatives. In 1968, a constitution was created, and in 1969 the Senate expanded from 15 to 45 members with 15 student representatives.

By the end of the decade, there was an inclination at many colleges, including Keene State, to equate college administrations with government administrations, and to tie protests of the war in Vietnam to protests of college policies. Student activists won some major victories on campus, including representation on the College Senate, curriculum changes, and liberalization of dorm rules.

1960s tie dye image Convocation on the Wiseman Case, 1969
Zorn's conflict with one faculty member, John Wiseman, began as a disagreement over salary and evolved into major student demonstrations on behalf of Wiseman, whose contract was not renewed for a third year. The Board of Trustees eventually supported the administration's decision, but a Faculty Evaluation Advisory Committee was created to advise the Dean on tenure/promotion decisions.

Wiseman Case photo
In 1969 students boycotted classes on behalf of faculty member John Wiseman.
Cheerleader Pat Miles photo
Cheerleader Pat Miles doing a wonderful job of keeping spirits high,1963.
Freshman beanie photo
Beanie babies keep their heads covered their freshman year.
Tom Clow photo
Mayoralty candidate Tom Clow of Theta Chi Delta (Theta's Littlest Cowboy) entertains a crowd.
1966 Room photo
A man in a woman's room, 1966.
The times, they are a-changing.

1960s tie dye image Reunion K photo New Buildings – Everywhere You Look!
One visible sign of the changing times was construction. Faculty who remember President Zorn say he carried a measuring tape around with him at all times and would often be seen using it around campus. Morrison Hall was built in 1961, causing some consternation in town, because Monadnock had just been built in 1955, and the Butterfield addition and the old bookstore were only two years old. New family housing apartments were ready for occupancy in 1963. People in Keene were getting a little nervous at all that activity on campus.

Spaulding Gymnasium photo
Spaulding Gymnasium, 1968
(now Rhodes Hall).
The new library was also approved and built; although it was "finished" in 1965, with a new art gallery (a gift from beaTrix Thorne Sagendorph), three additions to the library were planned and added by 1976. The Zorn Dining Commons opened in 1966, winning the architectural design award of the N.H. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Randall Hall was also completed in 1966.

In 1968, three major new buildings were opened: the Science Center (complete with planetarium and rooftop greenhouse), the Adams Technology Building, and Spaulding Gymnasium. Carle Hall was completed in 1969, ending a decade of major expansion.

Morrison Hall photo
Morrison Hall, 1961
Married Students' Dormitory photo
Married Students' Dormitory
Construction was beginning for the new family housing apartments. They were ready for occupancy in 1963.
Mason Library photo
Completed in 1965, the Mason Library was ready to fuel inquiring minds ...

... and the award-winning D.C. was ready to fuel hungry bodies in 1966.
Zorn Dining Commons, 1966
Zorn Dining Commons photo

1960s tie dye image

John F. Kennedy photo
President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963; classes were cancelled the day of the funeral. Social activities were cancelled or postponed. TVs were on in the dorms all night.

Intelligence Fitness March photo
On April 8, 1963, 76 women and 104 men marched from Keene to Concord on an "Intelligence Fitness March" and were met by state legislators when they arrived the next day. Students reported "blister clinics all the next week."

The first issue of Insight poetry journal was published in 1964, and the second and last issue in 1965. From 1966 to 1972, The Journal, a student literary journal incorporating poetry, stories, and photo essays, was published two to four times a year.
'The Journal' cover 1967 A page from 'The Journal'
To download a copy of the page above in PDF format, click here.
MERP Weekend photo
MERP Weekend, 1964
MERP weekend (Men's Economic Recovery Program) was a Sadie Hawkins-style event, sponsored by the Home Economics program, where women invited (and paid for) their dates.
Greek Weekend photo
Greek Weekend, 1967
Greek Weekend started in 1965; Greek Week eventually replaced the old mayoral campaigns.

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Next issue: " Time and Again" looks at the 1970s. Do you have photographs from that decade to share? Please let us know.
E-mail Susan Peery,