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100 Great Things About Keene State College
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Three Certain Signs of Spring
Springtime photo by Chris Justice

Even before the last little piles of dirty snow have melted away, you know spring, in all its wonderful promise, has come to KSC when the Frisbees fly, the music blares, and students, finally free of winter's restrictions, don their skimpiest attire to soak up the sun's welcome rays on the Quad.

Commencement photo by Julio Del Sesto

This ceremony, the culmination of life here at KSC, touches so many people – not just graduates, but also staff and family members, bursting with pride, who flock to campus to support them. As former KSC president Stanley Yarosewick said, "Looking out at the audience from the podium always made me realize that Keene State is very special and has a great impact on so many lives." See 2009 Commencement photos at

Clapping Through
Opening Day photo by Chris Justice

On opening day, KSC welcomes new students through Appian Gateway with a great round of applause.

“When I was 'clapped through' the line upon receiving my Master of Education degree in 1988, I was walking on air! What a wonderful feeling to be applauded by faculty and staff, many who had become personal friends while I was working as a graduate assistant and earning my degree. I felt like part of a family and was thrilled to join the staff shortly thereafter. The feeling never left me, even after 17 years! I never missed a graduation, and when it was my turn to clap for the students, it was just as special being on the other side.”
– Judy Perry,
Academic and Career Advising and Adult Learner Services
(retired October 2004)
"Enter to learn, go forth to serve"
Margaret Sanger photo

Early in his administration, probably around 1914, President Wallace Mason invited social activist Margaret Sanger to speak on campus. She exhorted the students to "enter to learn and go forth to serve."

The phrase so impressed Mason that he had it adopted as the school motto. Carved into the Appian Gateway, it continues to remind students and visitors of KSC's core commitment to education and service.

75th Jubilee

Keene State turned 75 in 1984, and record numbers of alumni, parents, and friends turned out for Jubilee Weekend in April of 1985. Memorial medallions were awarded to 75 people, living and dead, who had contributed to the College's success, and participants gathered to spell out a big "75" on Fiske lawn, just as they did to create a "100" at Centennial Grand Reunion this year.

The 1963 March to Concord
1963 March photo

In the early 1960s, pay for higher-education faculty in New Hampshire was lowest of all states in the Northeast. Making matters worse, in 1963 Governor John King, elected on a "no-tax" platform, submitted a budget that called for even more cuts in funds for Keene Teachers College.

Realizing the negative effect this situation had on their school and their education, students organized the Intelligence Fitness March from Keene to the State House in Concord to persuade the State to correct inequities in budget allocation and salary structure. They also saw a need to broaden the school into a liberal arts institution and to finance desperately needed structures, including a new library, a gymnasium, and a science building.

The marchers, 180 strong, started out in the afternoon of April 8, 1963. Seventy students made it to the State House the next morning, where Governor King met them and heard their petition. He even invited them to lunch.

The march was a great success. The Keene Sentinel proclaimed: "We're proud of you!" Later that year, the State legislature passed an increased budget for Keene Teachers College, which soon became Keene State College and entered the University System of New Hampshire.

“ Many faculty, including Dean [Fred] Barry and Dean [David] Sarner, offered sage advice. Many students who did not march were drivers, food handlers, and safety guards along the route. I'll never forget the wonderful assistance reporter Glenn Hipple from the Keene Sentinel gave. And I especially remember my friend and mentor, Dr. Lloyd P. Young, for deciding not to interfere in a movement that was not disruptive nor a discredit to the school and the State of New Hampshire!”
– Ken Morris '64
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