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100 Great Things About Keene State College
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The Potato Diggers
The Potato Diggers photo

Due to a shortage of workers during World War II, Keene Teachers College students pitched in and helped harvest potatoes at three farms in Cheshire County. They got five cents for every bushel they dug.

The Keepers of Buildings and Grounds
Buildings and Grounds crew photo by Chris Justice

People who visit campus for the first time often remark on how beautiful it is. As do people who return to campus after a time away. As do those who have the privilege of working or studying here every day.

The folks who have to do the hard work of keeping it that way, often in hot sun or freezing cold or at odd hours, are known around campus for being friendly, involved in campus life, dedicated, and very, very skilled.

Thank you, Frank, Bud, Jeff, and everyone!

Admissions Staff
Of the seven counselors
on the Admissions staff,
six are alumni of Keene State.
Charlie Sheaff
Charlie Sheaff photo by Ann Card

Dr. Charlie Sheaff '72 has a reputation among his students as a phenomenal artist – talented, patient, and fun to have a class with. His class may be called Woodworking, but he also teaches problem-solving and creative thinking.

“Charlie has been my advisor, professor, mentor, and friend. He has helped me with anything and everything that I ever needed and has taught me a lot about woodworking. I most deeply appreciate this because many years ago my grandfather taught Charlie these skills, and now I am learning them from Charlie.… I hope someday I will be half the teacher, mentor, and friend that Charlie has been to me.”
– Kyle Robbins '08
Jean Whitcomb
Jean Whitcomb photo by Chris Justice

We couldn't possibly say it any better than Dean of Arts and Humanities Nona Fienberg, writing to offer her nominations for the 100 great things about KSC:

  • "It's all about the people.
  • "And for the people in Arts and Humanities and much of the rest of the campus for the last 30 years, it's been all about [Divisional Administrative Support Coordinator] Jean Whitcomb.
  • "Whatever you need to know, whatever you need to accomplish, Jean will help you solve your problem. She is a steady hand, with good humor, who takes care of business for hundreds and hundreds of us!"

Henry Freedman
Henry Freedman photo by Mark Corliss

Henry Freedman essentially was art history at Keene State for 37 years. He brought a potentially dry field alive for students, whether in the lecture hall or on tours of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts or the Met in New York.

His reputation as a great storyteller and his respect for his students made his classes popular.

A final preretirement lecture in February 2008, entitled "An Art Historian's Circus," drew so many students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members that the crowd sat on the floor and eventually overflowed the room entirely.

Norma Walker
Norma Walker photo by Mark Corliss

You can read more about Norma Walker ('51, '59) in the Spring 2009 issue of Keene State Today than we could hope to fit here.

She's a tireless volunteer on behalf of the College, has won both the Sprague W. Drenan and Granite State awards, is an Alumni Association past president.

She's taken the Golden Circle classes (those who graduated 50 or more years ago) under her wing and become their social secretary.

She also remembers birthdays and corresponds with literally hundreds of alumni. ("She must get the most mail in Swanzey," says Patty Farmer, director of Alumni and Parent Relations.)

And she is by far the most prolific contributor to Class Notes.

Norma Walker, Don Carle, Mike Maher photo
Norma Walker, Don Carle and Mike Maher
Don Carle
Don Carle photo by Ann Card

If you're an athlete, or the parent of an athlete, you may know Don Carle '52, '56.

He's one of the Owls' biggest fans. He's also a former alumni director and seemingly tireless volunteer.

The Don Carle award is given to the sports team with the highest GPA.

Don's roots here go deeper than most: He was born in Elliot Hall when it was the community hospital, grew up on campus while his father was dean of men, and married an alumna. As a result, he is a fount of Keene State knowledge, particularly about athletics of virtually any era.

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