From the Editor's Desk
Are you a silver-lining kind of person?
I am, and I'll bet many of you are, too, though we've all been tested lately.
Take the economy. Yes, times are tough. At Keene State, we are not immune from the crisis. Fortunately, we have been practicing "fiscal fitness" for a long time, and thanks to diligent planning and careful spending, we are on an even keel.
Our applicant pool is strong in quality and in numbers. President Giles-Gee communicates regularly with the campus on fiscal matters, and the Budget and Resource Council has sought input from everyone on how to save money.
For more on that, see "Fiscal Fitness and Frugality". In a win-win, many of the practices that save money also contribute to a more sustainable campus and way of life. As everyone's grandparents knew, frugality is a good thing.
Or take last December's ice storm, which did not hit Keene but yanked thousands of other people in the Monadnock region back into the 19th century for nearly two weeks. It had its difficult moments, that's true. The up side is that the storm brought out so many acts of neighborliness and cooperation. Happily, I had the perfect book to read by candlelight and oil lamp: Perley, the True Story of a New Hampshire Hermit, by Sheila Swett Thompson, published by the Historical Society of Cheshire County.
The thousands of alumni in this area may already know the story of Perley Swett (1888-1973), who lived up beyond Shinbone Shack in Stoddard. Perley lived without electricity or running water, a lifestyle many of us tasted, briefly, last winter.
For a bona fide hermit, he sure knew a lot of Keene State people. Ernest '69 (who wrote the book's foreword) and Medora '73 Hebert visited Perley while they were in college, geography professors Klaus Bayr and Quentin White volunteered to shovel out Perley's goat barn, and dozens of KSC students trekked into the woods to visit with the reclusive man and bring him supplies of Campbell's soup and saltine crackers.
The connections among Keene State graduates and between the College and the wider community are especially evident in this issue of your alumni magazine. Our "cover girl," Norma Walker '51, is a friend to everyone, and through her amazing kindness has linked thousands of KNS, KTC, and KSC alumni. (I dare you to read Norma's "gems" without once laughing out loud or at least smiling.)
Sandra Mazur Rimetz '77 writes about her merry band of classmates who reunite every year, bonded by their college days.
Linda Baker, professor of psychology, takes us far beyond Keene to Bangalore, India, where education professor Janaki Natarajan Tschannerl runs a school inspired by Gandhi.
We also offer a sneak peek at architectural renderings of the new Alumni Center, which will become a reality in 2010, providing a fitting home for all alumni – for you – and a focal point for alumni programs, services, and community events.
Thank you to everyone who writes or calls with ideas for stories in the magazine and to those who use the "comment" button at the end of stories in Keene State Today online – we love hearing from all of you and especially like to get a conversation going online.
We hope to see you at Grand Reunion in June, celebrating your own graduation anniversary and 100 years of academic community.
Susan Peery, Editor