Class Notes
1920s  –   1930s  –   1940s  –   1950s  –   1960s  –   1970s  –   1980s  –   1990s  –   2000s
Weddings  –   In Memoriam  –   Highlights  –   Send in your news
Class Notes

Kousa Dogwood photo by Michael Matros

From the KSC Arboretum

Kousa Dogwood
Cornus kousa

The view of the president's house from Main Street has been spectacular this year. The Kousa dogwood, the beauty bush, the 'Briotti' red horsechestnut, and the peonies along the front walk have created a classic landscape symphony with their seamless flow of flowers.

I'm convinced global warming is involved here somewhere. Thirty years ago, I would not have been expounding on the flower display of dogwoods, but thankfully, now I am.

The large, creamy white bracts of the Kousa dogwood last as long as a month. This lovely ornamental tree can grow to about 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, growing at a medium rate and slowing down with maturity (as we all do).

The older trunks develop cream and gray splotches, creating an interesting mottled look. In September, much to the delight of birds and squirrels, the Kousa offers edible red fruit. The tree is hardy to USDA Zone 5.

For many years, a large Washington hawthorn occupied this coveted site in front of the president's house. But hawthorn blight hit hard, and after consulting with Mary Lou Yarosewick, Dr. Y's wife, we decided to try the Kousa in its place to complement the two large flowering dogwoods on the east side of Main Street.

In addition to the president's house, three other sites on campus feature the Kousa. One, along Wyman Way in front of Tisdale 3 to 8, has three specimens. The area between Holloway Hall and the new Zorn Dining Commons has new plantings of the dogwood.

Our largest Kousa dogwood resides at the right front corner of Owl's Nest 3. This tree is exceptional in its form and showiness, a hidden jewel on the west side of the campus.

Dogwoods in general are kind to the arborist, asking for and receiving little maintenance. I occasionally trim drooping ends of limbs to help them retain shape and symmetry.

KSC's Jeff Garland is a New Hampshire-certified arborist.

Report of the Alumni Trustee

Presented at Keene State College Alumni Reunion
June 2009

As I conclude my sixth year as your alumni trustee to the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees, I am pleased to provide this annual report to my fellow alumni.

This past year, more than any previous year during my tenure as a trustee, the Board has had to address some of the most difficult financial challenges in the history of USNH. These challenges reach into every aspect of the operation of the USNH office as well as every campus of the system. Fortunately, we have been the beneficiaries of the outstanding financial leadership of Dr. Edward McKay, vice chancellor (and former KSC staff member), who has been named the next chancellor of USNH, effective July 1, 2009. Dr. McKay's understanding of the complexities of financial investment, long-range planning, and budget development and management has significantly mitigated our challenges. Despite the outstanding efforts of Dr. McKay and his staff, the impact of the economic downturn has had, and will continue to have, a dramatic and negative impact on each campus.

In this time of intense financial difficulty, it will be helpful if KSC alumni find ways to actively support the College in raising the funds necessary to support student financial aid in the form of scholarships, either through direct gifts to scholarship funds, or in increased giving to other fund-raising initiatives in collaboration with the KSC Development Office. I encourage each of our alumni to carefully consider a special gift in support of President Giles-Gee's request for scholarship funds to support both seniors and freshmen.

I am proud to represent my fellow alumni and the rest of the Keene State College community as your elected representative to the Board. My term expires in two years, and a new trustee will be elected to serve an initial four-year term. I urge anyone interested in becoming a trustee to understand that it takes a significant commitment of time, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to be an active trustee. Regardless of the workload, however, working on behalf of USNH and KSC is an exciting and rewarding experience.

We are fortunate to have such a talented, visionary, and dedicated staff leading our campus, and I am deeply indebted for their continued support of my role as a trustee. As I continue my service for the next two years, I will keep in mind the love each of us has for Keene State College and the important role it has played in our lives.

John H. Moody, Ph.D., B'71 M'76
Keene State College Alumni Trustee

Editor's note: Dr. Moody's complete report [PDF]

Reunion Hike photo by Ken Goebel
Alumni Take a Hike!

We added some real action to the reunion this year as 14 alumni made the trek up Mount Monadnock to kick off the weekend festivities. The weather was overcast but the view was long and enthusiasm was high. Larry Cole led the charge from the class of '59 on his return to campus from Harwich, Mass., for his 50th reunion. Two members of the class of 2008 represented our most recent grads, and everyone else was in between.

Class of 1958 photo

The Class of '58 gathered for a special reunion photo.

Class of 1957 Presents Clock

Clock presentation photo by Santos  E. Torres

A tall and elegant four-faced clock now graces the walkway between the Student Center and the Science Center.

The Verdin Company, which made the 16-foot, 7-inch timepiece, has been in business since 1842. The Class of 1957 raised $26,421 and purchased the clock to celebrate their 50th reunion (in 2007) and the College's Centennial this year.

The dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, June 6, during Grand Reunion.

Sean Gillery, KSC's senior major gift officer, reports that class members wanted to give something to the College to symbolize the passage of time as well as commemorate the College's Centennial.

A bronze plaque, currently on order, will be mounted on a granite post near the clock and bear the following inscription:
Keene State College
Centennial Clock
A Gift from the Class of 1957
Dedicated June 6, 2009
Honoring all Graduates of Keene Normal School,
Keene Teachers College & Keene State College
"Time does not change us. It just unfolds us."
- Max Frisch

KSC in NYC photo
On April 28, more than a dozen Keene State alumni gathered at the Trump Tower World Bar to reconnect and network. Organizers Megan FitzGerald '98 and Kara Grenier '04 worked the room and learned a lot about those in attendance.

"We had no idea how many alumni are in the greater metropolitan NYC area. We were shocked to learn that there are more than 500 within an hour's drive! It would be great to continue to meet up with KSC alums in the area," commented Megan. "Now that we met some of our alums we want to do more, perhaps do some community service (you know, 'Go forth to serve'). It would be great to stay in touch and help one another out as we change careers or move."

For more information about the KSC in NYC program, e-mail

The Glory that Was Greece
Chris Pangalos '86 photo
Each year for the annual New York City Greek Independence Day parade, Chris Pangalos '86 and other Ancient Greek reenactors in full hoplite battle armor from around the country march down 5th Avenue in Manhattan alongside other organizations, bands, church and civic groups, floats, and other businesses in support of Greek Independence Day.

Hundreds of thousands of wildly cheering supporters line the festive parade route proudly waving Greek and American flags celebrating Greek heritage and the contributions of Greece to the world.

Eric Palmer '09 Commissioned on Campus
Eric Palmer '09 (right) salutes fellow graduate Adolfo Ramirez '09. Photo by Ann Card
On May 9, 2009, after just receiving his diploma during Keene State's commencement ceremony, Eric Palmer '09 joined family and friends at the site of the Keene State College Veterans Monument to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

This was the first ceremony of its kind at the monument, which is dedicated to past and present students and alumni serving in the United States armed forces.

Among many who gathered for this special occasion were Peg Richmond M'93 and Liz Cahoon '90 from our Admissions program, who were instrumental in Eric's transition to the College from his second tour of duty oversees in Kuwait several years ago. David Gagne '73, Mike Maher '72, and Mike Ward of the Veterans Monument Committee also attended.

2009 KSC Alumni Association Awards
Lorna Letourneau, Larry Benaquist and Debora Murray '99 photo by Mark Corliss
At Reunion, three people were recognized for their outstanding achievement and service to the Alumni Association and the College. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you for your dedication and hard work.

Alumni Achievement Award:
Lorna Letourneau '57
(left) was honored for her exceptional career in education, both primary and secondary, and for her founding and stewardship of an alternative high school in Jaffrey, N.H.

Outstanding Service Award:
Dr. Larry Benaquist,
professor of Film Studies, was celebrated for his leadership, vision, and influence on programs and students at Keene State since 1969.

Sprague W. Drenan Award:
Debora Murray '99
was recognized for her active leadership as the chair of several Alumni reunions and for her hard work as a two-term member of the Alumni Association board of directors.

1920s  –   1930s  –   1940s  –   1950s  –   1960s   
1970s  –   1980s  –   1990s  –   2000s
Weddings  –   In Memoriam  –   Highlights  –   Send in your news