Class Notes Owl Class Notes


Arboretum Feature

Class Notes


Photo: London Plane treeLondon Plane Tree
(Platanus x acerifolia)

The London plane tree, Platanus x acerifolia, is a recent addition to the Keene State landscape, having arrived in a rather unusual way.

The tree was air-lifted into the new Science Center courtyard because it was too large to fit through the doors. Many of its companion trees such as the river birches and white oak had arrived in a similar fashion; they scaled the three-story walls with the help of a large crane.

The courtyard itself is very unusual, with the plants quietly teaching biology lessons about their relationships in the forest. Geology is also well represented by local boulders, which were painstakingly placed by work crews to replicate their placement in the New England landscape by glaciers thousands of years ago.

Our tree represents its native North American relative, the American plane tree, or sycamore, in this natural forest replication. The sycamore is very similar in appearance and was actually the first choice for this planting, but it has become an anomaly in the modern landscape due to sev ere disease problems, mainly anthracnose, which causes premature leaf drop.

Photo: Dedicated to President Helen Giles-Gee, shown with KSC arborist Jeff Garland, our London plane tree graces the Science Center courtyard.The London plane tree is not immune from this disease but seems to fare much better. It was widely planted in London because of its adaptability to that city's conditions - hence its name. It is still the dominant street and park tree in many European cities.
The mottled olive-green bark gives the tree year-round interest. This species has the potential some day to grow twice as high (100') as the wall it scaled to reach its current planting site.

On April 24 this worldly, well-traveled tree was dedicated to Dr. Helen Giles-Gee in honor of her inauguration as the new president of Keene State College.

- Bud Winsor, assistant director of physical plant/grounds

Waste Not, Want Not ­- A Teacher's Final Lesson

"She was probably the most frugal person I have ever known," said Kathy Roosa, a friend, colleague, and former student teacher of Jenness Carlton Phillips '36. Photo: Jenness Carlton Phillips '36Jenness died in March 2004 at age 88, but her frugality yielded a sizable legacy that benefits three school districts in New Hampshire.

Jenness first graduated from Keene Normal School in 1936 with a three-year certificate to teach junior high school. In those days, there weren't many bachelor's degrees awarded. But Jenness returned to Keene and earned her bachelor's degree in 1947 and returned again to earn her master's degree in 1957.

She taught elementary school for 23 years in Milford, N.H., after teaching in several other New Hampshire districts, and retired in 1976. Under the terms of her will, her estate will be split equally among Milford elementary schools, Pittsburg High School - places where she taught - and Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey - which she knew from growing up on a nearby farm.

The money, more than $200,000 for each district, must be used for musical education and audio-visual supplies. Kathy Roosa said that Jenness, who started her career as a music teacher, made that decision because she "had so few of those supplies to work with when she was a teacher."

"Waste not, want not - that was the way she lived," according to Kathy. "She had a wringer washing machine and hung all the clothes downstairs to dry by a wood stove. She saved every penny. She would bring water from home to drink (in school); she wouldn't buy anything!"

Apart from constant saving, Jenness also profited from her sewing skills. She made and sold smocked dresses for little girls, building a reputation as "the Smocking Lady" for her plaid, calico, and printed hand-smocked dresses. With no children of her own, she also generously gave away many of the dresses.

Alumni Director Mike Maher '72 adds these local connections to the Jenness Carlton story:

Jenness Carlton grew up on a farm in East Swanzey owned by her parents, Sadie and Mark. The road they lived on, known today as Carlton Road, passes through the county's covered bridge number seven.

In 1948, Jim '48 and Betsy M'69 McClure bought the Carlton farm, all 80 acres for less than $6,000. My wife, Kitty McClure Maher '73, and her four siblings grew up in the same house as Jenness. In the winter when the leaves are off the trees we can see the Carlton/McClure farmhouse from our East Swanzey home. Each year, Kitty still goes out on the old Carlton/McClure farm pruning Christmas trees for sale in December.
Photo: Jenness's 1936 class ring
Kitty, her siblings, and our two daughters all went to Monadnock Regional High School, which is one of the recipients of the Jenness Carlton Phillips bequest. Mark Polifrone '83 is head of the music program that benefits from the gift.

And, oh yes, we have Jenness's 1936 class ring as part of our collection of "alumorabilia" here at KSC.

Anita Rawchuck Nestor '52
Establishes a Nutrition Scholarship Endowment

Who says nutrition and travel don't mix? Don't let Anita Rawchuck Nestor '52 hear you say such a thing. Over the years, Anita accompanied her husband, Alex, a mining engineer, on extended overseas assignments to South Africa, Turkey, Chili, Brazil, Yugoslavia, and Mexico. Not only did she entertain a great deal, but she also led cooking classes and nutrition workshops.

A home economics major, Anita fondly remembers the days of tea dances, mid-year balls, the attempt to combine Plymouth State and Keene Teachers Colleges, wearing sneakers and jeans to Saturday night dances, and the sports rivalries with Plymouth and Fitchburg.

Anita remembers, and she wants today's students to have time to enjoy their college years too. She recently established a scholarship endowment to provide recognition and financial assistance to students in the bachelor of science in nutrition program. Her inspiration to create this scholarship endowment was to relieve some financial burden, enabling current students to participate more fully in campus life.

On campus, Anita's days were filled balancing academics, student activities, and job responsibilities. Some of her lifelong memories are of her involvement in student organizations, including Nu Beta Upsilon, the home economics sorority, which was famous for providing food for the tea dances.

She went on to have a vibrant and diverse career teaching high school and college from Vermont to California. She also served as a Fulbright Exchange teacher in London and taught blind adult students in California. She has traveled widely over six continents in 74 countries.

Anita continues to keep up with nutrition news and helps seniors with menu planning and recipes. She has truly "gone forth to serve."

– Amy Jo Vonderhorst, Office of Advancement

Bartlett C. Swett '56 plans meaningful legacy for Keene State
Marion Wood Heritage Society

Bartlett "Doc" Swett, Class of 1956, is grateful for the years he spent at Keene State and proud of the degree he earned. He wants to give back, and has chosen to do this through his estate plan. Bart has chosen to express his pride in the College through a bequest providing for a significant donation to create the Dr. Bartlett C. Swett '56 Visual and Performing Arts Endowed Scholarship.

A devotee of the arts, Bart sought a meaningful way to strengthen and celebrate the visual and performing arts at Keene State College, and decided to set up an endowed scholarship. By providing annual financial assistance to needy students who demonstrate strong promise in their field of study in the visual or performing arts, Bart assures that selected students will be able to focus on their academic and career pursuits in the arts.

The endowment will be funded through a living trust and a charitable gift annuity. Bart's legacy was established in recognition of his lifelong passion and commitment to the arts and to honor his parents, Emma Cram Swett '33 and Olin Swett '32. The Swetts are the first family known to have all graduated from Keene State College.

Through his estate plan, Bart is a member of the Marion Wood Heritage Society. To explore membership, please contact Judy Kalich, director of major and planned gifts, at 603-358-2371 or

Where are the Classmates of 1966?

It's our 40th Reunion and we'd love to find these folks. If you can help, please contact the Alumni Office, 603-358-2369, or one of our reunion coordinators, Tess Wolcott Buswell,, or class secretary Nancy Coutts, 175 Jaffrey Rd., Marlborough, N.H. 03455.

  • George M. Alcorn

  • R.C. Anderson

  • Robert Bartosiewicz

  • Johanna Q. Berman

  • Dianne I. Bouchard

  • Howard M Boynton

  • Susan D. Budzian

  • Donald E. Burgess

  • Ann C. Caldwell

  • Shirley B. Casey

  • Fay G. Clark

  • Robert C. Coughlin

  • Bonnie Sproul Davidson

  • Thomas A. Duggan

  • Beverly Hill Dwyer

  • James E. Eckert

  • Eleanor K. Espenship

  • Betsy W. Finnan

  • Bette Legendre Freer

  • Caroline S. Gardner

  • Elaine H. Glod

  • Alfred R. Gosselin Jr.

  • Cynthia Fraser Graves

  • Claire M. Grussing

  • Pamela A. Hill

  • Janet A. Johnson

  • Robert L. Johnson

  • Karen B. Jones

  • Dewey T. Kahn

  • Barbara P. Knowles

  • Dawn F. Levesque

  • William J. Linney

  • David J. Manning

  • Kenneth E. Mayberger

  • Anne B. McCooey

  • Lola E. Mollison

  • Carol M. Moulton

  • Shirley E. Needler

  • Sharon D. Newell

  • James Norris

  • Nancy P. Parker

  • Louis G. Pelletier

  • Nancy Eck Pelletier

  • Kathryn Smith Pemberton

  • Frank E. Perry

  • Gloria J. Pucci

  • Judith A. Ranier

  • Alan W. Rogers

  • Mary G. Royce

  • Robert S. Russell

  • Katherine C. Sanborn

  • Joanne R. Smith

  • William A. Sterling

  • James R. Stetson

  • Suzanne M. Tacy

  • William S. Tilton Jr.

  • David R. Tompkins

  • Joel R. Trefry

  • Priscilla Simpson Trefry

  • William K. Tufts

  • Rae E. Wilson

  • Mary E. Winslow

  • William E. Woods

  • Mary Ann Yergeau

Finding a Lost Love

No matter how you spent Valentine's Day this year, you probably weren't pictured on the cover of a new book, My Boyfriend's Back, Fifty True Stories of Reconnecting with a Long-Lost Love, by Donna Hanover. But Riley Hodder '78 was.

Originally published in 2005, he saw its paperback release in time for Valentine's Day 2006. According to Riley, author Donna Hanover "had an idea for a book about rekindled relationships - she mentioned that she had been through it herself, and thought it might be a story worth telling."

For Riley, the story started in the early '70s, when he and Beverly Gordon attended Belmont High School in Belmont, Mass. "She was a senior, I was a sophomore, and we had huge crushes on each other," he explains. "I never knew how she felt about me until just before she graduated." Beverly went off to Wheaton College, Riley to Keene State a few years later. They met in Belmont off and on, but ultimately married other people and started families. Life went on.

Fast forward to New Year's Eve, 2001. Riley was divorced and searching for friends from Belmont High. "I scrolled through the names of people in my class," he remembers. "I was thinking about signing up, but I didn't see anyone worth spending $25 on. Then I scrolled back another year, to 1972, and I saw Beverly's name. Well, have you ever held a winning lottery ticket? Your pulse quickens, you can feel your heart beat, you get this adrenaline rush (I imagine - I've never actually won the lottery). Seeing her name put me into that kind of a state. Long-dormant feelings came rushing back. I paid the $25 to Classmates (suddenly cost was no longer an issue). I sent Beverly Gordon one of the most innocuous e-mails you could imagine - something like 'I was just perusing and saw your name, so I thought I'd drop you a line and see what you've been up to.' It was lame, but it was the best I could do."

It was good enough to get a response from Beverly, also divorced, and also perusing her e-mail on New Year's Eve. They met the very next day to talk. Riley says, "About four hours later, I asked her to marry me. She said yes." They were married in June 2002 in Rockport, Mass.

Riley sent his and Beverly's reunion story to Classmates and gave them permission to share the tale. He heard from People magazine, but nothing came of it. Then he was contacted by Donna Hanover, the former wife of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. After her much-publicized divorce, she had reconnected with her former high school boyfriend and was writing a book about the experience. For research she went to

"I told her our story," Riley says. "She called Beverly to get her side of the story, and sent us some forms so we could be in her book...Well, a few months later we got another phone call, this time from her assistant, asking for pictures, and anything else we might have." The hardcover book was published in time for Valentine's Day 2005. "It was a lot of fun to walk into Barnes & Noble and see her book (our book) out on display."

The cover for the paperback was changed to include some of the pictures from inside, including Riley and Beverly's.

Now living in Middleton, Mass., Riley reports that he taught music in Marlborough, N.H., for a year before entering the computer programming field. A few years ago, he decided to make a change and he's now a second-year law student at Suffolk University Law School.

Riley's great-aunt, Ruth Seaver Kirk '17, was KSC Alumni Association president for 1930-33 and recipient of the KSC Alumni Achievement Award in 1979.

- Barbara Hall '89

A Wider Angle on Sports

Photo: Joanne Little As an athlete, Joanne Little '82 found her niche on the basketball court - learning about teamwork, responsibility, and commitment and acquiring the self-confidence to make decisions. Following her playing career at Keene State and a stint of coaching, the Nanuet, N.Y., native said it was a natural progression for her to get involved in the administrative side of athletics.

"It has allowed me the opportunity to do the things I do well and work with student-athletes," she said. "If you develop certain traits in athletics, they come out in other aspects of your life."

That certainly has been the case for Little, who has moved up the administrative ladder during her 16 years at Union College in New York to become associate athletic director and senior women's administrator.

As a high school athlete, Little turned down offers from several big schools for the "comfort level" of Keene State, and she shined on the Spaulding Gym court. Initially playing with former Owl standouts Karen Pelletier '78 and Edith Turcotte '78 and later with 1,000-point scorers Karen Crowley '86 and Tracy Fidler '83, Little, a point guard, was adept at finding the open player. "They knew if they got open, they were getting the pass," she said.

Little, who also served as the Owl interim basketball coach in 1984-85, played when women's sports, due in large part to Title IX, was taking a foothold in college athletics. "I think Keene has always been progressive and ahead of its time on how they supported women's sports," said Little, who also played softball for a couple of seasons at KSC. "We didn't feel like second-class citizens."

After receiving her degree in sports management, Little coached briefly at SUNY-Binghamton and completed her master's degree at Ithaca College. Arriving at Union College in 1990, Little coached a variety of sports before moving into an administrative position.

During her tenure at Union College, Little has at one point or another been involved in just about every aspect of collegiate athletics ranging from overseeing the equipment room to marketing and strategic planning. "When you're coaching, you have tunnel vision for your sport," she said. "Being in administration allows you the opportunity to do something for all of your athletes."

- Stuart Kaufman

Enriching the College, Challenging Students, Building Community

Photo: Stephanie Boyce

"After working for the Advancement Office over the last three years, I have learned a tremendous amount about how contributions to Keene State College have really made a difference in shaping my college experience. Graduating in May, I want to give back to the place that helped me get the most out of my education. I hope you feel the same way. Please make a gift to the KSC fund this year."

Stephanie Boyce '06
Phonathon Manager

Just as every student can make a difference, every gift can, too. Your support for the KSC Fund is a catalyst for turning individual generosity into collective energy.

Where in the World

Photo: Grand Canyon

In March, Kathleen Pickford Stacy '73 and her husband Gary traveled to Arizona for their son Brian's graduation from the Art Institute of Phoenix. The family did some sightseeing too, of course, being sure to take some current reading material to the Grand Canyon.

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