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From the KSC Arboretum

by Jeff Garland

Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum)
Japanese Maple photo by Hal Berntsen

Michael Dirr, one of America's foremost horticulturalists, calls the Japanese maple "one of the loveliest small maples, tending to a round character with branching assuming a layered effect." Others have called the tree delicate. It rarely grows taller than 25 feet, and often its spread is as great as its height. To me, the combination of its finely cut leaves, smooth gray bark, and stratified branching gives the tree a clean, organized appearance. Although it tends to grow slowly, it is worth the wait, and its showy red foliage in the fall often holds on longer than that of native maples.

We have several examples of Acer palmatum on campus, none more dramatic than the specimen outside the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority at 27 Appleton Street. The tree is flanked by two neighbors from Norway, a maple and a spruce, giving the house an international flair.

Another gorgeous Japanese maple, this one a weeping variety, is on the corner of the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery and the Recreation Center lot. This healthy little tree and a small spruce neighbor contrast nicely with each other. Several other variegated forms of the Japanese maple dot our College landscape, but have not become large enough yet to impact their surroundings.

As the KSC arborist, I try to keep our Japanese maples healthy and I also enhance their form by regular interior pruning. I remove all upright sucker growth, deadwood, and ancillary small branches in the middle of the tree. I then lift the lower limbs by removing branches to lighten their weight. This pruning provides spacing and promotes the stratified look of the tree. To complete my care, I fertilize them every three years.

Although our Japanese maples are showiest when fully leafed out, please admire them as well during the winter and early spring, when their graceful branches are most visible.

KSC's Jeff Garland is a New Hampshire Certified Arborist.

Then and Now: Fiske Hall
Fiske social room photo

Ask just about anyone who lived in Fiske Hall what they remember most and two things generally come to mind: the close community that developed and the wooden partition in the Great Hall. (Okay, there are a few other things, but these are on the list.)

In the case of the partition, it was not long after the publication of the last issue of this magazine that we received correspondence from an alumnus expressing concern that the partition had been "dumped in a landfill."

Alumni who attended Reunion might remember that President Giles-Gee told them the College would make every effort to honor the past and save this piece of KSC's history. So we are pleased to report that a salvageable portion of the partition was reinstalled on the third floor of Fiske Hall. Alumni will have an opportunity to tour Fiske and view the reinstalled panels during Reunion 2008 (June 6 to 8).

In Memoriam
Dr. Ann C. Peters (1907-2007)
KSC's First Distinguished Teacher

Ann Peters photo

Born in 1907, Ann Peters was two years old when the Keene Normal School was founded. Her uncommon generosity and professional excellence will continue to be part of the fabric of Keene State College for many years to come.

Dr. Peters grew up on the family farm in Ghent, Minnesota, and earned a B.S. in 1942 from Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato). She went on to Columbia University in New York to complete an M.A. (1946) in secondary education and an Ed.D. (1948) in mathematics and teacher education.

After graduating from Columbia, Dr. Peters accepted a position teaching Mathematics and Education at Keene Teachers College, where her commitment to her students, the College, and the Keene community earned her the respect of her students, peers, and friends. KSC alumna and former education professor Norma Walker had Dr. Peters as her advisor. Norma remembers that Dr. Peters brought many new theoretical and practical ideas about teaching math. "Many of the students complained about the amount of homework Dr. Peters gave them, but later they appreciated all they learned from her," Norma remembers. "She was very prim and proper, but always approachable. She was always there when you had a problem."

Don Carle, who came to the College in 1948 fresh from military service, agreed that Dr. Peters was always ready to help a student who needed it. Don also remembers that she was tall. "When she wrote on the blackboard, she always stood on her tiptoes," he said. "Us guys just out of the service were always wondering if she was going to fall over backward."

In 1962, she was chosen to serve as the chairman of the Mathematics department, a position she held until her retirement in 1972. A note on one of her faculty service reports states, "Her performance must be rated as outstanding. She is, in the opinion of the dean, the most effective department chairman." In 1971, Dr. Peters was honored for her excellence in teaching as the first recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teacher Award.

Throughout her life, Dr. Peters supported KSC and the students that meant so much to her. In 1987, she established the Ann C. Peters Endowment fund to provide "discretionary income to be used by the President of the College to meet priority needs as he or she sees fit." As a member of KSC's Heritage Society, she also created a math scholarship endowment that will be funded through a bequest. "Having had experience with education on all levels for 42 years, I feel a debt of gratitude. My efforts now turn to future generations and their education," she explained.

After her retirement, Dr. Peters returned to the family farm in Minnesota. She died on November 14, 2007, eight months after her 100th birthday.

Veterans Monument Installed

Veterans Memorial photo by Peter Finger

The KSC Veterans Monument, Stars and Stripes, beside Brickyard Pond was dedicated during Reunion Weekend 2007. The sculpture, designed by artist Rob Lorenson, pays tribute to the dedication of alumni, staff, faculty, and current students who have served our country in peacetime and war.

Veterans Monument Committee
Jim Wheeler '50 - Air Force
Del Langille '51 - Army
Steve Hildreth '72 - Navy
Mike Maher '72 - Chair, Army
David Gagne '73 - Army
Ron Neronski '73 - Army
Rick Lambert '74 - Army
James Marcella '94 - Navy
Rob Wollner '96 - Navy
Greg Sears '00 - Army and Marines
Mike Ward - KSC staff, Army

KSC Veterans Project

The Alumni Office announces the launch of the KSC Veterans Project. If you are a Keene State graduate and a veteran, let us know by completing our online form at, or contact the Alumni Office with your name, class year, rank, branch, and years of military service, tour(s) of duty, as well as honors or awards received. This information will become part of the alumni archives and will be an ongoing project.

Additionally, we welcome stories, photos, and letters from our alumni about their years in military service. Actual photos and/or letters may be used in displays during the College's upcoming Centennial or become part of our alumni archival materials. We ask that you send pictures of yourself or an alumna or alumnus family member, with the name, the approximate year, and a caption. Please send materials to:

Barry Alumni Center
Keene State College
229 Main Street
Keene, NH 03435-2701
603-358-2369 or 800-KSC-1909

The KSC Family Legacies Project

Does Keene State College run in your family? The KSC Alumni Association and the Alumni Office are seeking families whose members have graduated from Keene Normal School, Keene Teachers College, or Keene State College. With your help on this interesting project, we're creating our Family Legacy Tree.

We're planning to celebrate the Family Legacies project for the Centennial in 2009. All indications are that we have a huge number of alumni who are related to other graduates. We may pick some of the larger extended families to highlight in displays and publications.

If anyone in your immediate or extended family attended KNS, KTC, or KSC, we'd like to know about it. We've created an online form that should help you organize your info and get it to us at Family Legacies Project.

In Memoriam
Remembering Fuzz Joy

It is with a great deal of sadness that I tell my fellow KSC graduates that our friend Fuzz (Keith Joy '83) passed away on October 29, 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer. If you recognize the name "Fuzz" then you are also sure to remember how much he loved Keene State College and recall his outrageous antics and self-deprecating sense of humor.

We remember his side-splitting laughter, his talents on the rugby field, and, believe it or not, how he excelled as a student (his major was Kinesiology & Sport). After graduation, Fuzz went on to coach and teach. He eventually moved into the business world, where he ended up a vice president at Fidelity. Throughout his career he won awards and recognition for his efforts and inclusive style. Fuzz was also a family man. He leaves behind his wife, Melissa, and children Kevin, Jenny, Rob, and Lexi. I know Fuzz had a rich life full of laughter, friendship, and success ... because he said so shortly before he died.

We are raising money to purchase a memorial bench, to be placed near the tree planted 14 years ago to memorialize Fuzz's good friend and ours, Scott Bills '83. We are also planning an informal memorial service in Fuzz's honor on Saturday, June 7, 2007, during Reunion Weekend. I hope to see you there.

Please help support the spirit of friendship and generosity here at Keene State with your contribution to the Keith "Fuzz" Joy '83 Memorial Bench. To make a donation, contact the Development Office at 800-KSC-1909 or 603-358-2372, or e-mail

- John Cowdery '82

Where in the World


Denise Dudley Sandler '90 holds up a recent issue of Keene State Today. She and her husband spent two weeks in Alaska touring the Inside Passage and the Denali National Park and Preserve.


Josephine Russell '93 taught a Yoga teacher training course in China. Trainees from nine countries gathered to study.

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