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New Student Body President Forges a Path of Her Own

December 1, 2016
Bobby and Laura Graham
Bobby and Laura Graham

Like father like son. Like mother like daughter. How about like brother like sister? When Laura Graham, a senior education and general science major, stepped forward as student body president this fall, she not only provided a strong voice for Keene State students during the 2016-17 school year, but also allowed for a smooth transition, taking over after her twin brother Bobby’s departure after two terms in the role. “There’s no better legacy I could’ve left than having my twin sister follow me as student body president,” said Bobby Graham, who along with Laura grew up in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Graham feels her work as class president has helped her in the classroom, enhancing her skills as a leader and public speaker. “Advocating for others is a huge part of teaching, so I think that it will be very helpful for me in my future,” she said.

Initially hesitant to throw her hat into the political ring, Laura, with encouragement from Bobby, eventually succumbed to the request of ardent supporters and decided to run. “People would come up to me and say, ‘Why don’t you do it? You’d be great at it,’” she said.

Running unopposed, Laura Graham was elected last spring. While she knows Bobby is just a phone call away, she is adamant about creating and maintaining her own identity. “I’m different from Bobby,” she said. “He thinks he knows what the students want, and I listen to the students. I would rather represent them based on what they want as opposed to what I want.”

An avid and accomplished swimmer at Souhegan High School, Graham followed her older sisters to UNH before coming to Keene State. “I remember one phone call from Bobby telling me I need to come to Keene State,” she said. “You would do very well here.”

Bobby, an economics major now working for Congresswoman Annie Kuster, was right. Laura has flourished at Keene State, joining several groups and organizations before entering student government. Serving as a class representative as a sophomore, Laura was elected secretary of the student assembly last year before topping the ticket this fall.

Unlike student government, Laura knew she wanted to be a teacher from an early age. “I pretty much wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school,” said Graham, who is currently working in a kindergarten class in Winchester, New Hampshire. “It’s pretty powerful to be a part of a young child’s life.”