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Words of Encouragement

Words of Encouragement to KSC Students

During these uncertain times, our wonderful Keene State College alumni shared some Words of Encouragement for our students, whose lives have been affected by Covid-19.

We hope that these Words of Encouragement will inspire our students and remind you that your relationship with Keene State does not end when you graduate, it is deepened.

Steve Erdody ‘88
Especially in these trying times, set a goal to make another person smile each day, and finish your day reflecting on something you are thankful for.

Ray Jobin ‘63 M’72
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers. - Mr. Rogers Important Things To Remember

Mitch Hale ‘18
Being a Keene State Owl is always something to be proud of. Now, more then ever, remind yourselves how far us KSC students and staff have come. Remind yourself of the many accomplishments and all that lies ahead! Keep working and building on that legacy. Hootie Hoo!

Elizabeth Buckley ‘19
“This too, shall pass. When things are bad, remember: It won’t always be this way. Take one day at a time. When things are good, remember: It won’t always be this way. Enjoy every great moment.”

Mylynda Gill ‘16
I am so proud of all of our KSC Students this semester. You all have done a wonderful job of respecting each other, along with the rest of the KSC Community. As an alum and as a staff member I applaud each and everyone of you. I know it is not what you expected but you still made the most it. We are “Owl in this together”!

PK ‘83
Having graduated in 1983, nothing in my experience compares with what you are going through. However, remember the Greatest Generation in America, which includes my grandparents - the people who, almost 100 years ago, lived through the Great Depression and WWII. As FDR said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Indeed, if we live in fear and react only to fear, we are doomed; but if we rely on our inner strength and our common interest and respect for each other and work together in harmony, we can overcome all obstacles. We win by working together to achieve our common goal of success for all in American society. Make that your focus.

Gregory Dippell ‘09
Keep going!!!! We will get through this and it will get better!

Forrest Seymour ‘01
As a KSC alum and current staff in the Wellness Center I want you all to know that we are here for you. Reach out to any of us in the Wellness Center and beyond, KSC staff and faculty across campus, let us know how you are doing and what we can do for you. We think of our students every day and are doing everything we can to welcome you back to campus safety as soon as possible.

Kevin Barry ‘12
This is not what any of us had planned or planned for each other. Please remember that while it is our burden to each get through this crisis, that burden becomes lighter when you share it with others–and when others share their vulnerabilities with you. Humans are, and have always been, stronger when we love and watch out for each other. Bear this principle in mind and we will all accomplish what we need to

Kelsey Martin ‘12
The most important thing to be learning during this time is not specifically related to science, art or literature. It is resilience - how to manage uncomfortable situations, emotions and people. YOU are capable to grow resilience and exercise strategies that will be helpful long after college. Nurture those hobbies you love, plan digital studying sessions with friends and classmates and listen to your body. You are stronger than you know and I promise that you are not alone.

Dr. Mel Adams
Set a goal to learn something new everyday. When we are back together again you will have so much to share.

Maria Orsatti ‘16
Things may seem so mixed up and not the way they were supposed to but only because it was meant to be your journey because you CAN overcome it and succeed from it!

Steve Fortier ‘86 & Sue Fortier ‘86
We miss seeing you, supporting you, and having fun with you! We look forward to being back together, in community, in the fall. Seniors, we look forward to welcoming you into our Alumni Association on October 3rd. In the meantime, we wish you and your families good health. Beyond the great support you are receiving from your professors and other staff members, please know that many, many of the 36,000 Alumni Owls are also here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Alumni Relations team who, in turn, will reach out to us, to let them know how we can support you. Be well. Be safe. Continue to soar!

Andrea Vickers-Sivret ‘01
You are a group of students that will forever be a remarkable piece of our Keene State history. In years to come, we will look back and admire how you persisted to take on new challenges and succeed. Many stories will come out on the hardships you have faced and how you worked through them. We are so proud of you, knowing that these are times that no students before you have ever had to face. Keep up the good work, you will get through this.

Gordon Barr ‘04
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 on all of your accomplishments, especially in the face of a global pandemic. It’s my hope that KSC can honor you with graduation rites in a creative and meaningful way. We need you to step bravely into the world, with fearless determination and creativity, to help lead a new era of digital transformation. For those in the Class of 2021 and beyond, stay focused on your studies and preparing to navigate this new world. Your ability to master learning and communicating virtually in a digital multiverse is THE essential skill. Know that others before you also faced daunting global changes during their time on the Appian Way. For perspective, the Class of 2004 weathered a similar storm during our time on campus. Between the dot-com crash (2000-2002) and terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 we came of age into a world that scarcely resembled the one of our teenage years. We embraced these changes, questioned the status quo, found meaningful careers, and are now leaders in our respective industries around the globe. Your future is equally bright!

Rich Emmel ‘78
To all Keene Stater’s: I wish you the best during this challenging time. Especially to those in the Class of 2020 whose graduation celebration is not immediately following your great achievement. May this not deter you from going into the world with confidence and purpose. Best wishes!

Kathleen Mulcahy-DeVito ‘74
An old Irish saying: Leanann an ghrian an bháisteach agus leanann dea-uair na droch-amanna. The sun follows the rain and good times follow the bad times. We will all get through this together, globally. This time of remote learning when you want to be at class with friends and professors, will be a memory. Keene taught me to be a life-long learner, so keep learning. And of course, stay safe out there.

Theresa Lindsay ‘87
Wishing the very best to the class of 2020, and the entire student body and faculty of KSC! Hang in there! We are all bound together as we make our way through these unprecedented times, and will come out of this tougher, stronger, but yet hopefully with the wide-eyed anticipation of a young child experiencing things for the first time. To the students, your lives are ahead of you and you’ve already had, through this, experience that maybe doesn’t go on a resume, but yet will forever mold you into the person you will be as you make your way in the world! Be well. Be safe. Be the best you!

Robert Peach ‘73
This is the Best of Times. This is the Worst of Times. It is natural for you to feel, “why me and why now”. It is ok to feel the frustrations and as a temporary release to stick your head out your window and yell, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”. But take it you must stay safe. This experience is but a bump on the road to your future. You are not the first to be at KSC with this experience. In fact, KSC was founded in 1909 and there was a period of time of death and destruction as a result of WW1 and the flu epidemic. Comparing students then and now, you have all the advantages here. You can get instant news at your fingertips when those students considered themselves lucky to get newspapers a week old! I have always felt that Keene Staters were a hearty bunch and I have applauded the many times over the years that I have seen KSC students showing remarkable civic pride along with their many accomplishments. Dedicate yourselves today to become active members of Generation… “C”….as in (C)ure Disease in Your Lifetime! Young and old, students, alumni, faculty, and administrators. We are “OWL” in this together.

Curville Jordan ‘61 M’63
In a couple of months I will be 83 years of age, last week I was put into quarantine because of this virus that is so prevalent in our country, but to tell you all the truth, I can’t wait until I return to KSC campus, and I will! The best advice I ever received at the college was from George Lloyd, my humanities professor. “Jordan, he said, the time to live is now, it doesn’t matter your age or condition just be alive”. And that is my message to you young people. Don’t fret over what we are all going through together, just live through your books and good deeds, but be alive, don’t give up to this thing!

Sanford Shapiro ‘75
What’s left to say? It’s an extraordinarily unique and challenging time. Some of you may have it easier than others and some of you may be deep into harsh struggles with family, work and friends. I am living in the mountains of Ecuador and see how the whole world is moving together towards an eventual close of this crazy chapter. My hope for you KSC-ers and all alumni and faculty is that we all find our own silver linings; the good stuff that comes to light even during the darkest times. Hang tough Owls; we’ll get through this together!

Pat Carlson Keebler ‘69
Dear KSC Students and staff: I am praying for all of you. Hang in there! It is definitely worth it! I wasn’t a great student, but I learned so much at Keene, and I loved being there. Please take care of yourselves, and listen and learn all you can. You are worth it! This may be a difficult time for you, but don’t give up. At 72 years old, I am still using what I learned at KSC, and I am so thankful I attended there. Keep going. Stay faithful. Carry on. You can do it! I will keep you all in my prayers.

Tim Stewart ‘87
From a member of the class of 1987! Let’s just try every day to make a positive difference in our school community! Stay safe.

Kathryn Nelligan ‘84
Hang in there! These are tough times but you are tougher!

Donna Forcier
Troy Corcoran, we know you can do it! Keep up the good work! The Forcier Family, Hampton, NH

Lara Scott ‘02
These times are uncertain and challenging, that’s for sure. Take things one day at a time, find a bit of beauty in each day, and remind yourself that you have made it this far! You are committed, you are focused, and you resilient! You’ve got this. Go owls!

Emily Carpenter ‘08
Congratulations class of 2020!! Your hard work and dedication will continue to lead you toward great successes in your lives. You should be very proud of your accomplishments during this difficult time in our nation.

Christopher Wardlaw ‘16
Hey Owls! Ya’ll rock! Life will never be the same after this! Get ready to fight for whatever you believe in! Dismantle the powers that be that will surely be/already are preventing you from pursuing your goals. Do not let anyone get in your way. Reflect on the suffering you experience and really investigate it. Find out its cause, and eradicate it from your world. Keep learning and get rest for the battles ahead. Peace for all Owls, peace for all beings.

Jean Stone, Class of 1970
I know you are missing your college friends but please know they will be a part of you forever. I am 67 and I still see many of my college friends 3 or 4 times a year.

Lisa Wilkinson, Class of 1986
Shout out to all KSC students, especially EPY. Stay positive!

Barbara Brackett, Class of 1957
Sending my best wishes to you! Know this is a hard time for all but we are strong & this too shall pass. Your education is very important so do your best at all the online learning. It will pay great dividends! From one owl to another! Go Owls!!

Heather Boisvert ‘97
Go Owls! Try and relive an athletic memory at KSC every day and feel blessed that you were able to create them. You will remember them always and look back upon them fondly for years to come.

Carmen Trafton ‘95
Every moment is a moment in history. Perhaps this is the most significant moment in your personal history, but Keene State College is so much more than a moment in time. We are “together forever” and we will get through this difficult time with courage and compassion. Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. No one keeps an Owl down.

Anonymous ‘87
Let your friendships from Keene be a source of strength for you now! During this remote time reach out and find ways that (work for you) to connect with your friends in a meaningful and uplifting manner. May these successful tools be a gift for you now and in the future. Like so many, my life has been enriched by my friendships from Keene.

Bridget Lent ‘96
Keep up the great work! I’m sure it’s tough learning in this capacity but everyone will come out of this stronger!

Katie Zapatka ‘05
Being off campus has to be tough during this time! Just keep your eye on the prize and finish strong!!! Good luck to all Keene State Owls as you finish your few weeks!

Anonymous ‘15
During these challenging times remember that you have a community behind you. We haven’t had to be in your position but we sympathize. Don’t forget to take care for yourself and advocate for support you need. You are all facing so many challenged right now and handling it flawlessly. Even if you don’t believe that, we do. Owls are adaptable and so are you. Keep up the hard work, don’t let the dark days keep you down, and don’t forget you are OWL in this together! Cheers to the seniors, I am so sorry that so much has been robbed from you. None of this is fair and I wish you nothing but the best on your future endeavors. You have worked so hard and deserved to spend this time with those who made this experience worth it. Remember that the bonds you made don’t end because college does. Distance is an obstacle but it can be overcome. Good luck to everyone!

Deb Burleigh ‘98
When I was getting ready to graduate I was filled with raw emotion so many endings and so many goodbyes. Final presentations, exams, celebrations and those goodbyes! It still makes me cry. Here’s the moment that sealed the deal and I’ll never forget, I sat on a bench outside of Elliot Hall and watched people walk by, I thought of all that I had learned and all the wonderful people I had met. In that moment, time stood still and when I’m overwhelmed even today, I think of that moment. The gentle breeze on my face, the warm sun, the sound of cars and bikes and people whizzing by and all those thoughts of the accomplishments we made. All those memories come back even after 22 years. We all know in a moment, life changes, but something brought you to Keene State College and we all have left a little bit of our hearts there forever! Finals are nearing and goodbyes are getting close but Keene State College will forever be in your heart and I’m certain like me you made memories that will last forever! Good luck in exams, stay strong and know every ending brings new beginnings!

Savanna Balkun ‘17
Because you’re an Owl, you can get through any hardships that come your way! Keep pushing through. This too shall pass!

Joe Palumbo ‘77
Let the wonderful and productive years you spent as an owl overshadow this past semester! Your future is worth the sacrifice you’re all making now! Good luck in your exams and I’m sure the Owl resilience will shine!!

Martha Malone-Reiss ‘87
Students, you’ve Got This!! KSC Strong! Keep working hard, you’re almost there! All the Best to you! We’re Owl in this together!!

Sandra Rimetz ‘77
Stay in touch with your college friends. They may not be next door, but they probably miss you as much as you do them. These tough times will leave us but friendships can last a lifetime. I’m proud to share that my KSC friends are still a big part of my life decades later! The effort is worth it!

Jim Ferry ‘90
Attitude and approach is everything. Let’s all keep a great positive attitude and we will accomplish great things. Keene State Grads continue to make us old guys proud. Good luck down the stretch and finish strong with your academics - Great things to come. Remember, we are all “Owl in this together”

Lawrence Dillon ‘85

  • Our daughter is a college freshman - finishing her classes on-line
  • Our oldest son is a senior in high school finishing his classes on-line and NOT having a prom or graduation ceremony
  • Our youngest is a high school freshman finishing his classes on-line as well
  • All three are athletic and their respective seasons canceled with questions about next year.
  • My wife (KSC 89’) and I (KSC 85’ & 86’) are both working from home and grateful we can. I see and live your situation in my house every day. I know it is hard to stay focused and motivated. I know you realize that the work you do today and tomorrow are critically important to our country’s ability to improve our future together. Your attention and understanding of all the moving parts in our world will be critical to America’s and the world’s success. We need you more now than ever before. The pandemic may not have been avoided but the dysfunctional response in our country certainly should have been. As such: We need you to be better! We need you to continue to stay focused, study, get great grades, graduate, and help us build a more resilient healthcare system, demand honest and transparent political collaboration, and rebuild our dynamic economy to prevent this from happening again.

Emily Robinson ‘13
Tough times never last, tough people do! Stay strong KSC!

Brian Rabadeau ‘13
Hang in there!

Melanie Sloan ‘98
Uncertain times does not equal an uncertain future. You, we, everyone, will be building and rebuilding a better world. Stay strong – we will need you and all of your knowledge for the new way!

Shannon Lombard ‘13
Hi Owls! I know this is not how any of you thought this is how your year would end. This is not an easy time but it will be a memory that you will talk about for years to come. For the Seniors, all of you are starting an amazing journey and just remember all of the good things that are waiting for you. As my friend Winnie the Pooh once said: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”. Keep smiling and we will all get through this together!

Jean Walsh ‘04
“You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis The semester is almost over and now is your chance to finish strong. You can do it!

Chris Yeakel ‘06
When I graduated we had just witnessed Hurricane Katrina tear the gulf coast up. Led me to graduate from Keene and volunteer with AmeriCorps NCCC and help out there. Every generation has a defining moment in their history. Brings clarity to their vision of the future and aligns what is most important in their lives while allowing the “noise” to be just that. Use this time to reflect on the past four years and remember what you’ve learned and how you’ll use those skills to make a difference in the world. This uncertainty is not something to run away from. It is an opportunity to rise to the occasion. Don’t be scared of a future that hasn’t been written in stone yet. Life is about critical thinking and moving past objects in your way of achieving your goals. Just remember we are all in this together and you are not alone. Good luck and reach out if y’all need to talk at all!

Robin Chaney ‘19
You all have accomplished so much and there is still a reason to be proud. The work you have put in to these 4 years have been worthwhile and you are all going so far. The journey does not stop here!

Anne Ricci ‘63
Stay healthy and strong!!

JoAnne Lipsy ‘85
Hi ! I know the experience you are having is much different than what you would want, but please know you have the full support of the entire Keene State community for any of your needs. Also, if you just want someone to talk/chat with I am available! This too shall pass, and we are all in it together. Sending you much strength in these incredibly difficult times, and love and hugs too.

Jan Kielac ‘86
Hey guys. I know this is tough and you’re really missing all your friends right now, but I know you’ll get through this! To all the seniors I know this must be especially hard! My daughter is a senior in High School this year and we are really bummed. The good news is if you are anything like me, you have made friends for a lifetime not just a few years. You will be able to get together again and celebrate all your successes really soon. Hold on to that! A special shout out to my sisters at EPY! I KNOW YOUR ROCKIN’ THIS, CAUSE THATS WHAT WE DO! Stay safe, stay strong! This too shall pass

Sarah Santiago ‘07
Congratulations to all of the Owls of the class of 2020!

Suzanne Scannell ‘91
Hello to each and every one of you KSC owls that are in this final stretch of your incredibly hard work. Sending ENERGY, RESILIENCE, SUPPORT and CONFIDENCE your way as you keep going in your wise way. You’ve got this! We are Owl in this together!

Your dedication and perseverance over the last several weeks has proven that you can do anything you put your mind to. I’m so proud of you! Keep up the good work and stay connected during these challenging times! “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”

Ruth Brown ‘72
I joined the peace corps after retiring from the corporate world. I lived in the bush in Namibia and then in the bush in Rwanda for a peace corps response. I went in with the belief that I could bloom where I was planted. In Namibia I had some electricity but no running water. We were brought to our site, with rudimentary language skills in our new language and were left to figure it out on our own. We weren’t allowed to travel our first 3 months. No computer, no tv, but it is possible to blossom where you are planted. In both my sites they told me that it showed I was happy. My replacement in Rwanda didn’t like the bush. Nothing to do. Isolation with people whose existence is different from ours. Take this time to bloom. Explore something new. One of my group mates in Namibia was a math freak. His plan was to go back and get a master’s in math. He found in his posting that he had an aptitude far languages. He lived in an area that spoke Afrikaans, but there were people close by that spoke a click language. He was able to speak it. After peace corps he got his master in linguistics, then his doctorate linguistics. He now teaches linguistics at the University of Florida. Last summer he went back to Luderitz and started recording the language as there are only a few older people who are fluent. The language would be list when they died. He wants to preserve a history of it. You may find a hidden talent or a new passion. Be open to it.

Daryl Somerset ‘92
I am so proud of all of the students for taking the most challenging of times head on and continuing to soar. What a great group of future success stories in the making! May this chapter of your life story be the chapter where you find inner strength and a true sense of family at KSC. Finish strong! Shout out to my two Owls, George, class of 2021 and Meeghan, class of 2023.

Anonymous ‘99
If you’re feeling isolated from family and friends; if you’re having difficulty finding or affording food and other items of basic need; if you’re worried about your present circumstances or your future, then Reach Out! KSC and the larger KSC community wants you to feel supported, but we need to know what your needs are. Contact the college to let them know what you are experiencing and ask for guidance and support. Contact The Daily Good if you are food insecure. Let the KSC community know how we can help!

Melissa C. ‘09
It will be worth it in the end. You can do this

Ali Kreutz ‘09
If this feels significant, that’s because it is. You are allowed to grieve your losses during this time; loss of ritual and of ceremony; loss of normalcy; loss of opportunity; loss of what most of us have taken absolutely for granted for our entire lives. So be gentle with yourself, and gentle with others. This is the sort of thing that will be discussed for years, and will be commemorated in some form or another for decades. And here you are, in the middle of the right-now, navigating it as best you can. And the best you can do is certainly good enough. You will help to decide what we take away from this crisis, you will help to decipher what parts of it were most meaningful and most worthy of paying attention to and learning from. Though the current state of the world is leaving its hard mark on all of us, it is your generation that is most able and capable of leaving a mark on the world. What is happening right now is significant, but so are you. Please remember that.

Andrew Filiault ‘89
Hey guys. Class of ‘89 here. You are on the path to the success now. Hang tough. You got this.

Hillary Charnas ‘01
Old friends that you thought you lost many years ago will return to you again.

Courtney Lawn ‘16
We love you class of 2020- especially Taylor Ketola! You did it queen and no one can take it from you! I am so sorry you did not get my your moment to celebrate fully, but without the darkness we would never find out how bright we shine. Shine on you crazy owls!

Evan Peretti
To all 2020 graduates. Though graduation may be different your accomplishments stay the same. We are proud of your efforts and your ability to rise above. Go out make the change you want to see! Pay it forward to future owl graduates! Thanks Keene State

Paul Malinski ‘63
You are all going through a difficult time with COVID-19 and of its associated “distancing” requirements. However, I want to encourage you to stay the course. Keene State is a college with a history of students and graduates who have assisted the world to be a better place for all of us to live, work and play. Right now you may be frightened by what the future looks like, but I know with the mutual support of each other and the college you will all be stronger and better prepared to tackle whatever the future holds for all of us. Inner strength comes from facing adversity and overcoming it which I am sure you will accomplish.

Anonymous ‘74
Hang in there KSCers. Keep the faith- you and we will all get through this and come out the other side of this. Use this time to grow your gifts - and then be ready to share them!

Linda C. ‘79
This is a big disruption! Be kind to yourself, and know that you will make it through this semester with lots of new insights into your flexibility and resilience. Many of you are going into education …. know that teachers with many years of experience have been thrown a task to make all that was available in class, available online to their students even when equity is an issue. You are not alone in these uncharted waters. We will all do our best.

Brendan Felix ‘19
I know that these times are tough, especially during a time you are supposed to be walking down Appian Way with friends and enjoying all the wonderful things Keene has to offer. Although things are different now there are positive times ahead and you will get to experience them again and your Keene State degree will be worth it in the end! Hang in there KSC students you are strong and you can get through this!

Steph Giang ‘17
Y’all got this! You’ll be enjoying being in the library all day, sizzlers, Cobble & Lab and cutting through the Science Center when it’s cold or rainy or windy! You can do it! You’ve passed your ITW and IQL….you GOT this!

Chloe Marchand ‘14
Hang in there owls! Just take it one day at a time and you’ll get through this. You can do it! Your alumni believe in you!

Vicki Mildice ‘73
You attend KSC to learn…and isn’t this what learning is all about? What are you learning about the size of the world? Cooperation and conflict? Leaders and followers? Etc.! But most importantly, what are you learning about yourself that will benefit you in the future of monumental changes! Your answers are as viable as anyone else’s! Dream big! Dream for the Greater good of us all!

John DiGeronimo ‘14
It’s during these challenging times that you learn to become greater than the struggle. Keep focused and optimistic and in the long run, you will be successful. Wishing you the best class of 2020!

Rachel Grossman ‘10
While these times might be hard, and you might have a lot on your plate, I know you can pull through this. Give yourself some love and self-care as you complete your end of semester school work. You are strong (even when you don’t feel that way), and you can push through! Just remember, this is just one little blip in your bigger, longer, fun amazing life. It won’t last forever. As Dory says in Finding Nemo (yes, I’m a Disney fan): just keep swimming!

Lisa Payeur ‘83
Hello, I am thinking of you during this period of remote learning, and pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. I LOVED going to KSC!!! And I still have a group of eight close friends I made 40 years ago!!! We get together often, and visit KSC every once in a while. I am a special educator. While I can’t say I completely understand what you are going through with remote learning for college courses and internships, I can imagine that there is some anxiety about how this will work out. We Alumni have your back! What KSC has done so far seems very supportive! I don’t think we would have been able to achieve much back in my day, if we had to protect ourselves and others from COVID. Alumni are getting regular emails about what is happening, and you can be sure that we would rally for you if we learned that anything was overlooked in trying to meet your needs. We’re thinking of you often, and are so glad that graduation is scheduled and Pres. Treadwell continues to advocate for you!! Hang in there!! It must be tough at times. Those are times to take a breather and do something enjoyable to ground yourself!

Kellie Rigby ‘13
Class of 2020 I know this is a scary time, just remember that you have done great things at Keene and this pandemic will never take that away! The pandemic will bring you all together during Alumni weekend and will forever bond you. Once an Owl always an Owl!

Mylynda Gill ‘16
You have this KSC Owls! These hard times will make you even better prepared to conquer the world! Hootie Hoo!

Dianna Serrano ‘83
I greet you with this salutation with encouragement that you’ll get through this! If you’re studying to be in education and if it’s any constellation, please let me tell you how challenging it is for a well-seasoned Special education teacher of 32 years, to suddenly be dancing, singing and reciting the alphabet to my preschoolers on a laptop. Nothing in college or work prepared me for this! As professor Brown once taught me in an ethology (study of animal behavior) course, “The intelligence of an animal is based on their ability to adapt to their environment.” Well, that certainly applies to humans these days as well! Make the best of every situation that comes your way during these troubling uncertain times. The tools you have learned at KSC has helped you prepare for this! I wouldn’t be telling you this if I hadn’t experienced it! Soak up every opportunity you can to learn from what your professors are teaching you. You’d be surprised by what tribal tidbits of information you’ll remember that will come in handy for you someday. Work isn’t any easier outside of college and there isn’t always someone there who can help you. Plan your work, work your plan. You’ve got this!

Hillary Douglass ‘87
It’s easy for all of us to find the negative in this situation, to find the fault, the loss, the frustration. But today, I invite you to look for something good. Perhaps you’ve reconnected with an old friend or family member through FaceTime or Zoom. Maybe you’ve volunteered to help others in need. Or, you’ve tried something new that you otherwise would not have done. Find the good in today and if you cannot find it, be it. Namaste.

Kathy Piotrowski ‘73
You can do this! I know you feel as though you’re missing the best of your college years, but think of what you’re learning (a lot of it on your own) and how well you will be able to meet challenges, adversity, and be able to problem solve- after living quarantined like we have been! I wish you the very best.

Jared Pierce ‘11
I know this is a challenging time. You had to pick up, move home, and jump in online classes, all while trying to navigate this crisis. Keene State teaches us that learning is so important and allows us to go forth and serve. No graduating class will be as prepared as the you, the class of 2020! You are learning to pivot and adapt, you will succeed! Hang in there and know all of the Keene State community believes in you!

Nancy Stanley Plimpton ‘81
You’re on the home stretch; you got this! Make sure you take time to unwind even if it’s only a few minutes at a time to be mindful of your breathing, stretch, meditate…

Kayla Valley ‘12
You’ve got this! You’re in the home stretch! Keep up the hard work and stay motivated. Remember to take time for yourself. The college years go by WAY too fast, so soak up and enjoy every moment!

Zach O’Hara ‘10
To my fellow Keene State Owls, all will work out in the end. As an alumni who graduated in 2010 at the tail end of the Great Recession, my class and I were facing uncertain times upon graduation in a way that hadn’t been experienced in generations. Although the Covid Pandemic presents its own sets of challenges, some of which are unique to this situation, many of the lessons learned can be shared and applied now. The most important bit of advice that I would share would be to follow your passions no matter how they manifest themselves. For instance, if you can’t land that dream job or at that dream company, don’t fret, continue to do what you’re doing and gain experiences that maybe be similar or set you apart that are related to that ultimate goal. And if you don’t still know what that goal or profession is yet, that’s ok too. Life is about experiences, the people that you meet along the way, and the happiness that you can create for yourself and others. To that end, be strong for your families, friends and communities, as they need the leadership that us Owls can provide! Go forth to serve!

Nathan Gray ‘12
Social Distancing can’t keep you from learning. See this as an opportunity to power through the hardest part of the semester without the distractions of campus life. Pro Tip: smash your phone with a rock and actually do the assigned reading. Life will be better, and so will your grades. Good luck!

Nancy O’Hare ‘85
Never in my whole life did I think my hands would consume more alcohol than my mouth! You got this!

Alyssa Constantino ‘10
My memories of Keene State days are so special! Take in every second. May you find the silver lining in this new way of learning, at such a challenging time for us all. You got this!

Emily Robinson ‘16
Hey there Owls! What a semester this has been to say the least. I am finishing up my first year as an MSW student at UNH so I FEEL YOU - this is NOT what we planned or payed for. However, I just wanted to say that despite what’s going on in the world and the big changes you’ve had to embrace and overcome in the last five weeks, you are about to finish up another year of college! For those of you graduating, know that your accomplishments are not going uncelebrated. I am proud and so happy for you. I know you will not be able to hold each other close physically, but just know we are all embracing you under our metaphorical owl wings. You got this y’all!

Carol Biancardi Eaton ‘86
To all of you out their finishing up online…You have got this! It is not what you expected and it isn’t even normal but if you can manage this! Think of how many other things you can accomplish! 3 more weeks! Push for that finish line!

Jennie Dynan ‘12
“You are not alone, I am right behind you, And I have been all along. And the darkest hour of the darkest night comes right before the dawn.” – Hadestown. Even while we are social distancing, we are not alone! You have the support of so many people, we are right behind you. Keep going, don’t give up, and we’ll make it to the spring!

Amie Edmunds ‘99
Good luck owls! The world awaits your talents and congratulations on your degree from Keene State!

Kassie Hoidahl ‘13
I know this time feels long and lonely right now! All the work of college with none of the perks. But you’ll get through it and on the other side you’ll know you can get through anything! Keep your chin up and take these last three weeks head on! Go Owls!

Anonymous ‘92
We’re Owl in this together!

Timothy Frost ‘10
The years that you spend in college is about learning, sure…but moreover, it is about relationships that develop you into the adult you were meant to be. During these rough times - focus on your classes - but focus more on keeping connected with those individuals that you love hanging around with on campus. The friend that you call to go get a Sizzler when everyone else is napping. The classmate that saves you with more detailed notes for an Overhead Ted exam. The roommate who will bring you Hoot n’ Scoot when there’s a foot of snow outside and you’re elbow deep in that research paper. KSC prepared me for a career and to pursue graduate education…but the people and the community are who prepared me for life. We’re Owl in this together, Keene! Stay strong, stay focused and stay connected!

Ann Bastille ‘82
My college days were never dampened by times as restricting and scary as these, and it was STILL a challenge to complete the semester each time. You are living through an unprecedented challenge and YOU are doing it! Your college courses and future plans will buoy you through the rest of your life financially, socially and personally. Your future will be full of connections with others, travel, family and fulfillment of other dreams; hold on for a bit more, you’ve GOT THIS!!

Laura Blake ‘04
You guys got this! You are almost done. You can do it

Dave Cross ‘60
Hang in there, it is all worth it. This from a 1960 graduate. BE SAFE!

Kalleen Schultze ‘12
Focus on self-care and being physically and mentally healthy right now. Whether it be taking a walk/hike, working out, meditating, reading a book, baking, at home spa day, playing video games, taking a nap, etc…do what makes you happy!

Angela Seaver ‘87
I want you all to know that whether a Freshman or a senior, you all got to where you are because of hard work and perseverance. The Covid-19 may have caused an interruption in your studies, but nothing can take away your accomplishments. Have faith and things will be back to normalcy!

Jackie Ronning ‘86 ‘88
Three weeks can seem like three hundred years. We have all been there, BUT you are doing this through a pandemic! You are all models of courage, perseverance and commitment, all the attributes of a KSC Owl! You will succeed!! Keep the faith in yourselves and claim your degree! Best wishes!

Good luck Owls!! Especially to Class of 2020. Living through the history of a once in a century event isn’t easy but stay strong. Your story will be told for generations.

Kaylee Hunkins ‘12
I hope everyone is staying happy and healthy at this time! I know how hard you all work to be a Keene State Owl. I want to give a special shout out to my sisters Clara and Ellie Hunkins! They have been working hard to get through the virtual classrooms and staying in shape to get ready for KSC field hockey in the fall! So proud of all my fellow owls! We will get through this!

Heather Hankus ‘94
Congratulations class of 2020! Be proud of what you have accomplished! Go out there and make this world stronger. Make a difference! Be better! Keene State has given you the opportunity. Take what you have learned and go with it!

Alyson Taylor ‘04
You can do this Owls with three weeks left. You can do anything that you put your mind to. You will succeed and come out stronger than ever after this all. To the seniors you will be able to go forth and serve and spread your wings and do amazing things. We are “Owls” and we stick together and will always come home. Go get ‘em!!!

Tiea Zehnbauer ‘92
I’m sorry for the separation and isolation but I hope you are focused on the bigger, long term picture. Continue to dream your dreams. See the future as you want it to be. Feel the future, taste it, smell it. You’ve got this!

Meredith Shepherd ‘11
You’ve got this! Just like I’ve been telling my third graders who are all working from home, this is making you into an even more powerful and independent individual! We are all thinking of you!!!

Amy Vaughn ‘93
With you, KSC Seniors! We are all thinking of you and clapping you out. You’ve worked your butts off to earn your degree, and you’ve made memories and friends that have become like family. Nothing can take that away from you. I’ve been watching how you collectively roll, and it’s made this alumnus proud. Go forth to serve, Seniors. We love you! ~ Stella

Amanda Zimmerman ‘04
I am so sorry you all had to leave campus before the year was done. It is a special place in the spring, and to miss that, is heartbreaking. I wish you all a wonderful summer and am hopeful you will return to campus when things return to normal. And if you are graduating… Keene is such a fun town to visit as an alumni. Go Owls!

Matt Droppa ‘19
“The night is always darkest before the dawn” -Harvey Dent. I know that this semester hasn’t been what you planned for, but this challenge will provide a chance for growth and you will be able to use this experience when you face challenges later in life. Wishing you the best.

Pamela Bump ‘14
Hi Fellow Owls! I know that at this time, you may be feeling uncertain about your future, cooped up at home, and adjusting to remote work for the first time. If this has totally burnt you out, you’re definitely not alone! Believe me, I’ve felt the same way since this began. It’s definitely a new normal that we’re all still getting used to — whether you’re in school or graduated years ago. Although there will be all sorts of challenges in the near future, one thing I keep reminding myself is that navigating this time WILL make us stronger. One day, you might look back on this time and realize that it forced you define your motivations, passions, sometimes frustrations, and what was really important in life. Even though I graduated years ago, I and my friends are now truly realizing how important family is. discovering career paths where we can help others, and finding hobbies or passions we’ve never explored. It may not feel like it now, but the lessons you learn in the most challenging times will make you more adaptable while helping you lead a more fulfilling life in the long-term. I’m not going to tell you to “stay strong” because that might be harder for some people at this time. But, I will encourage you to take time you need to relax, try to stay optimistic, take walks, eat well, bond with those you live with, and stay healthy. Remember, this will all be over eventually!

Anonymous ‘18
I know this is such a crazy/hard time not being able to complete your semester at Keene State. I truly feel for each and every one of you, as so many of my good moments came from being on campus (and around town!). Just know that KSC will always support you, and will always be your home (away from home). This too shall pass, and for now, just try your best! Remote learning is different for everybody, & although your teachers are now teaching in a very different fashion, they are still your teachers & have so much care for you - reach out to any of them through email if you are having a difficult time! I was always supported by the faculty at Keene State - and they will be there for you now. Even if it’s a teacher you’ve had in the past, and you’re just needing some guidance through this, I am sure that they will be there for you! There will be a light at the end of this tunnel, we will all help each other get there. For all of the seniors, please know that we are all thinking of you, and are most certainly rooting you on from afar. You should all be so proud for all of your accomplishments - and when the world has found its normalcy again, we will celebrate!!! Owl in this together.

Jane Walsh ‘13
YOU GOT THIS KEENE STATE!!! Special shout out to Keene State Women’s Soccer. Can’t wait to see you on the pitch this fall.

Linda Merrill ‘88
It’s an incredible time in our world today, but I know each and every one of you can to this. KSC is the best in every way and I know these last few months are probably the hardest you will ever experience. Stay humble, stay kind and find the balance with school work and life that gets you through this. I know you can do it. Best of luck. Go Owls!!!!

Nicole Plympton ‘12
I have had some of my best moments at Keene State, and I have met some of the most special people in my life there. Although you are not there right now, know Keene is still the awesome town and environment that it is and is waiting for you when all this clears up. To the Seniors- I hope you go back and make your own bar crawl this summer!

Darlene Gessert ‘90
Hey KSC Students, just letting you know your KSC alum are proud of all of you for leaving campus, staying safe, and continuing your learning experience on-line for the remainder of the school year. You guys got this! You are awesome! Congrats, Seniors!

Sandy Winters ‘83
So, here’s the thing- Keene is a magical place. You are part of a greater, united community. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be intimidated about asking for an audition, interviewing for a job, calling on someone to ask for a reference. We were treated like artists while in undergraduate school. I critiqued Ken Burns project, Brooklyn Bridge when he brought it to our film class for input, I competed with the best actors in the country to go to The Kennedy Center with a Chekhov play and was nominated for a national acting award. I thought that’s what college was supposed to be! It has served me well, to this day! We knew we were artists, and damn proud. You have arrived, too! Own it and go kick butt!

Louise Tetreault ‘84
When things became overwhelming at times in my life I received some great advice. Actually, it’s more like a philosophy for living. Take one moment at a time. One step at a time. Don’t speculate at what might be. Look around where you and make choices based on the here and now. When things look glum know that it’s temporary. There are so many of us who have been in similar places and we’re here to tell you that this too shall pass and become a tiny blip in the big picture. Steady on.

Anna Cauley ‘12
College is an incredible experience; from the classes you take to the friendships you build. Remember that even though you can’t physically be there right now, you still have each other and the KSC community is thinking of you.

Joseph Starnino ‘74
Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize! This is tough stuff. You will be together soon and every year you get together at alumni events, my oh my will you have stories to tell. I just turned 70. This is something you’ll never forget so keep those grades up. They’ll be a cherry on top of your struggle and your stories to tell to friends and family!!!

Valerie Garrett Jagneaux ‘86
You’re almost there and hopefully this will be over soon! Keep up the good work!

William Kallinich ‘07
Dear future safety professionals: In this uncertain time, it is certain you will be needed and valued. Use your education with honesty, compassion, and with confidence that you are a resource. It is not required that you have all the answers immediately upon graduating. What is required is that when you do find the answer you share it wisely and with the best interest of the lives you are touching. You will make a difference. Take care and good luck.

Jim Banks ‘87
As a KSC grad with a college-aged son of my own also studying at home now, I can appreciate what some of you are going through. Hang in there, it WILL get better and we will all adapt to the new normal that evolves, whatever that is. Study hard and best wishes.

Mara Dutoit ‘87
Dear owls, you are experiencing an unprecedented time. Please know how much we are all thinking of you… Everybody is going through this together, I hope you find comfort in that. This, too, shall pass and you will all be more resilient, stronger, more empowered than ever. Wish you all lots of encouragement, peace, love, light. Don’t forget to laugh every single day. We are all so grateful that you are still there and you will make our world a better place.

Mike Barry ‘10
Be wise fellow owls - stay safe, healthy, and happy!

Brittany Laurenza ‘17
I graduated from the KSC Nursing program in 2017 and I couldn’t be prouder! Push through these last few weeks, you guys are almost at the finish line! If you can conquer this, you can conquer anything! I currently am a nurse in the COVID-19 ICU and to my nurses, let me tell you my greatest accomplishment was graduating from the KSC nursing program! I wouldn’t be fighting this on the front lines if it wasn’t for them. You guys are rock stars!

Alyssa Tyukody ‘16
You got this Owls! Whether it’s your first spring semester, or your last just remember the good memories you had at KSC and the many to come once this passes.

Steven Pickus ‘07
You all got this. Just keep safe and make the best of the situation.

Alisha Barry ‘10
You’ve got this! As a current teacher also trying to live in the remote world of learning, we know how hard it can be and how difficult it is to be away from such an amazing campus! Keep it up!

David Westover ‘72
I know how sad it is not being on campus for the spring semester especially for our seniors. We will get through this together and be stronger for it all. I was extremely impressed with the Virtual Academic Conference that was held today kind of at Keene State and to all of you who participated. Stay safe and I look forward to the day when Appian Way is sunny with your energy that you all bring to it.

Laura Gauthier ‘89
KSC mission statement: “KSC prepares promising students to think critically and creatively, to engage in active citizenship, and to pursue meaningful work”. How fitting for what KSC students are being tasked with. During these most unknown times, take the promise of your future meaningful work and apply critical creative thinking to your academic learnings to achieve your goals and dreams. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it; even in the most challenging of times! To all the seniors, which my son is one, take ahold of your great work, all your time, effort, endless hours of study, sleepless nights, but most of all your passion to make a difference in this world; as Keene State sends another outstanding class out of their gates! The world is full of unknowns and things we have no control of, it is all in how we respond and move forward that truly determines the path of true success. Make us proud all you owls!

Cassandra Simons ‘10 ‘11
My thoughts go out to all KSC students during this difficult time. My heart goes out especially to the seniors and other students in the cusp of major life changes this year. Through no fault of your own, you are being made to sacrifice your final months of memories, bridges, and culminating moments. Hold tight to the memories and friends you have made as a student at KSC. I wish you nothing but happy memories and success in your next steps. I hope to run into some of you at future Alumni weekends and events. Lots of love and hope.

Geoffrey Brailsford ‘11
“Trust life, and it will teach you, in joy and sorrow, all you need to know.”

Brian Burford ‘72
These are certainly interesting times. We have probably heard Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes the needed effort to bring about prosperity once again.” He was talking about the economic collapse of the American economy, but it applies in our present environment too. One of the values that Keene State College stresses is that we need more that “training”, we need to learn to think. We are encouraged to think about ways to improve our world and solve problems facing us individually and problems facing us collectively. In some ways, the current crisis is one of the tests that Mother Nature likes to give from time to time in the course of Life. I am also reminded that KSC urges us to serve others. It’s times like these that by helping others, we help ourselves. It is when we face serious obstacles that thinking and serving others becomes even more important. We cannot fail. If we work together, we will not fail. Go, OWLS!

James Beauregard ‘87
Despite the isolation you are experiencing you all are learning to work independently and applying computer skills that were not required before. These skills will become an asset to you in the future! This time of covid19 will pass eventually and know that it is a brief period of disruption in the course of your life as well as the course of your education. It is important to take care of yourself first and

Pat Shaughnessy
“Great moments are born from great opportunity” While Covid-19 has put you all in a totally-unprecedented situation, just know that it cannot take away what you’ve already established at Keene State College. The relationships you’ve formed, things you’ve learned and memories you have made are yours to keep. It sounds cliché, but soon you will look back at this as one of the many trials encountered throughout your life, and you can be proud of yourself for soldiering on and creating a new normal! Try to get as much fresh air and sunlight as you can and keep your friends and memories at Keene State close so that things can resume as they were once you return to campus. You got this! Stay positive.

James Dutton ‘58
We are in a situation like we’ve never experienced before. It is sometimes hard to toe the line but it is absolutely necessary to protect ourselves amen.

Colin McKaig ‘85
Hello to you all. As an educator now working to support teachers with their technology needs during this period of remote learning, I certainly understand how this event might feel for you now. I work as the Technology Integration Coach for a Vermont school district, so I watch carefully both sides of this challenge: teachers and students. As difficult as this is, we’re also building skills that will prove useful as we go back to our traditional avenues of work. Developing your talents as an online communicator and facilitator will come in handy in the future, no matter the many frustrations you experience today. Keep going, find support if you need it, and know that we are indeed “owl in the together.” Know that I’m happy to speak with preservice teachers about life in the classroom and the rich and rewarding experience of teaching as a profession.

Elizabeth MacIntire ‘93
So proud of you for persevering and flapping those wings! We are owl here for you and want you to know that you are never alone. You are a part of this incredible community that supports you, respects you, and admires you for pushing through this challenging time to reach your goals. Keep reaching for those stars!

Mike Plaisance ‘85
Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re doing work we all appreciate. Take this virus crisis one day at a time and you will come out the other end stronger and wiser. Be patient. And, always and especially, maintain your sense of humor. Good luck and thank you.

Karen Reinhold ‘96
This is a historic moment for all of us. As the future of our country and world, take the time to write down your experiences to learn from as we work to get back to normal. Children and future generations will thank you. Be kind and be safe and take advantage of being home with your families. This too shall pass.

David Walker ‘83
On March 30th I took the opportunity to travel to Keene on my 59th birthday. Part of my day consisted of walking around the KSC campus and marveling at all the changes that have occurred since I graduated in 1983 with a BA in Public Affairs/Journalism (as the major was known back then). While I was roaming the campus and reliving great memories during my time there, it was also very ominous to see the school so quiet. I pictured what it would have been like if all of you were still there, going through your normal routines, attending classes, and socializing. I’m sure you are all missing that part of your lives right now, but we will come through this difficult situation and you will find yourselves reuniting on campus again with a new appreciation for all that Keene State means to you. While I can only remember what my time was like there, you can still look forward to returning and rediscovering all the reasons why Keene State is the special place that it is. Take care, stay positive, and be safe.

Ray Jobin ‘63 M’72 & Dot Jobin ‘62
“Solitude is different from loneliness, and it does not need to be a lonely kind of thing.” Fred Rogers. While you have been away from campus we have seen examples of brilliant work many of you are creating such as music recitals and prep for this year’s Academic Excellence Conference. We also hear about a variety of ways many of you are adapting to online learning and creativity. You are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the great work.

Jenny-Lynn Neumann ‘05 M’09
To all the students that are graduating, I understand that you’re saddened by missing Commencement, but look to the bright side, KSC will give you something to celebrate your accomplishments. Keep soaring on, come back for the reunion and remember the fun times at KSC. To the rest of the student body, this is a bump in the road. Although half of your spring semester is being spent at home, remember you KSC roots. Those roots will be there in August awaiting you with wide open arms. Your challenge is to remain positive and helpful during this time. You are our future and we need you to help care for those who provided your future at a young age. Keep a smile on, FB message your friends, or FB live a group! Friendships will last and memories can still be made for the rest of the semester. I hope that all students realize that you have what it takes to make it through this. I look back at KSC and remember the good times & some of the struggling times, but we made it through TOGETHER! We are stronger as a community TOGETHER! Fly high OWLS!

Lisa Payeur ‘83
Whether you’re a freshman, a senior, or somewhere in between, you’re probably experiencing a variety of feelings right now. Uncertainty is something that we are all experiencing with this pandemic, and to be truthful, it sucks! I don’t speak like this often, but when the word fits, I use it! Identifying and expressing our feelings in times like these is going to be much more beneficial to how we handle uncertainty going forward in life, rather than if we keep our feelings bottled up. Just think of the story you will get to tell your children or other young family members or students in the future! They will be stories about fear; people who didn’t care; those who stepped forward and contributed in ways they never had before; how our President was even uncertain what to do (which may be comical looking back); and, hopefully, how we came together as citizens, took the bull by the horns, and did what we needed to do to get through this and became stronger people. If you’ve ever listened to the stories of your grandparents and/or great grandparents, or read about what life was like in those eras, you will notice that time and again people have been shaken, lived in extreme uncertainty, and had to learn what needed to be done to come out of the situation as together as possible. You will notice, the strength they developed through hard times. Even talking about 20+ years ago, on 9/11, most adults and children who lived through that attack on our people and our country, can tell you today exactly where they were and how they felt when those planes crashed and the towers were falling. But, you know, the silver lining during that time of fear was how Americans came together, supporting one another, and flying flags like I had never seen before. We became stronger in our allegiance, and learned to develop some resiliency.

Julien Houle ‘68
This year is going to be a challenge, for sure. I can already see graduations are going to be postponed for seniors. You young people are not alone! In my generation we were experiencing the Viet Nam (UN spelling) War and young people being sent to this war-torn country immediately after finishing college. I personally had to enlist in the NH Air National Guard and leave for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas on the weekend I was supposed to graduate from KSC. I asked to have my diploma mailed to my home. When I returned to NH after several months of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, I was able to begin my delayed teaching career while serving in the NH Air National Guard for the next six years. Fortunately, our Air Group were never activated and called to the overseas operating theater of war. But we were all prepared just in case we were called up for duty. Other students during these times were burning their draft cards or leaving the country to live in Canada to be eventually forgiven by the nation. It was a time of troubles and chaos echoing the times my parents went through in WWII and my grandparents during WWI where cousins fought cousins in our family. Years later I attained another degree at another institution of higher learning. This time I was determined to attend this graduation ceremony to make up the one I missed at KSC. I ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude this time and it was a very special ceremony for me. So you see, things have a way of working out in the end. Remain positive and do not let anything get you down. Keep working as you have as this will make you stand out as a positive person and a survivor.

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