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Porter and Stumacher: Building Community, Advocating for Peace

Honorary Degree Recipient and Granite State Award Recognition Announced; Awards Bestowed During Commencement

Keene State College prepares to honor two extraordinary men this year, during the College’s commencement ceremony on May 6. Tom Porter (Sakokwenionkwas – “The One Who Wins”), internationally recognized advocate for Native Americans and their traditions, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. Mr. Porter will also be the featured speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony. Eric Stumacher, founding member of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, will receive this year’s Granite State Award.

“Tom Porter and Eric Stumacher make tremendous contributions that deserve recognition. These two men cultivate a greater sense of community and peace among, and across, cultures and individuals. I am honored to recognize them on our campus this May,” said Keene State College President Dr. Anne Huot. “Through advocacy and teaching, Tom expands an understanding of Native American culture and its importance to all of us. Through music, Eric’s work builds bridges, crossing divides between people in order to find common ground.”

Mr. Porter is recognized with the honorary doctor of humane letters for his lifelong work building community for Native Americans and raising awareness for Native American language, culture, wisdom, and traditions. His contributions take many forms, including teaching, writing, and speaking. Through his efforts, he successfully supports Native American communities through civic, cultural, and educational organizations. His example as an engaged citizen and tireless advocate for Native Americans is meaningful to our community, and speaks to the values of Keene State College.

Mr. Stumacher, the 2017 Granite State Award honoree, is recognized for his remarkable career as a musician, and for using his talent in service to world peace. Through his work with the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Playing for Peace, and the Sonad Project, he helps to build community through the common language of music. His example as an indefatigable advocate for peace through common purpose speaks to the mission of Keene State College.

For more information about this year’s Commencement program, visit

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