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90 Candles for Norma

Norma's 90th birthday
Norma Walker with Keene State President Melinda Treadwell

What better place to celebrate Norma Walker’s 90th birthday than Norma Walker Hall? Keene State celebrated its most active alum Monday, February 11, in the function hall named for her at last fall’s Alumni Reunion.

Dozens of friends, family members, fellow alumni, and College staff came to honor Norma and snack on cupcakes decorated with – you guessed it – owls! A member of the class of 1951 who received a master’s from Keene State in 1959, Norma had a busy career as an educator in local elementary schools and later at the College.

After she retired, she served as a member of the Alumni Association board and for 24 years has coordinated an annual luncheon series for members of the Golden Circle – alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago.

Keene State President Melinda Treadwell ’90 led the group in singing “Happy Birthday.” Norma Walker, she said, “has the tenacity and an attention to detail that few people hold, with an equal measure of heart and love and passion. It is that combination for Norma that has made all the difference, for her leadership and the legacy that she’s left here.”

President Treadwell concluded, “thank you for all of the lives you’ve touched every day, and Happy Birthday. We love you, Norma.”

Norma, who, true to form, helped organize the party and was back in the Alumni Center the following morning to take down displays that she’s exhibited at alumni events over the years, called it a “real Mr. Drenan day” – a reference to Sprague Drenan, a much-loved, long-serving Keene State professor, who began working at the College in the 1920s.

“He always said ‘The sun will shine on Reunion Day,’” said Norma, who headed home before a snowstorm moved into southern New Hampshire – the day after her birthday.

Happy birthday, Norma!

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