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Fall 2020
Despite the best of intentions, racial diversity in the student body and among faculty and staff has long been a significant struggle for UNH. As several high-profile incidents have intensified the focus on racial injustice throughout the country in recent months, they haven’t only sparked critical conversations and calls for action on a national level — they’ve taken root on campus, as well.
An icon painted by artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy ’63 honoring American abolitionist Frederick Douglass is painted on floorboards Douglass and other escaped slaves walked on when they fled to a safe house in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
She’s perhaps best known as the “image maker” who resurrected Bank of America’s reputation in the aftermath of the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown. But Anne Finucane ’74, now the bank’s vice chairman and chairman of the board of Bank of America Europe, had entirely different plans for her future during her student days at UNH.
The diagnosis was bad. The aftermath was calamitous. In an excerpt from his new book, “Complications,” writer, athlete and intrepid adventurer Todd Balf ’83 sets the stage for an identity he’d never imagined he’d take on, following the discovery of a rare cancer growing from his spine: medical train wreck.
Class Notes

Pamela Chatterton-Purdy ’63
Timothy Sheahan ’99
Ryan Dion ’04
In Memoriam

President Gene Mills
Ruth Gannon ’67
Ed Friedlander Jr. ’88
Bryan Lyons ’91
An icon painted by artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy ’63 honoring American abolitionist Frederick Douglass is painted on floorboards Douglass and other escaped slaves walked on when they fled to a safe house in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
President’s Column
President Dean

ne month after we began one of the most unusual semesters in UNH history, I shared an update with the university community, noting that, “We are still here.”

As this issue of UNH Magazine goes online, our campuses are not only open, but they are achieving remarkable success in scholarship, research and philanthropy. Last summer, there were many who doubted whether UNH had the expertise, capacity and shared sense of community it would take to open our campuses safely—and to keep them open. Some predicted that COVID-19 cases would spike within the first few weeks, and that we would have to send everyone home.

We are not out of the woods yet, by any stretch, and we must remain vigilant. However, we are fast approaching the beginning of Thanksgiving break, when students will return home to complete the fall semester, as planned. I am extremely proud and grateful to our entire Wildcat family for getting us this far.

Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

Class Notes Editor
Allison Battles ’02

Feature Writers
Todd Balf ’83
Keith Testa

Contributing and Staff Writers
Kim Billings ’81
Ali Goldstein
Lily Greenberg ’21G
Rebecca Irelan
Allen Lessels ’76
Catherine Meyer
Michelle Morrissey ’97
Beth Potier
Daniel P. Smith
Jody Record ’95
Sarah Schaier

Contributing and Staff Photographers
Anna Burns ’20
Merrily Cassidy
Jeremy Gasowski
Greg Greene
Team Hoyt
Brian Samuels Photography
Megan May
Scott Ripley
Matt Troisi ‘22

Editorial Office
15 Strafford Ave., Durham, NH 03824

Publication Board of Directors
James W. Dean Jr.
President, University of New Hampshire

Debbie Dutton
Vice President, Advancement

Mica Stark ’96
Associate Vice President,
Communications and Public Affairs

Susan Entz ’08G
Associate Vice President, Alumni Association

Heidi Dufour Ames ’02
President, UNH Alumni Association

cover photo by Jeremy Gasowski

UNH Magazine is published three times a year by the University of New Hampshire, Office of University Communications and Public Affairs and the Office of the President.

© 2020, University of New Hampshire. Readers may send letters, news items and email address changes to alumni.editor@unh.edu.

Reading notes on grass
#UNHtogether: For many in the Wildcat community, a successful fall semester has been about balancing physical distancing with a sense of connection to their peers and the campus. Here, students enjoy one of the last warm days before the turning leaves begin to fall in earnest.
Editor’s Desk
From the Editor’s Desk

efore I found my calling as a writer and editor, I spent nearly five years working at a global investment bank in New York City. While prestigious, the position was a terrible fit for me — I struggled daily to care about my work, and even when I stepped off the banking “fast track” (to the horror of my peers) to work instead in communications, few and far between were the stories I told about the bank’s activities and achievements that truly resonated with me.

Almost three decades later, I had occasion to dust off my knowledge of complex global financial institutions to write about Anne Finucane ’74, vice chairman of Bank of America and chairman of the board of Bank of America Europe. Anne is one of the most powerful women in business, and I was more than a little intimidated. But when I interviewed her over the summer, I came away struck by the depth of the bank’s commitment to using its size and its position to do good in the world — as well as Anne’s own dedication to the same causes, and her surprising sense of humor. It may well be that the banking world has changed significantly since I left it; it may also be that I worked for the wrong institution. I hope you enjoy reading about her and come away as convinced as I am that there isn’t a more deserving recipient of the university’s Social Innovator of the Year Award, an honor she will receive Dec. 1.

Interviewing with Kristin Duisberg
Jeremy Gasowski
Jeremy Gasowski
Honesty, Transparency and Tough Love
A conversation with senior vice provost for student life Kenneth Holmes
In July, Kenneth Holmes joined UNH from Howard University, where he was vice president for student affairs. As he settled into campus and the first weeks of classes, he took time to talk with UNH Magazine about his new role.

You have been involved in student affairs at other universities, most recently Howard University in Washington, D.C. Why UNH?
With all the opportunities that were made available to me, UNH just felt right. I liked that the position was a senior vice provost. We are all here to support the university’s academic mission. Working with the provost and other educational leaders allows me to better serve students both in and outside the classroom.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned during your years working with students? 
Students can truly make your work life more comfortable if you genuinely listen to them. When we listen to students, they tell us what they need to be successful, and when they know you are listening and are working on programs and services to make their lives better on campus, they will give you grace. And when possible, they will assist. With resources, I love what I do.

COVID lab at UNH
Jeremy Gasowski
Put to the Test
UNH ecosystem makes COVID-19 lab a reality
Kelley Thomas says there are no words to describe how he felt, flipping on the lights in UNH’s COVID-19 testing lab at the end of August. After months of working around the clock with his team to establish the facility, Thomas, a professor of genomics and director of the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, saw that the lab was officially up and running. Students were back on campus. What they’d set out to do was working.

“There’s no practicing this,” says Thomas, who serves as the lab’s scientific director. “You can’t say, ‘send me 4,000 samples so we can try this out.’”

UNH students working outdoors
Jeremy Gasowski
Record-breaking Research
UNH sets a new high-water mark for competitive research funding

single grant in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) for $23.6 million. More than 200 awards at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS), UNH’s largest research center, totaling $60.2 million. Fiscal year 2020 was a record-breaking year for competitive research funding at UNH, which closed the books on June 30 with $129,815,354 in new grants and contracts. It’s the most external research funding the university has received in a single year, supporting UNH projects that range from improving preschool education in New Hampshire to bringing sustainable seafood to the table.

Juneteenth: Celebrate Freedom Logo
A Small Step to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

he Emancipation Proclamation decreed that on Jan. 1, 1863, all “persons held as slaves within any State” in the United States would be “forever free.” But it would be two and a half years before the 250,000 Black men and women living in Texas got the news. That’s when, on June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and announced that the Civil War was over, and with it, the end of slavery, officially enacted with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.

On June 17, 2020, the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) board of trustees voted to add Juneteenth — the day long celebrated by Black Americans as their official day of emancipation — as a systemwide holiday. USNH union employees need to approve the new holiday to have it extend to their members.

“Recognizing this day reflects our deep commitment to and support of our multicultural communities across our campuses,” UNH President James Dean said in announcing the board’s decision. “The recognition of this important day in our collective history is just one small piece of the work we must do as an institution to address racism and promote diversity, equity and inclusion.”

— Jody Record ’95
Ensuring a Tradition of Innovation will live on Indefinitely
Namesake family endows the Paul J. Holloway Prize Competition
Paul J. Holloway

f you’ve enjoyed a meal at Tuscan Kitchen or count on NOBL cold brew coffee to get you through your workday, you can give at least some credit to UNH’s Paul J. Holloway Prize Competition.

The annual event recognizes students who conceptualize, develop and pitch compelling proposals to bring products to market and awards students thousands of dollars in cash and prizes every year. The successful Tuscan Kitchen chain of restaurants launched by Joe Faro ’91 was born of a Holloway competition idea, as was NOBL, the Holloway brainchild of Connor Roelke ’14. This year’s first place winner, Kikori, is a software platform that allows K-12 educators to incorporate more learning-by-doing activities into their classroom experiences. Developed by graduate students Kendra Bostick, Bryn Lottig, Bhavya Wadhwa and Gayathri Venkatasrinivasan, Kikori is particularly timely as schools around the country adjust to the new normal of remote learning.

A Common Passion for their Alma Mater
UNH Foundation welcomes six new board members

nnovation, leadership, community service and entrepreneurship are just a few of the skills and experiences that the newest members of the UNH Foundation board of directors possess. Their UNH friends might also recognize them as a swimmer, a geology major, a lacrosse player, a student body president, two psychology majors and a Sigma Beta brother.

These six new members share a common passion for their alma mater, while representing an impressive array of personal experiences and professional expertise, says Debbie Dutton, president of the UNH Foundation and vice president of university advancement.

Courtesy Charlotte Gross ’21G
Hot Take
Grad student’s research gives her an unparalleled view of California wildfires
Write what you know. 

It’s a piece of advice often given to fiction writers to help ensure that their stories have power and authenticity. This summer, Charlotte Gross ’21G, a master’s student in UNH’s graduate writing program, took that advice a little more literally than perhaps she had expected to when she found herself on the frontlines of one of the most catastrophic fire seasons in U.S. history.

Faculty and Staff News
Katherine (Kate) Ziemer joined UNH on Aug. 3 as senior vice provost for academic affairs. Ziemer was most recently in central administration at Northeastern University as vice chancellor for learner engagement, but previously served in the provost’s office overseeing undergraduate education and experiential learning as well as curriculum for a number of years. She led the development of a new core curriculum, led a strategic planning subcommittee on lifelong experiential education and oversaw the Global Experience Office, peer tutoring and the honors program. She also co-led a strategy to increase four-year graduation rates. Ziemer earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech and spent seven years in industry as a chemical engineer with DuPont prior to receiving her doctorate in chemical engineering from West Virginia University. She spent almost two decades at Northeastern before joining the leadership team at UNH.
On Sept. 1, Anthony S. Davis became dean of the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA), succeeding longtime COLSA dean Jon Wraith. A recognized global leader in seedling production and landscape restoration, Davis comes to UNH from Oregon State University, where he served as the executive associate dean for the College of Forestry as well as acting and interim dean of the college for the past three years. Outside his role as dean, Davis leads ongoing projects in the Pacific Northwest, Caribbean, Africa and Middle East that focus on improved nursery production practices for native plants and the restoration of degraded forests and rangelands, and teach rural community members to apply science-based methods to their restoration practices. He has a B.S. in forestry from the University of New Brunswick and earned his M.S. and doctorate from Purdue University.
Also in September, professor of Earth sciences Will Clyde was appointed associate dean of the Graduate School. A geologist by training, Clyde holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an M.S. and doctorate from the University of Michigan. A longtime professor of Earth sciences, Clyde’s work has focused on the manner in which climate change, tectonics and other geological forces have influenced mammalian evolution and shaped the terrestrial sedimentary record. At UNH, he’s perhaps best known for his role as principal investigator on the Bighorn Basin Coring Project (BBCP), a National Science Foundation-funded 18-university effort to understand a unique moment in the Earth’s history — a massive release of carbon dioxide known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) — and its implications for contemporary climate change. 
Luciana Echazú has joined UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics as the new associate dean for undergraduate education. She will be an associate professor in the department of economics. Echazú most recently was associate dean of undergraduate programs and operations and associate professor of economics and financial studies at Clarkson University’s David D. Reh School of Business. “In addition to her broad administrative experience, professor Echazú is an outstanding teacher, a strong researcher and a dedicated leader and contributor in service to her university,” Dean Deborah Merrill-Sands says. “She will contribute important areas of disciplinary expertise to the economics department, support Paul College in continuing to innovate experiential learning and provide strong leadership for our undergraduate programs.”
Two longtime UNH staffers have taken on interim roles to support new Senior Vice Provost for Student Life Kenneth Holmes. As of Sept. 18, Shari Robinson, director of UNH’s Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS), is serving as interim dean of students, a role the university hopes to fill on a permanent basis by the end of the semester. In Robinson’s absence, Elisa Bolton will serve as the interim director of PACS, and Emily Woodall will serve as PACS interim associate director. 
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, assistant professor of physics and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at UNH, has received the American Physical Society’s Edward A. Bouchet Award. The award recognizes a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research and the advancement of underrepresented minority scientists. Prescod-Weinstein was honored for “contributions to theoretical cosmology and particle physics, ranging from axion physics to models of inflation to alternative models of dark energy, for tireless efforts in increasing inclusivity in physics, and for co-creating the Particles for Justice movement,” according to the award citation. A theoretical cosmologist, Prescod-Weinstein studies dark matter, work that’s at the intersection of physics and astronomy. She’s also active in research in Black feminist science, technology and society studies.
UNH Space Science Center research professor Charles Smith has been selected for the 2020 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education and Public Outreach Award. The award, presented annually by the American Geophysical Union, recognizes a scientist who has helped improve the public’s understanding of space physics and aeronomy through their outstanding educational and outreach efforts. Smith spent years leading the UNH Project SMART space science module, where middle and high school students focus on learning real-world physics and related technologies for four weeks in the summer. He is currently involved in Space Weather Underground, a program that encourages high school students in northern New England to build their own magnetometers and measure small changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.
Kathy Cataneo, the founding director of UNH’s research development office, has received the Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award from the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP). The award is given annually to a NORDP member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and to the research development profession. Cataneo, who retired as UNH’s director of research development in mid-October, arrived as assistant registrar in 1975. During the course of her remarkable 45-year career, she worked for seven chief research officers and eight UNH presidents and assisted hundreds of UNH faculty members.
two students walking down the street wearing medical masks
Jeremy Gasowski
Creating Positive Change Together

o better reflect its position as a partnership among UNH’s Sustainability Institute, the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy, in August, the UNH Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise relaunched as the Changemaker Collaborative. The change, UNH Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer Fiona Wilson says, runs deeper than a new name. “With our partners, we have collectively refined and clarified who we are and what we do in order to help us better reflect our mission and vision, and more effectively communicate with students, faculty, staff and with our partners in the community,” she explains.

Sustainability Kudos

nce again UNH has shown its true colors — blue and white and green — after being named one of the most sustainable schools in the country by two of the top organizations that track higher education institutions’ commitment to sustainability.

students working in the garden
Jeremy Gasowski
On Sept. 28, the Sierra Club ranked UNH at No. 9 on its list of the 20 Coolest Schools of 2020. Earlier the same month, the Princeton Review announced UNH was among the top 30 schools on its 2021 Green Honor Roll. The Sierra Club cited, among other practices, UNH’s move of about $56 million into environmental, social and governance-based (ESG) qualified investments, the university’s continued efforts to reduce its carbon footprint (59 percent reduction since 2001) and its work tackling its nitrogen footprint to protect water and air quality as well as to mitigate climate change. A newly developed combined carbon and nitrogen footprint analysis tool, the Sustainability Management and Analysis Platform, has more than a thousand users from campuses across the globe.

UNH has previously been recognized for its sustainability efforts by the Chronicle of Higher Education Top College for Sustainability. In 2017, the UNH Durham campus became one of the few institutions of higher education to earn a STARS Platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

—Jody Record ‘95
Evolving all the Time
Jackson Estuarine Laboratory marks a half century
dock at Jackson Lab
Scott Ripley

or the last half century, scientists and students have kept their fingers on the pulse of Great Bay and coastal New Hampshire thanks to a UNH outpost tucked along the shores of the state’s largest estuary.

The Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, located on Great Bay’s Adams Point, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year — that’s five decades of research on microbes, oysters, seaweeds, eelgrass, lobsters, horseshoe crabs, water quality and much more. A lot has changed since 1970, but one thing has remained steadfast: Jackson Lab’s commitment to advancing the understanding and preservation of estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems.

drawing of two lobsters dancing romantically
The Science of (Lobster) Love
UNH researchers discover fast, easy method for crustacean sperm count

f you want to understand how a species will survive or fail, one of the things you need to know is whether its population is mating at top capacity. A new study from UNH has discovered a better way to count sperm in lobster that could help researchers of any animal species understand this key aspect of survival.

UNH scientists looking to better understand how climate change may alter lobster reproduction are measuring the amount of DNA contained within the lobster’s spermatophore — the mass of sperm a male lobster transfers to a female during mating. The new technique, which is described in an article recently published in the Journal of Crustacean Biology, is an important alternative to existing methods, which are both costly and time-consuming.

The Return of Coach Mac
Wildcat football coach back in business after medical leave
For all the bad news that broke in March, there were a few bright lights coming out of UNH athletics. Swimmer Anna Metzler ’22 earned a spot at the NCAA championships after setting a new school record in the 400-meter individual medley relay. Emma Woodhouse ’20 and Patrick Kenney ’21 turned in standout performances during the first two days of the NCAA skiing championships. And head football coach Sean McDonnell ’78 was back from medical leave.
Coach Mac with the football team
Greg Greene
In August 2019, a week before the start of McDonnell’s 21st season at the helm of the UNH football program, he announced that a medical leave of absence would force him from the sidelines. Former Wildcat standout Ricky Santos ’07, who had joined the team as the associate head coach and quarterbacks coach months earlier, stepped in as interim head coach and led the team to a 6-5 record, 5-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Poetic License book cover
Poetic License on an old piece of paper
Gretchen Cherington ’83, ’86G
She Writes Press
August 2020

n the surface, Gretchen Cherington’s childhood was the stuff of idyll. Growing up in Hanover, New Hampshire, she’d regularly come home from school to find literary luminaries such as Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg and Anne Sexton visiting with her equally famous father, Dartmouth professor and New Hampshire poet laureate Richard Eberhart. She spent summers at Undercliff, a Maine cottage at the edge of Penobscot Bay, where her father piloted a boat called Reve and she and her brother Dikkon annually reenacted their parents’ love story to an indulgent beachfront crowd. There were also two years in Washington, D.C., while her father served as the poet laureate of the United States, and a year in Lausanne, Switzerland, where a 16-year-old Cherington traveled to study and perfect her French.

Get Puzzled
Crossword puzzle
Brendan Quigley headshot
Professional puzzlemaker Brendan Emmett Quigley ’96 creates custom puzzles for UNH Magazine that include clues from one or more of the issue’s feature stories.
Jeremy Gasowski
Anne Finucane ‘74 didn’t take the straightest route to the top of the banking world. But she knew exactly how to use her position there to do the greatest amount of good.
By Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

s vice chair of Bank of America, she’s one of the most powerful women in the business world. But when Anne Finucane ’74 was a student at UNH, she thought she’d be an artist — a path she forswore after she took a painting course at the Paul Creative Arts Center and concluded that she wasn’t the top student in the class. “I’m competitive,” Finucane recalls, “and I realized I was never going to be as good as the most talented art students there, no matter how hard I tried, so what was the point?”

The point, arguably, was that her destiny lay elsewhere: in a string of job opportunities that she embraced, excelled at, and inexorably parlayed into a leadership role in the rarefied realm of global finance. Finucane’s own explanation, however, is quite different.

‘Not Our Burden Alone’
Darnelle Bosquet-Fleurival, UNH assistant director of residence life
Darnelle Bosquet-Fleurival, UNH assistant director of residence life.
Jeremy Gasowski
Creating a welcoming culture for Black students, faculty and staff at UNH has long been a challenge — and progress will require everyone’s voice
By Keith Testa

arnelle Bosquet-Fleurival’s Monday begins with the shrill sound of her alarm at 6 a.m., a painfully early start given that her first task is to sift through reports detailing the reality of supervising residence halls during a weekend on a college campus.

There are documents to file with administration and incidents to review, often beginning with minor infractions but commonly including violations centered on racial and cultural insensitivity. As an assistant director of residence life supervising four hall directors — a position she previously held on campus for several years — her experience encountering reports of racial or homophobic slurs scribbled on white boards or sexually offensive messages scattered throughout hallways is certainly not unique among fellow staffers.

Her experience differs greatly from the vast majority of her coworkers in one significant way, though.

Todd Balf's spine cancer X-ray
All photos courtesy Todd Balf ’83
One in a Million
An excerpt from “Complications”
by Todd Balf ’83

he day I was diagnosed with a rare spine cancer, I knew I had a problem, just not that problem. For the better part of a year, I had stripped away movements — from gym core routines I didn’t much like anyway to things I did, like raking a yard of warm compost into old winter soil. I told others that when I could no longer ride a bike, a lifetime passion, I would see my doctor to confirm what I already knew: I had a disk problem. Every 50-year-old I knew had some sort of lower-back ailment they didn’t do anything about. We were a league, stoic and proudly inattentive. In July of 2014, I couldn’t sleep or stand without having disabling waves of nerve pain running the course of my legs. I was off the bike. I made the appointment.

I knew they had seen something bad the moment the imaging techs slid me out from the white MRI silo. They had seemed distracted when I arrived. They weren’t now. Did I need more warm blankets? asked one. Something to drink? asked another. Is somebody coming to bring you home? They led me upstairs, where the head spine surgeon, a genial Irishman, showed me the image of a tumor type he had heard of but never seen in a patient. It was a softball-size mass affixed to my lower spine, billowing out north by northwest, distinguished by its lobed shape, which looked to my uneducated eye like the human brain. Dr. Terence Doorly stressed that nothing about this thing inside me — slow-growing, exceedingly rare, originating from leftover prenatal spinal cord cells — was run-of-the-mill.

Todd Balf's spine cancer X-ray
All photos courtesy Todd Balf ’83
Class Notes

Don’t see a column for your class? Please send news to your class secretary, listed at the end of the class columns, or submit directly to classnotes.editor@unh.edu. The deadline for the next issue is January 15.

Don’t see a column for your class? Please send news to your class secretary, listed at the end of the class columns, or submit directly to classnotes.editor@unh.edu. The deadline for the next issue is January 15.

Jump to Year
A group of unknown UNH young Wildcats

We asked, you answered! Edwin “Duke” Kline ’71 responded almost immediately to the archive photo featured in this space in spring/summer magazine for which we were seeking additional information, as follows: “I’m very confident that the photo was taken in the fall of 1968. The Black fellow is my good friend and former UNH roommate Carl “CP” Patterson ’71. The others all look familiar but I can’t place their names.” Shortly after we heard from Kline, Patterson himself wrote in: “I am the young African American Wildcat on the bottom row, second from the left. The classmate standing next to me — third from the left — is Jim Raymond. I’m not positive, but I think this could have been taken at the freshman beanie pole climb.”

Thanks, Edwin and Carl! Now, how about the above photo, Wildcat family? Please drop us a line at alumni.editor@unh.edu if you recognize these two young women. Bonus points if you can tell us the year and/or the location of this lab!

Class Notes Editor

Ruth Payne Moore has been living at Brooksby Village in Peabody, MA ,for the past 20 years. Ruth’s husband, William “Mickey” B. Moore Jr. ’41 passed away six years ago. While at UNH, Ruth and Mickey were active members of the Outing Club, spending weekends and holidays skiing and hiking. Ruth still reminisces about the good times on club trips to the White Mountains with classmates. During their married life Ruth and Mickey settled in Peabody then Topsfield before moving to Brooksby Village. Until recently, Ruth continued to spend summers on the shores of Lake Ossipee in Freedom, NH. Ruth recently gifted a box of UNH memorabilia to the university archives. UNH Magazine received word that Charles K. Besaw passed away on April 27, 2019, at age 101. He served in the Army in World War II and was discharged a First Lieutenant, AGD, in the Reserves. Before retiring in 1985, Charles was the owner of the Woolson and Clough Insurance Agency in Lisbon, NH. He was an incorporator of the former Savers Bank (Littleton), and a former trustee of both the Littleton Hospital and the North Country Community Health Services. Charles was predeceased by his wife, Rita, and is survived by his two children, two granddaughters and two great granddaughters.

Class Notes Editor
UNH Magazine received word that Arthur E. Bean Jr. passed away on Feb. 23. Arthur had an illustrious professional life with careers as a pilot, a lawyer and a judge. A four-times decorated World War III bomber pilot, after the war, Arthur earned his law degree and began practicing in New Hampshire. In 2019, he was honored to receive the UNH Granite State Award, traditionally presented by the UNH provost at commencement. That year, however, Provost Wayne Jones Jr. presented the honor — and an honorary degree — to Arthur at his home. He is survived by his beloved wife, Gail, his son, David, two granddaughters, three great-granddaughters, two stepchildren and several step-grandchildren.
Alumni Connections
By Michelle Morrissey ’97
Webinars Wonders

Since mid-March, more than 2,000 alumni and friends have tuned in to a new series of webinars, hosted by UNH alumni relations and covering everything from anti-racism and the pandemic to cooking and mindfulness.

“We’re all in this together, and the webinar topics reflect that. We’re offering helpful insights from UNH experts for people trying to deal with a variety of challenges in our collective ‘new normal,’” says Jenn Woodside, director of university engagement. “Our goal is to provide resources to our alumni and the general public by inviting them to experience the know-how that UNH has to offer.”

Offered roughly eight times a month throughout the late spring and summer, the most popular webinars have addressed how coronavirus is affecting the stock market, diversity and inclusion efforts at UNH through the lens of the Black Lives Matter movement, and tips for parents trying to teach their children through virtual classrooms.

So while it’s true that COVID-19 has meant a delay in the usual on-campus alumni events for much of 2020, these online events have made it possible for alumni around the globe to connect with their alma mater, without ever leaving their homes.

Webinars continue in December with a presentation featuring journalism professor Tom Haines and renowned Boston journalist Natalie Jacobson ’65 discussing “the age of disinformation.” See the full schedule at unh.edu/alumni, under the events section. You can also watch a recording of any past webinar here.

Alumni Profile
By Jody Record ’95
Honoring Icons
Pamela Chatterton-Purdy ’63
Merrily Cassidy for USA Today Network


amela Chatterton-Purdy ’63 remembers clearly the first time she witnessed blatant racism. It was 1955. She was 15, living in Connecticut. Her father worked for Allied Van Lines. One day, he came home excited to share that he had received a call from Jackie Robinson, who, as first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, had become the first Black major league baseball player. Number 42 wanted Allied Van Lines to move him to Stamford.

Alumni Profile
By Kristin Waterfield Duisberg


on’t let the Clark Kent glasses fool you: When Timothy Sheahan ’99 goes into saving-the-world mode, he doesn’t duck into a phone booth and emerge in a cape and tights. Instead, he dons a full Tyvek suit, two pairs of gloves, booties and an enclosed hood connected to a battery-powered respirator that delivers sterile breathing air — and locks himself into a room with a biosafety cabinet. That’s because, since the beginning of the year, Sheahan has been directly engaging with something that virtually the entire world has turned itself upside down to avoid: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A virologist in the Baric Lab at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, Sheahan is an expert on coronaviruses, and one of a handful of research scientists on the frontlines of the efforts to find a treatment that might halt the global pandemic.

“There’s definitely a lot of pressure,” Sheahan says of his work evaluating new drugs and potential vaccines for COVID-19. “We’re working at warp speed and the stakes are incredibly high. Being involved in this effort has been the best thing ever and the worst thing ever at the same time.”

Timothy Sheahan ’99
Megan May/ UNC-Chapel Hill
Alumni Profile
By Daniel P. Smith
The Unlikely Restaurateur


yan Dion ’04 may not have envisioned a career in the restaurant industry, but that’s precisely where he’s making his mark.

The co-founder and chief operating officer of 110 Grill, Dion steers one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains, a six-year-old enterprise with 31 restaurants peppered across three New England states. The Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s reigning Restaurateur of the Year, the 39-year-old Dion sat with UNH Magazine to discuss his unlikely journey into the restaurant world and 110 Grill’s rapid ascent.

As a UNH undergraduate, Dion worked part-time at the TGI Fridays in nearby Newington. Though intrigued by the industry — he even built a business plan for an Italian restaurant as a senior class project — Dion didn’t seriously consider a restaurant career. “I was happy to have work and spending money. Being a restaurant entrepreneur never hit my radar.”

Ryan Dion ’04
Brian Samuels Photography
Alumni Profile
By Michelle Morrissey ’97
Remembering a Different Kind of Leader
Ben Keating ‘04
Courtesy Keating family


early 10 years after graduating from UNH with a degree in classics, Jessica Ouellette ’11 still thinks about Capt. Benjamin Keating ’04. She even remembers the day more than a decade ago on which she was awarded a scholarship in his name by the UNH humanities department.

“Professor Stephen Trzaskoma was presenting the award, and I remember he got extremely choked up when he started talking about Ben,” she says. “I remember feeling so honored; Ben clearly had such an impact on the faculty, and his family clearly feels a strong connection to UNH.”

In Memoriam
Bright shall thy mem’ry be

Eugene Mills
UNH’s 13th president steered the university through a turbulent era


hen Eugene Mills put his name in to become UNH’s 13th president, the University System Board of Trustees responded with a surprising offer: to forego a national search in favor of appointing Mills as permanent president, based on the successful work he had done as provost. Mills wouldn’t hear of that, however, and insisted he be considered among a pool of qualified candidates. When he assumed the role in 1974, he was just the second UNH president to be named from within the faculty.

Ruth Gannon ’67
A onetime nun, she was fearless about finding her own happiness


n her 92 ½ plus years, Ruth Gannon ’67 was known by a number of names — Mary, Mary Ruth, Sister Maria, Mrs. Arthur Hull Rigor Da Eva. She was in her eighties when she legally changed her name to one of her own choosing, going so far as to update her passport so she could continue the global travels she’d taken up in her later decades, following an unexpected divorce. “She wanted to start her life over from the beginning, determining who she was meant to be,” says daughter Donna Rigor Da Eva ’83, one of Ruth’s six children, and one of three who followed her to UNH. “My mom always led by example.”

Ed Friedlander Jr. ’88
He was the magnet who brought together a broad cross-section of alumni friends


f you were a friend of Ed Friedlander ’88 and you got his call about a ski trip, or a fishing weekend, or a Christmas season reunion in Boston, you knew you didn’t want to say no.

Friedlander was the type of person who was a connector between different groups of friends, and who could always bring people together. “He was just one of those guys who was always all-in,” remembers Matt Witkos ’89.

Bryan Lyons ’91
A dentist with a big smile and an even bigger heart


n 2015, when Rick Hoyt chose Bryan Lyons ’91 to take over for his father, Dick, with whom he had competed in the wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon since 1981, Lyons took on the mantle with characteristic humility. Then a six-year member of Team Hoyt, “He would say ‘I am just a fresh set of legs … just the driver of the bus,’” recalls Lyons’ longtime love, Sandra Lehane. “He was honored to compete with Rick, and while Rick could have chosen any one of many athletes who offered to compete with him, he chose his best friend — Bryan.”

Parting Shot
Students and faculty working on campus
Jeremy Gasowski [3], Matt Troisi ’22
A Paused World, Resumed
You’d have to reach back more than a century — to 1918, when a campus quarantine necessitated by the global H1N1 flu pandemic delayed the start of school until Oct. 22 — to find a start to the semester as unconventional as fall 2020. Masks, social distancing, twice-weekly testing and classes held out-of-doors were among the accommodations that made it possible for UNH to welcome students back to campus in late August — and to keep them there, even as the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 refused to loosen its grip on the United States. Sports seasons may have been canceled (some with the hope of shifting to the spring semester) and clubs and events may have gone virtual, but for the 13,000-something students who returned to Durham at the end of the summer, following months of isolation and uncertainty, resuming their college experience has been a welcome taste of normalcy during a year that has been anything but normal.
By Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
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Thanks for reading our Fall 2020 issue!