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.

Then again, exceeding expectations is what UNH is all about. We define our successes not so much by the expectations that others would place on us — but by the goals that we boldly set for ourselves, as individuals and as a resilient, united and compassionate Wildcat community.

This magazine is filled with great expectations — many fulfilled, some yet to be reached, some that may seem like a giant leap.

Most notably, in September, I joined with Nadine Petty, our associate vice president for community, equity and diversity, to announce UNH’s new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. They challenge our entire community — and that means everyone — to take an active role in creating a more diverse student body, faculty and staff. They commit us to building scholarships for Black and other underrepresented students; to enroll and employ more people of color; to provide ongoing diversity training to all staff, faculty and students; and to assign leaders across UNH who will be responsible for implementing these initiatives, with metrics that show our results. These goals will not be easy to reach, but I am confident we can, and will.

I am especially thankful to Black members of our Wildcat community — including Tito Jackson ’99, Julian Maduro ’21, Darnelle Bosquet-Fleurival and many others — for teaching us how vital this work is to UNH’s success as a public institution and as an instrument of positive change and influence in the world.

Our alumni community reminds us constantly of the many ways that UNH creates opportunities for students from all walks of life.

Anne Finucane ’74 is an especially good example.

She enrolled at UNH to pursue fine arts and earned a degree in English with a concentration in American literature. Today, she is one of the most respected and powerful women in international finance and vice chair of the Bank of America. She also uses her position to promote social justice and sustainability, both within the Bank of America and through her roles on corporate boards. Hers is a remarkable story.

It is always inspiring to know how a UNH education gives people the tools and support to set high expectations—and it is a delight to read about how they exceed them beyond what anyone could have predicted when they enrolled at UNH. Especially them.

Please stay safe and healthy, everyone. And let’s all keep reaching higher.

Written Signature
James W. Dean Jr.