UNH Magazine
On Leadership
and Loss
Spring/Summer 2021
Annual Giving Advertisement
After graduating from UNH, Leslie Gordon ’86 earned both an M.D. and a Ph.D. because she couldn’t decide if she preferred research or clinical care. Turns out, she needed both when her son, Sam Berns, was born with progeria, an ultra-rare disease for which the cause was unknown and there was no treatment. In an effort to save her son’s life, Gordon set out to find both.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, it sent everyone scrambling — including college professors, who had to quickly find ways to engage students remotely in classwork that was meant to be hands-on, lab-based or interactive. But change isn’t always bad; for some UNH faculty members, the demands of remote instruction inspired them to reimagine the way they teach their courses not just online, but in the classroom, as well.
For longtime UNH Police Chief Paul Dean, the challenges of COVID-19 weren’t just professional, they were also personal. When his father succumbed to the virus in May 2020, he put aside his own grief to help shepherd UNH through the crisis.
Class Notes

Charles Sawyer ’62, Edward Hanley ’83, Nina ’00 and Ryan ’02 Day
In Memoriam

Stuart Eynon ’49, Valerie Wilcox England ’54, Melvin “Rus” Wilson ’78, Andrew Minigan ’14
During a decades-long friendship, Charles Sawyer ’62 took thousands of photos of blues legend B.B. King.
During a decades-long friendship, Charles Sawyer ’62 took thousands of photos of blues legend B.B. King.
President’s Column
The View From T-Hall
Photo of Jim Dean


ernon Law won baseball’s Cy Young Award for pitching in 1960 when he went 20-9 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he is remembered today as much for his insights about performance and success, including this favorite: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

COVID-19 certainly tested our university and everyone in the Wildcat family, and it taught us countless lessons about getting through a pandemic — from the steps we took to protect health and safety to the ways we taught, worked and learned to how we delivered research and support to businesses, communities and families across New Hampshire. And no matter how great online video technology is, we learned that sharing a cup of coffee with a friend over a computer just isn’t the same as sitting across the table from each other at a local café.

Thankfully, as this issue of the UNH Magazine is being prepared, COVID-19 appears to be coming under control. Restrictions have been dialed back on our campuses and across the nation. More people are getting vaccinated. At long last, they are reconnecting in-person with friends and enjoying their first real vacations away from home in more than a year — and on Friday afternoons, most of them seem to be coming to our beautiful Granite State.

Our experiences have taught us so much. And importantly, we are putting the lessons we learned into practice to create great opportunities, streamline our work and bring innovative ideas to fruition.

UNH blue logo
Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

Class Notes Editor
Allison Battles ’02 

Feature Writers
Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
Michelle Morrissey ’97
Jody Record ’95

Contributing and Staff Writers
Lori Tyler Gula PhD ’06G, ’19G
Sharon Keeler
Allen Lessels ’76
Brooks Payette ’12
Robbin Ray ’82
Jody Record ’95
Kassidy Taylor
Keith Testa

Contributing and Staff Photographers
Aram Boghosian
Bob Child/AP
Chelsey DiGiuseppe
Leah Fasten
Sean Fine
Jeremy Gasowski
Andy Lyons/AP
Dana Smith
Peter Souris
Matt Troisi ’22
David Vogt
China Wong ’18
Robert Zielinski

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

Portrait of Paul Dean
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.

© 2021, University of New Hampshire. Readers may send letters, news items and email address changes to alumni.editor@unh.edu.

Spring-Summer Masthead Image by Jeremy Gasowski
Jeremy Gasowski
Growing season: Graduate student Aislinn Mumford ’26G and Iago Hale, associate professor of agriculture, nutrition and food systems, tend to kiwiberry vines at the UNH/New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station Woodman Horticultural Research Farm. Established in 2013, Hale’s research and breeding program is dedicated to developing improved varieties of the kiwiberry — a smooth-skinned, grape-sized fruit that’s better suited to the local climate than its cousin, the fuzzy kiwifruit —for commercial production.
Editor’s Desk
From the Editor’s Desk
Photo of Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
Jeremy Gasowski

f someone were to make a bingo card of terms popularized by the coronavirus pandemic, there would be at least a few obvious nouns and noun phrases to fill the squares: social distance, contact tracing, COVID bubble, virtual/remote [fill in the blank], mask mandate, PPE. Among the new verbs that have made their way into the pandemic argot over the past 16 months or so, the one that sticks with me the most is pivot. When the pandemic hit, we pivoted to remote learning and social distancing; as vaccine availability has become widespread and we’ve gotten the hang of our new normal, schools and workplaces and restaurants and retailers have pivoted again to in-person experiences and business as usual.

For me, at least, “pivot” was one of those words that, once I became aware of it, I started hearing everywhere (at the risk of dating myself, it called to mind an episode of the 1990s sitcom “Friends” in which one character instructs two others on the delicate art of maneuvering a large couch up a narrow stairway by barking “PIVOT!” at various intervals). A pivot is a very specific type of turn: not a subtle shift or minor adjustment, but a swift and decisive change of direction. As jargony as the term struck me at first, I soon realized there was no better verb to describe the shift of gears virtually all of us experienced back in March 2020. There wasn’t time to hesitate, to ponder options, to make small changes and hope they’d suffice. We all pivoted and started down a brand-new path.

A Big Step Forward: In June, UNH welcomed members of the Class of 2025 to campus for first-year orientation — the first time the university has been able to offer an in-person experience to its incoming students since 2019. In anticipation of a relatively normal fall semester, new Wildcats took in college-specific presentations; meals at Holloway Commons and the Whittemore Center; a performance by WildACTS, UNH’s social justice theatre troupe; and “Become the Roar” — a faculty and staff welcome as they passed under the arch at Thompson Hall.
Jeremy Gasowski
Grace Roy UNH
Grace Roy ’22
Photo By Jeremy Gasowski
Showing their SMARTs
Across multiple disciplines, undergraduate students drive UNH scholarship success

here’s smart, and then there’s SMART. With scholarship success rates — a measure of the percentage of scholarship applicants who receive awards — that place the University of New Hampshire among the best colleges and universities in the country, it turns out that UNH undergraduates are both.

In April, Julia Hilinski ’23, Eric Smith ’23 and James Wirth ’23 were awarded Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarships through the Department of Defense (DoD). Awarded to undergraduate or graduate students in STEM-related fields, SMART scholarships include full tuition and related fees, a $25,000 to $38,000 annual stipend, summer research internships and employment placement within the DoD after graduation.

From Good to Great
A gift from Peter T. Paul ’67 will benefit the business analytics program in his namesake college
A coffee mug with the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics logo designed on the front in a business meeting room
Jeremy Gasowski

usiness analysts are often thought of as the bridge between companies’ IT departments and their management. Technologically and business savvy, they take large quantities of data, analyze it to build reports that help make sense of it and provide actionable insights to drive strategic decision-making in their organizations.

To provide New Hampshire and regional businesses with the critical help they need to sustain a competitive advantage, UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics has launched a new Business Analytics Initiative, fueled by a $6 million gift from Peter T. Paul ’67. In 2008, a $25 million gift from Paul significantly funded the new state-of-the art college, the former Whittemore School of Business and Economics that was renamed in his honor at its 2013 opening.

Manchester's NoMADS team members wearing masks and fancy clothes with crossed arms in a laboratory
Manchester’s NoMADS team members Thomas Gerton ’23, Raymond Miller ’21, Sydney Rollins ’20, ’22G and Irma Vrevic ’23
David Vogt
An experiment designed by a team of UNH Manchester students is headed for the International Space Station

ntibiotic resistance is one of the top health crises the world will face in the coming decades. Among the bright minds bringing their intellectual muscle to bear on the issue is a team of students from UNH Manchester who developed an experiment to examine how soil bacteria evolve or mutate in space relative to what is observed on Earth. Documented differences could affect the production of future antibiotic compounds, with potential for lasting contributions to both space exploration and the treatment of antibiotic-resistant disease.

A student sports a Spongebob-themed graduation cap as he watches the commencement ceremony with his peers
Jeremy Gasowski
Pomp, in Spite of the Circumstance
UNH celebrates the classes of 2020 and 2021

erseverance. Resilience. Agility. Grit.

Over the course of two weekends and eight ceremonies, UNH celebrated the commencement of undergraduate and graduate students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 in Durham, Manchester and Concord, citing at each one the deep reserves of determination and resourcefulness students had brought to bear during a most unusual 15-plus months.

By breaking the traditional university-wide ceremony into separate events for each college and the class of 2020 and by limiting attendance for each graduate to two guests, UNH was able to offer what few other schools could this spring: safe, in-person ceremonies for its graduating students. “Because of the way you all worked together to stay safe and healthy, UNH is one of the very few universities in New England where you are gathered for in-person commencement this year,” noted President James W. Dean Jr., speaking to students in Wildcat Stadium, where socially distanced seats and masks complemented the traditional robes and artfully decorated mortar boards. “Thank you to everyone who made that possible.”

an alien bust sits in front of a display case
Chelsey Digiuseppe © 2021 University of New Hampshire
An Extra(terrestrial) Special Collection
For longtime UNH archivist Bill Ross, the Betty and Barney Hill Papers were an acquisition like no other
Over the years, few stories have captured local imaginations quite like that of Betty ’58 and Barney Hill, who, while driving home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from a honeymoon getaway to Montreal in September 1961, allegedly encountered a UFO in the area of Franconia Notch.

Though the Hills initially shared their experience— a 2 a.m. interaction with a huge, “pancake-shaped” flying saucer occupied by some eight-11 humanoid figures in black military garb — only with officials at Pease Air Force Base in Newington, their story was eventually leaked to the public. Following a five-part feature in a Boston newspaper that thrust the reluctant couple into the national spotlight in 1965, the Hills ultimately resolved to release their own account —a narrative bolstered by artifacts that included Betty’s torn and stained dress, a star map Betty had drawn from her memories of the abduction, a fiberglass bust based on the Hills’ description of the aliens they encountered and more.

Natural Healing
New study will quantify the therapeutic benefits of wilderness therapy for teens
two hikers stand in the wilderness listening to a speaker
Jeremy Gasowski

etting outside can do more for teens than keep them physically fit. For some, it can be a life-changing — or even lifesaving — intervention. Now, with grants totaling $2.97 million, UNH’s Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center will soon be able to quantify the therapeutic benefits of outdoor behavioral health (OBH), or wilderness therapy, a prescriptive treatment for teens struggling with depression, anxiety and substance use disorders, through a first-of-its-kind randomized study.

“Mental health and substance abuse issues in adolescents have become major societal problems, forcing parents and health providers to look for innovative treatment options that may better suit some teens,” says Michael Gass, professor of outdoor education and director of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center. “Our hope with this study is to uncover definitive answers about the benefits of wilderness therapy from a behavioral, social and cost point of view.”

bobcat in a small tunnel
Bob Child/AP
Cats in Crisis
Is increased proximity to humans stressing New Hampshire’s bobcat population?

s the biological analog of UNH’s wildcat mascot, the bobcat holds a special place in the heart of many UNH students and alumni. But a recent study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management suggests the feeling might not be particularly mutual.

Researchers with the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station have documented elevated cortisol levels in hairs taken from bobcats living closer to residential and agricultural areas. A hormone found in all mammal species — humans included — cortisol plays an important role in stress response. Higher levels of cortisol in hair samples are indicative of higher levels of the hormone circulating in the cats’ bloodstream, released in response to increased levels of stress.

Faculty and Staff News
Jeannie Sowers
Jeannie Sowers, professor of political science, has been awarded a Faculty Leave Fellowship at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University for the 2021-22 academic year. The fellowship will allow her to complete a book manuscript, “Protracted Conflict, Civilian Infrastructure and Humanitarian Assistance in the New Middle Eastern Wars,” co-authored with Erika Weinthal of Duke University. Under contract with Oxford University Press, the book focuses on the causes and consequences of the wartime targeting of water, energy, agriculture and health infrastructures in the Middle East and the challenges faced by humanitarians as they attempt to respond to violence and displacement.
David Finkelhor
For the second consecutive year, David Finkelhor has been named to the 2020 Highly Cited Researchers list from Clarivate. The annual list identifies researchers who are pioneers in their fields over the last decade through the publication of multiple highly cited papers. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science™ citation index. Finkelhor is director of the Crimes against Children Research Center and the Family Research Laboratory, professor of sociology and University Professor at UNH. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is internationally known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse.
John Mayer
Professor of psychology John Mayer has won the 2020 Martin Mayman Award from the Society for Personality Assessment for his article in the Journal of Personality Assessment, “An Integrated Approach to Personality Assessment Based on the Personality Systems Framework.” The award recognizes the best theoretical paper published in the journal each year; Mayer’s article theorizes a new approach to personality assessment that can be used by clinical psychologists when assessing and describing a client’s personality. Mayer’s research focuses broadly on people-centered intelligences and, in particular, emotional and personal intelligences. He and colleague Peter Salovey — later joined by David Caruso — developed the concept of emotional intelligence, sought to improve its measurement and to understand what it predicts.
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center and associate professor of political science, has been awarded this year’s Kennedy Achievement Award by the Association for Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO). A nationally recognized expert in public opinion research and presidential politics, Smith is being honored for his service to and leadership within the survey research profession, his teaching in political science, his survey methods research and his work directing the Survey Center. Smith’s survey methods research focuses on question wording effects, question and response order effects, non-attitudes and methodologies for improving the accuracy of pre-election polls.
Erik Hobbie
Erik Hobbie, a research scientist in the UNH Earth Systems Research Center, has been awarded two fellowships to continue his stable isotope research abroad in China and Austria. The first fellowship will take place later this year at the Institute of Applied Ecology, a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenyang, China. In Shenyang, Hobbie will work with a team of colleagues and graduate students to assess changes in forests using stable isotope technology, with a particular focus on how forests are responding to the high levels of nitrogen deposition in China. Hobbie also has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, from March to June 2022. In Vienna, he will study how small mammals help to maintain healthy forest ecosystems through eating and dispersing fungi such as mushrooms and truffles.
Mihaela Sabin
Mihaela Sabin, professor of computer science and chair of the applied engineering and sciences department at UNH Manchester, was appointed as a member of the education board for the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest computing society. The education board oversees ACM’s activities focusing on advancing computer science education at all levels as well as professional development for computing professionals at every stage of their career. Sabin will support ACM’s educational initiatives to address the changing needs of students and professionals in computing and information technologies. Sabin has served as a member of the ACM Education Advisory Committee for the past five years.
Alyssa O’Brien
Assistant professor of nursing Alyssa O’Brien was recently recognized by the New Hampshire Nurses Association with an Excellence in Nursing award for her teaching and research. After earning both her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees at UNH and working in the Family Center at Exeter Hospital for several years, she enrolled at the University of California, San Francisco and earned a Ph.D. in nursing. A member of the College of Health and Human Services faculty since 2017, O’Brien teaches courses on maternity, human development and public health nursing.
Stacey Hall
Stacey Hall, executive director of UNH’s student engagement and development, has been named the 2021 NIRSA Honor Award recipient by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the campus recreation profession and exemplary service to the association.
Track, and So Much More
As he retires from UNH’s running programs after nearly 40 years, Jim Boulanger ’75 leaves behind much more than a string of America East championship banners
Jim Boulanger at a track meet
Courtesy UNH Athletics
Michael Shanahan ’18 and Coach B at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Jim Boulanger ’75 never competed in track and field or cross-country. He wasn’t even on the UNH payroll when he started working with the university’s running programs after graduating with a degree in physical education. And yet when Boulanger retired in June after nearly 40 years, it was hard to imagine anyone who could better personify UNH track and field and cross-country, storied programs that have produced the likes of All-Americans Ed McCabe ‘87, Randy Hall ’90, Alison Poulin Leveh ’93, John Prizzi ’15, Drew Piazza ’17 and Michael Shanahan ’17, ’18G as well as NCAA champion (and newly minted Olympian) Elle Purrier St. Pierre ’18.
UNH Men's Soccer team celebrating with their trophy
China Wong ’18
Winning Streaks

n April, the UNH men’s soccer team became just the third program in America East history to win three consecutive championship titles, besting the University of Vermont Catamounts, 2-0, at home April 17. In a shortened and somewhat unconventional season that was moved from fall to spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNH put up a 6-0-1 regular season record and made quick work of its America East tournament opponents, shutting out first the University of Hartford and then UVM at Wildcat Stadium.

The win secured the 10th-ranked Wildcats their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division 1 soccer tournament in a field that was cut from 48 to 36 teams because of the pandemic. After earning a first-round bye, the Durham ’Cats faced the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky, coming out on the short end of a 2-0 game on May 2. The team concluded its season with a .850 winning percentage — a school record.

Get Puzzled
Get Puzzled
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.
Leslie Gordon
Photo by Dana Smith
When her son was diagnosed with an ultra-rare disease, Leslie Gordon ’86 set out to achieve the impossible. Today, she’s well on her way to doing just that.
by Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

e’ve all read stories about individuals who become briefly capable of superhuman feats when faced with a threat to their loved ones — in the classic example, it’s the mother who singlehandedly lifts a car off her trapped child. There’s a name for the phenomenon — hysterical strength — and a theorized explanation: a flood of hormones including adrenaline, cortisol and endorphins that is released in response to extreme stress and allows muscles to tap into their maximum strength even as it blunts the brain’s perception of pain.

As showy as it is, hysterical strength is also fleeting; the mother who lifts the car up can’t do so for more than a few seconds. It takes an entirely different kind of superhuman strength to face a threat that’s settled itself in for the long haul. A chronic illness, for example, or a life-limiting one. A disease your child has just been diagnosed with that’s so rare it not only has no known treatment, its cause and mechanism aren’t even fully understood. So rare, in fact, you haven’t even heard of it yourself, even with your newly minted Brown University M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroimmunology in hand.

Rachel Campagna, assistant professor of business administration, Paul College of Business and Economics
Title of article
Title of article
Last spring, COVID-19 sent faculty members scrambling. For some, the changes they made were more than just a stop-gap for remote teaching.
By Jody Record ’95

avid Kaye worked with students over Zoom to rehearse and then present an adaptation of the play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which should have opened live on campus in 2020 just after spring break.

Rachel Campagna offered remote one-on-one office visits where she asked students to tell her one boring thing about themselves in an effort to get to know them. Fifty out of 70 students signed up.

And Gregg Moore created virtual field trips for students who, in normal times, would have been right there with him in the bogs, marshes and dunes captured in his videos.

Challenges, Accepted
For UNH Chief of Police Paul Dean, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t just the public emergency he long trained for but hoped he’d never have to face — it was also personal.
By Michelle Morrissey ’97
Jeremy Gasowski
Challenges, Accepted
For UNH Chief of Police Paul Dean, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t just the public emergency he long trained for but hoped he’d never have to face — it was also personal.
By Michelle Morrissey ’97
Jeremy Gasowski

s UNH Police Chief Paul Dean remembers it, spring semester 2020 had gotten off to a pretty typical start, with the serious work of policing a campus of some 13,000 students punctuated by lighter moments: posting on the department’s social media account about its “Coffee with a Cop” community outreach program or alerting followers to a power outage in a dorm. The campus was busy, the buildings full of faculty, staff and students — many of whom were looking ahead to spring break and finalizing their travel plans.

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 Oct. 1.
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 Oct. 1.
Jump to Year
Seventy-five years ago, Professor John Walsh, chairman of the department of languages, led the faculty line between rows of students assembled in front of James Hall for their graduation from the Class of 1946. Held June 9, 1946, the university’s 76th commencement ceremony took place on the football field behind the field house, the site of today’s Wildcat Stadium. Undergraduate degrees were conferred upon 214 students in the UNH Colleges of Agriculture, Liberal Arts and Technology as well as the university’s two-year applied farming and secretarial programs; an additional 22 graduate students earned master’s degrees.
Nancy Bryant on behalf of Lonnie (Eleanor) Gould Bryant
9 Rickey Drive
Maynard, MA 01754
bryantnab@yahoo.com; 978-501-0334
Sending a call-out to the families of the Class of 1941. Whether the ’41er in your family was your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle or other, do you remember them telling stories about their years at UNH? Or are there other special stories about them that you’d be willing to share with us so that we might have the honor of including them in this class column? Funny or wise, lighthearted or serious, please send me their stories, as we still have so much to appreciate and learn from the Greatest Generation. Hoping to hear from you!
Class Notes Editor
Kenneth Stein and Betty Seaton sent word of their mother’s passing. Caroline L. Adnoff Stein, 97, of Plymouth, MA, passed away on Nov. 19, 2018. During World War II she continued her studies at Boston College School of Social Work while working for the American Red Cross. After marriage to Louis Stein in 1946 she moved to Plymouth, MA, and was a full-time homemaker, later assisting her husband in the family’s North Plymouth business, Stein’s Furniture Store. She was a member of the local chapter of Hadassah, the Jordan Hospital Club, and the Plymouth Country Club, where she especially enjoyed playing golf. She was a voracious reader and an enthusiastic patron and volunteer at the Plymouth Public Library. In retirement she and her husband traveled widely and participated in Boston University’s Senior Evergreen Program.
Class Notes Editor
Florence Hellen shares that as a certified O.T. graduate from UNH, she is able to practice what she preaches: “Keep active, grow a garden, bake your bread and enjoy the beautiful natural surrounding country. Best to all my classmates.”
Alumni Profile
By Keith Testa
Several Lives
Charles Sawyer ’62
Courtesy Charlie Sawyer

hen Charles Sawyer ’62 saw B.B. King engaging a small group of fans in conversation between sets during a 1968 performance at Lennie’s on the Turnpike in Peabody, Massachusetts, he decided to casually amble into the crowd. That’s when King spotted him.

“He broke off his conversation and looked toward me and I thought, ‘Oh God, he thinks he knows me,’” Sawyer says. “I started trying to figure out ways to say, ‘I’m not who you think I am, I’m just a nobody.’”

For about five more minutes, that was probably true.

Alumni Profile
By Keith Testa
Edward Hanley ’83
Courtesy Ed Hanley
Dressing the Part(s)

dward Hanley ’83 has costumed Larry Bird, strapped shoulder pads to Mark Wahlberg, had his honeymoon paid for by actor Robert Conrad and walked sets alongside the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Matt Damon, Will Smith and Brad Pitt.

Not bad for a guy who initially moved to Los Angeles to work at a restaurant his friend was managing.

That restaurant gig proved to be short-lived – six months after arriving in L.A., Hanley earned himself a job on the crew of “First and 10,” one of HBO’s first original series in the early 1980s. The show, based on a fictional professional football team, aligned with Hanley’s passion for sports – a lifelong sports fan, he’d completed an internship in the WBZ sports department and called hockey and football games on the radio – and he quickly earned the role of football coordinator, hiring the players and managing all details of the football uniforms.

Alumni Profile
By Michelle Morrissey ’97
Platform with a Purpose
Ryan Day and his wife Christina (Nina) Spirou Day
Courtesy Day family

s head coach of Ohio State University’s renowned football program, former UNH record-setting quarterback Ryan Day ’02 knows about the importance of strength. He knows that for elite athletes like OSU players, that strength comes in the form of both physical prowess and mental preparedness to make each player game-day ready every time they take the field.

That mental well-being isn’t just part of Ryan’s winning athletic philosophy — it’s a cause close to his heart and that of his wife Christina (Nina) Spirou Day ’00. Not only have they experienced loss of a loved one related to mental health, but they’re also parents of three young children — and, since 2018, surrogate parents to the OSU football family.

In Memoriam
Bright shall thy mem’ry be

Stuart Eynon ’49
His 98 years were richly lived


tuart Eynon ’49 was so active and adventurous well into his 10th decade that it would have been virtually impossible for strangers to accurately peg his age were it not for a patch he wore proudly.

Eynon, a lifelong avid skier who was still hitting the slopes as a nonagenarian, became something of a celebrity while sharing drinks with his son, Ted ’85, in ski lodges from New Hampshire to Colorado. “He had a patch that said something like ‘90-plus ski club,’ and I’d be having lunch or an après drink with him and people would always be coming over asking him ‘are you really over 90 years old?’” Ted says.

Valerie Wilcox England ’54
She was a “true UNH blueblood”


n 2007, as the 20th anniversary of the UNH Foundation approached, Valerie England ’54 came up with an ambitious idea: to document the first two decades of the university’s fundraising organization and indeed of its then nascent culture of philanthropy in a book. Two years later, “From the Ground Up,” a 120-page history of the UNH Foundation, was a reality.

“My mother was full of ideas, and incredibly good at finding the right people to execute on them,” says Jennifer England Decker ’77, one of three children Valerie raised with her husband of 63 years, Fred. The book, a case in point, helped her to earn the foundation’s 2009 Volunteer of the Year award — something for which she was quick to share credit, writing in to UNH Magazine to acknowledge her partnership with her fellow UNH Foundation Directors Emeriti History Committee members.

Melvin Llewellyn “Rus” Wilson Jr. ’78
Integrity was everything to him


nyone who spent time in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during the last few decades probably knew Rus Wilson by sight, if not by name. Tall and sandy-haired, he wore a ready smile for everyone he encountered — and, more often than not, an outlandish tie or suit that would inevitably prompt a smile in response.

“It started with ties,” recalls Rus’s wife, Christine Grady Wilson ’79. “He didn’t understand the whole purpose of wearing ties, so to make it more enjoyable for himself — and others — he started buying colorful ties.” First, Chris says, it was just ties in bright colors. Then came ties with cartoon characters and The Three Stooges, holiday ties and ties representing various sports he was involved with as Portsmouth High School’s athletic director and the city of Portsmouth’s recreation director.

Andrew Powers Minigan ’14
He was a “dream student,” a respected academic and a joyful spirit


eather Muir and Andrew Minigan’s love story both did and didn’t begin at UNH.

Both psychology majors and self-identified “overachievers” in the class of 2014, the pair regularly sat together in professor Jan Tornick’s behavioral analysis class in Conant Hall. “We were both competitive, and we studied together in an attempt to assess each other’s performance, but it was really because we enjoyed each other’s company,” Heather recalls. “I always knew that he was smarter than me but would never admit it. He was brilliant, naturally curious and outspoken, almost to an irksome degree when you are in competition.”

Parting Shot
Elle Purrier St. Pierre at the Olympic
Next Stop, Tokyo
“Elle’s time is now.”

So said the T-shirts worn by a number of family members and friends who traveled to Eugene, Oregon, in June to watch Elle Purrier St. Pierre ’18 compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field at the University of Oregon’s storied Hayward Field. On June 22 Purrier St. Pierre made good on that claim, winning the women’s 1,500-meter U.S. Olympic Trials final in 3:58.03 to punch her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, besting second-place finisher Cory McGee by more than two seconds and breaking Mary Decker Slaney’s 33-year-old Olympic Trials record in the process. Purrier St. Pierre advanced to the final after winning her first heat in 4:11.78 and her second heat in 4:09.18.

The most decorated athlete in UNH history — an NCAA champion, 11-time All-American and 17-time America East champion as well as the holder of six individual and four school relay records — Purrier St. Pierre is the fourth Wildcat with ties to the UNH track and field program to represent the United States at the Olympics, preceded by Richmond “Boo” Morcom ’47, Joanne Dow ’86 and Clare Egan ’11G. The Tokyo Olympics take place from July 23 through Aug. 8; the first round of the women’s 1,500 will go off on Aug. 1. If Purrier St. Pierre continues to run the way she has been for the past 18 months — in addition to her Trials mark, she’s the U.S. women’s record holder in the 1-mile and 2-mile distances — Elle’s time could very well be then, too.

– By Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
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