reasons for believing
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Fall 2020
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Yearning for Good News? Bookmark This Publication
If you’re looking for positive stories of helping others, transforming lives and finding success, this new digital IMPACT is for you

elcome to the first digital edition of IMPACT, where we share stories of how donors are making a difference across our three campuses. I’m excited about this particular edition for two main reasons. First and most importantly, I get to share what would normally be a simple message — one that’s perhaps not-so-simple in these complex times: Thank you to everyone who supports UNH. Since we all entered our new normal in March, and through the many challenges we’ve faced individually and collectively since, donor support for the University has remained constant, strong and true. One example of that is the unprecedented aid we saw from more than 1,200 donors who donated to the Student Emergency Assistance Fund during these difficult months. I am honored that donors continue to show their concern for our students in this way. No matter what area of UNH donors support, I see their philanthropy as a vote of confidence in the people and programs that make up the University, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

Secondly, I get to talk about why we’re excited to be bringing you these great stories of impact digitally. If you’re a new reader of this publication, let me tell you what it’s all about: good news. Good news of students who thrive thanks to scholarships, of faculty engaged in important research made possible by donor funding, of the hallmarks of a UNH experience that will continue on because of alumni who give back. I hope you’ll come to see this publication as I do: a place where you’ll learn about successes to celebrate and reasons to believe.

And because of this switch from print to digital, we’re able to offer you even more examples of donor generosity at UNH. Here, you’ll be able to scroll, click, read, watch and listen to the positive impact that donors have on the UNH community.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this new platform, and learning about what kinds of UNH stories you’d like to see featured here. After you spend some time with this issue, I hope you’ll share your feedback with me here.

Debbie Dutton signature
Debbie Dutton
Vice President, University Advancement, and President, UNH Foundation
Watch one student get the best surprise ever
Son honors parents with ROTC scholarship
Couple adopts UNH as their own
Donors can help UNH in anti-racism work
Gift creates hands-on investing opportunities
Scholarship honors alumnus’ innovative spirit
Holloway Prize founders create legacy
Soldier’s story lives on through students
Gift supports meaningful marine research
Editor: Michelle Morrissey ’97
Writers: Kristin Waterfield Duisberg, Erika Mantz, Michelle Morrissey ’97, Jody Record ’95, Keith Testa
Photography: Jeremy Gasowski, Scott Ripley, Rebecca Irelan
IMPACT is published twice a year by University Advancement. Have a story idea to share about someone making an impact at UNH? Want to learn how you can make your own impact? Reach us at

© 2020 University of New Hampshire

Scholarship Surprise
Granite State Development Corp. eases family’s financial burden with new scholarship

hen she graduated from Dover High School in 2019, Makayla Edgecomb ’23 wanted to go to college. She envisioned living in a dorm, meeting new people, taking classes and having new experiences.

But she wasn’t sure what she would major in. And did it make sense to spend the money on a degree, if she wasn’t even sure what that degree would be, or what career it might lead to?

For her mother, Laurie, there wasn’t a question. Laurie had started out at UNH, but had a life detour and wasn’t able to finish as planned. Now working in the Dover Public Schools, she believes in attending college right after high school.

“It’s important to me that she gets those opportunities, and gets the chance to make a difference for herself. It’s important to have goals, and guidance, from the beginning. Having that degree is going to make a difference to where she can go in her future,” says Laurie.

Gary Smith and Family at Grand Canyon
Honoring Service, Sacrifice
With ROTC scholarship, son pays tribute to his father’s military service and mother’s dedication to family

ary Smith was eight years old the last time he heard his father’s voice in person. It would be nearly 50 years before he heard it again.

Maj. Murray L. Smith ’55 died as a result of his injuries in Vietnam in 1967. A fighter pilot and 12-year veteran of the Air Force, Smith was 34 years old. He left behind a wife and five children; Gary was his second-youngest.

Four years ago, when family members were going through his mother’s things after her death, they came across a box of 24 old reel-to-reel tapes that Maj. Smith had recorded and sent to his wife while he was stationed in Vietnam.

“That was a routine way to correspond in the 60’s,” Gary Smith says. “He left shortly after my eighth birthday, so I only knew him for that long. The tapes were a way to get to know more about him. To hear his voice, after all that time — I didn’t remember it. It was very moving.”

Granite State Fans
Bob and Beverly Glendening adopt UNH as their own

ob Glendening’s father instilled in him a passion to give back to causes with personal meaning. It just so happens he found a way to do so at his alma mater, Colgate University, while also filling his sports calendar.

And he’s already done the same for at least one season at UNH.

Bob and his wife, Beverly, both grew up outside of New Hampshire but have come to feel like true Granite Staters, moving to Laconia in 1992 and retiring on Lake Winnisquam. So after years of philanthropy at Colgate — where the Glendenings have established a number of scholarships — the couple recently set up an endowed scholarship in support of the UNH men’s hockey team as part of their growing relationship with the state’s flagship institution.

“We’re supporting students in football, hockey and lacrosse at Colgate, so for nine months I can watch sports and be involved,” Bob says. “We enjoy being able to give back. We like meeting and being involved with the kids — it makes it that much more special.”

Stepping in the Right Direction
University leaders set course for anti-racism work, and explore ways for donors to play a part in positive change

n the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the emphasis on social justice, equality and anti-racism has taken on new focus at the University of New Hampshire.

The university has undertaken a plan to combat racism and foster inclusion across its three campuses, under the leadership of President Jim Dean and with significant input from his Leadership Council as well as members of the student, faculty and staff populations.

Dean and the Presidents’ Leadership Council have created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, and have been discussing the university’s plan through a series of town hall online meetings. Dean says the feedback he’s gotten thus far is that UNH has identified the right issues to address — but that he and others have a tremendous amount of work ahead. “Finding ways to create a more diverse and inclusive university, and especially to respond effectively to instances of racism or bias, are at the top of our list of priorities,” he shared in a community email in late September, noting that he plans to release more specific details in the near future.

Part of that work is finding ways in which donors can be part of the solution by supporting students, faculty and programs at the forefront of efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Angels Among Us
Mel Rines’ gift continues to give student angel investors hands-on experience that makes an impact

he Rines Angel Fund was a natural fit for Aidan Kittredge ’21. At the age of 12, the Hampton, N.H., native had started a nonprofit organization called Dress for School Success to provide free, gently worn clothes to school-aged children. It had expanded to two locations in Hampton and Seabrook by the time Kittredge graduated from Winnacunnet High School. As a UNH freshman and economics major, she had learned about the Rines Angel Fund through Paul College’s First-Year Innovation and Research Experience program, and it spoke to her passion for creating innovative opportunities for others.

“In part because of my own experience with Dress for School Success, the idea of playing a role in helping promising business ideas get off the ground and become a reality appealed to me,” she says.

Like venture capitalists, angel investors provide “seed funds” for start-up businesses, though using their own money rather than a corporate pool of funds. UNH’s Rines Angel Fund was established in 2015 through the generosity of longtime UNH supporter S. Melvin Rines ’47, who donated nearly $200,000 to start the fund. The first undergraduate student-managed angel fund on the East Coast and one of the first in the country, the Rines Angel Fund gives student investors hands-on experience in private equity markets and entrepreneurial finance. Through a yearlong, four-credit course, Rines Angel Fund students work closely with Jeffrey Sohl, director for UNH’s Center for Venture Research, to evaluate pitches from fledgling companies, conduct extensive due diligence, and select one or two groups to receive between $5,000 and $15,000 of funding. Enrollment in the class is competitive and requires a rigorous application process.

A Passion for Ideas
Family, friends, colleagues create scholarship to memorialize entrepreneurial spirit of Ed Friedlander ’88

hen Scott Hendrickson first met Ed Friedlander, the two young men were standing in line to register for classes on their very first day at UNH.

It was 36 years ago, and what is now a fast, online process was, in 1984, a very manual one — long waits standing in slow-moving lines in the sweltering late summer heat in the gym forced students to make small talk with each other to pass the time, asking where they’re from, what dorm they’re in, what they want to study.

It was a cumbersome registration process — but also fertile ground for strangers to become lifelong friends.

After meeting Friedlander that day in line, says Hendrickson, “I quickly learned you never have an average day with Ed by your side.”

When you were with Ed, the food and the wine tasted better, the view was more spectacular, the music was crisper. He had this way for many of us to make whatever we were doing that much better. Ed was the guy who made every moment special. He made you feel more alive.”
Tradition of Innovation
Holloway Competition founders and funders ensure longevity with gift
Photo By Jeremy Gasowski

hen it first began in 1988, the Paul J. Holloway Prize Competition, aimed at encouraging entrepreneurial passion and innovative ideas for businesses, had what would be considered standard business ideas: a plan to launch a babysitting service, an idea for a dog-walking business, and the like.

More than 30 years later, the competition ideas have become much more advanced to address today’s challenges, with student teams competitively clamoring for a chance to bring their big idea to market. The annual event recognizes students who conceptualize, develop and pitch the most compelling proposals to bring a product to market and awards students thousands of dollars in cash and prizes every year.

Now, thanks to a recent gift from the competition’s original founders and funders, Anna Grace and Paul Holloway, that tradition of innovation will live on indefinitely. Earlier this year, the Holloways invested $1.6 million through planned giving to endow their namesake competition.

They see it as a continuation of their legacy at UNH. Paul served for many years as a trustee on the University system board, Anna Grace earned her undergraduate degree from UNH, their son got his master’s here, their daughter earned both an undergraduate and a graduate degree here, and now they have a grandson enrolled as well.

Benjamin Keating in military gear
Always in Mind
More than a decade after his death in Afghanistan, this soldier’s story continues to inspire recipients of the scholarship in his name

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 when she was awarded the 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. She didn’t often see her professors show that kind of emotion in front of students, and it made an impression on her. “I remember feeling so honored; Ben clearly had such an impact on the faculty, and his family clearly feels a strong connection to UNH.”

That connection and inspiration are exactly what Ben’s parents, Beth and Ken Keating, his sister and the rest of his family and friends were hoping for when they created the Capt. Benjamin Keating Memorial Fund in 2008.

Keating, who graduated from UNH with degrees in history and classics, was killed in a roadside accident while serving as executive officer of A Troop, 3-71 Cavalry, Task Force Spartan, 10th Mountain Division in Kamdesh, Afghanistan in 2006. His story was in the news again earlier this year; he was portrayed in the movie “The Outpost,” which tells the story of one of the bloodiest battles in the war in Afghanistan. The movie details Keating’s November 2006 death, which happened when his truck fell from a clifftop road during a convoy run. Soon after, the outpost was renamed Combat Outpost Keating in his honor, and three years later it would become the site of the Battle of Kamdesh, during which members of his team mounted a successful defense against Taliban fighters.

There is an urgent need for sustainable seafood systems that can help feed communities around the world as they adapt to our changing climate.”
—Diane Foster, director, UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering
Seafood Solutions
$5 million gift will transform UNH’s work on sustainable seafood as a global food source

hen most of us think seafood, what usually comes to mind is a delicious meal at our favorite restaurant. But when UNH thinks seafood, it thinks of solutions to some of the biggest problems plaguing the planet: global food insecurity, warming oceans and growing populations.

Now, thanks to a $5 million gift, the University of New Hampshire will dive deeper into the study of sustainable seafood and aquaculture on that global scale. The gift, made through the Emily Landecker Foundation, will create a Sustainable Seafood Laboratory and transform UNH’s ability to answer significant questions in the areas of natural fisheries and aquaculture systems. At UNH’s first-of-its-kind open ocean test site (just south of Appledore Island, home to the Shoals Marine Lab), the gift will provide the critical instrumentation needed to pilot next generation aquaculture systems and understand broader changes in the surrounding natural ecosystem.

The gift was inspired by UNH’s proven excellence in marine sciences and ocean engineering. Landecker Foundation representatives consider the university uniquely positioned to develop one of the nation’s top sustainable seafood systems programs with its tremendous research and academic strengths in oceanography, ocean engineering and marine biology. “Marine bioresources have the promise to play a key role in food production worldwide, and we feel fortunate to be able to help the university begin this endeavor by funding a sustainable seafood lab.”

Before you go…
Over the past several months, donors have truly made a difference in the lives of students, faculty and staff at UNH. We hope you enjoyed this first digital edition of IMPACT, and that it offered some positive news in these challenging times.
We look forward to sharing even more stories of impact in the coming editions of this publication. But first, we’d love to hear your feedback on what you saw here.

Whether you saw something you loved or want to know more about, or want to offer a critique, we’re happy to hear your thoughts.

If you found a bit of inspiration here, that’s great news! Simply click here to see how you can support the people or programs at UNH that most interest you.

To make a gift to endow a fund (such as a scholarship or a professorship) or to support a program, or if you’re considering a bequest or have other estate planning questions, contact Troy Finn, associate vice president of development: (603) 862-4940;

reasons for believing
Thanks for reading our Fall 2020 issue!