UNH has always been part of my life. I grew up in the college town of Plymouth, N.H., where my dad worked at Plymouth State for almost 35 years. My oldest brother, John, graduated from UNH in 1970, and I fell in love with the campus when my family used to visit him. I knew that UNH was where I wanted to go to college. Little did I know then that this university would have an impact on every stage of my life from that point on!
I loved French in high school, so I started taking French classes right away. Luckily for me, I met a wonderful teacher and mentor, Lydia Crowson. A French major, I studied for a year in Dijon, France, which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. My senior year, I met my husband of 31 years, Bill Jackson '75, a WSBE grad. After graduation, I was student teaching in Manchester when one day out of the blue I got a call from Gene Savage, then UNH director of admissions. Gene asked me if I'd consider applying for a job in admissions.
I worked in admissions for many years, full time at first and then part time as Bill and I raised our three sons. I took graduate courses and received a master of arts in teaching degree in 1996. After teaching English as a Second Language for several years in the Seacoast, I returned to work at UNH, where I ran the tutoring program for student-athletes for five years. I also began to get involved as a volunteer, serving on the Alumni Board, the President's Council of the UNH Foundation, and other committees.
UNH means the world to me. It's a great university, and I am both honored and humbled to serve as president of the Alumni Association board. We have a great staff in the alumni office and a strong and enthusiastic board. This is both an exciting and challenging time for UNH. The alumni and development staffs have been more fully integrated under an advancement model with Mark Rubinstein at the helm. We undertook a search for a replacement for our executive director, Gregg Sanborn '66, '77G, who retired at the end of October. Gregg is going to be a hard act to follow, but I am certain our new executive director, Stephen J. Donovan, will be up to the task. Steve hails most recently from Dartmouth, where he was director of regional affairs. (We'll introduce you to Steve in the next issue of the magazine.)
In addition, board members have spent 18 months on a strategic plan; new committees will help implement it. Major goals revolve around engaging students, finding new ways to communicate with alumni of all ages, growing chapter and reunion programs, and basically, finding ways to involve many more of you, our more than 120,000 living alumni. As you have probably heard, we are no longer seeking dues membership. We want all of you who have attended or graduated from UNH to consider yourselves members of the Alumni Association. So I ask you to take advantage of what UNH can offer you, but please also think of ways that you can give back to this great place. Join a committee, help lead a chapter, serve on a board, mentor a student--and please make a donation to The UNH Fund. The university needs you. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the next couple of years. ~
Sam Paul '60 wouldn't dream of missing the UNH Alumni Association Golf Tournament. After all, it means playing golf with fraternity brothers and friends--Doug Blampied '60 and Alan Skelley '54--while raising money for his favorite cause, UNH students.
"I feel very strongly about giving back to the UNH students," Paul says. "In fact, my wife (Sarah Anthony Paul '60) and I have endowed a scholarship ourselves." Paul is far from alone. So many alumni would like to support students that the 33rd tournament sold out three weeks before its registration deadline, says Lynn Carpenter Smith '02, coordinator of alumni programs at the Alumni Association. "It has become a waiting-list-only event," she says. "And we owe that all to the hard work of the volunteers."
Committee members, including Bill Jackson '75, Cari Moorhead '99G, Paul Bamford '75, Gary Fincke '75, Sean Kay '03, Rick MacDonald of UNH Dining Services, Jane Shanahan Robart '74 and Smith, work year-round on the tournament, which this summer raised $41,000 for scholarships and alumni programs while hosting 128 players at The Oaks in Somersworth, N.H.
"In this economy to have this amount of money to spend on the students is a tremendous tribute to the alumni, the staff, the board of directors and the sponsors," Bamford says. "It's a team effort."
Bamford knows all about giving back. Claiming he "bleeds blue and white," Bamford's love for UNH was instilled by his father, the late George Bamford '52, formerly the chief fundraiser for the Alumni Association who was instrumental in starting the UNH 100 Club, now the Wildcat Athletics Council. "I learned the value of alumni work and what networking can do to enhance the university's image and financial ability," says Bamford. "We've got a gem right here in Durham and we have to take care of it, so I've dedicated myself to doing that."
Fortunately for the golfers, the tournament offers UNH alumni, friends and staff--including men's hockey coach Dick Umile '72 and President Mark Huddleston--a chance to "get together and bond," Bamford says. Golfers also are eligible to win prizes, such as tickets to professional sporting events, as well as bid on silent auction items, including rounds at 36 golf courses.
"You feel good that the UNH Alumni Association is treating you so well," Paul says. "It is one of the best-run golf tournaments that the university puts on." But what really keeps many, like Paul, coming back is the students. In fact, "to make it more personal and effective," sats Jackson, several scholarship beneficiaries attend the tournament to help out, mingle and say thanks.
UNH senior Alex Cugini says the $1,500 scholarship he received "freed up money for books, housing, everything else that goes along with school." So he didn't hesitate to arrive at 6 a.m. on tournament day to help set up. "I got to make some really good contacts with alums from WSBE," says Cugini, a dual major in accounting and finance. "Hopefully that will also help me when I'm looking for a job later this year."
That is music to the ears of tournament organizers, who want alums to stay connected. In fact, Bamford and Jackson have set a goal of raising $50,000 at the next tournament, slated for Monday, July 12, 2010, again at The Oaks.
"We know that will be tough to meet," he says. "But the tournament has grown by $10,000 in the past four years." As they see it, a day of golf to benefit students isn't a hard sell. "In my opinion, there is no greater goal than the education of a student," Bamford says.
To be added to the tournament mailing list, donate to the event or become a sponsor, contact Smith at (603) 862-5001. ~Return to UNH Magazine Alumni News