The Buck Stops Here
UNH alumni are among the most reliable people in the country when it comes to repaying college
loans. According to a recent U.S. Department of Education report, UNH has the lowest rate of
defaults on Stafford loan payments of any public institution in the nation. Among all institutions,
private and public, UNH has the fourth-lowest rate of defaults. "Despite the high loan debt that
our students are obligated to carry, they remain among the most responsible students in the country
for meeting their financial obligations," says Mark Rubinstein, vice provost for academic
achievement and enrollment services. The default rate dropped from 1.12 percent in 1998 to 0.51 in
1999. That's only 16 students in default out of 3,141.
Passenger rail service returned to Durham and the Seacoast for the first time in more than
30 years on Dec. 14. The Thompson Hall bell tolled to call students and faculty members to watch
Amtrak's Downeaster pull in beside the Dairy Bar, which serves as the train station. The same bell
tolled when train service ended in the '60s. Trains run daily between Boston and Portland with
stops in Haverhill, Mass; Exeter and Dover, N.H.; and Wells, Maine. The train will stop in Durham
only on Fridays and weekends. A round-trip fare from Durham to Boston is $25.
Food For Thought
Dining Services prepares 7,700 meals each day.
Dining Services uses 1,800 lbs. of M&Ms in an academic year.
This year, the bakery will produce 115,200 loaves of bread for subs.
Chicken fingers are hot--that's the consensus among patrons of Dining Services' new Stillings
Marketplace, which serves a lot of them every day, some 550 to 600 pounds. Other favorites are pizza (120 16-inch pizzas served each day), hamburgers (300), milk (50-60 gallons) and french fries (250 pounds).
Older and Wiser
Don McNamara, 75, of Durham, N.H., has taken all of the undergraduate economics courses offered at UNH, as well as courses in "everything from surveying to soils, art and math." Last fall, he could have taken bridge, adult physical fitness or "The Pleasures of Tea," but registered instead for calculus II. Math is his "first love," he says.
Every fall and spring, about 110 people attend classes at UNH free of charge through the New Hampshire Senior Citizen Scholarships program. Open to all state residents age 65 and older, the program waives tuition for two courses each semester at UNH or any college within the University System of New Hampshire.
Considering the fees for credit courses--at $184 per credit, a four-credit course costs $736--turning 65 has some significant educational benefits. Senior citizens can afford to go back to school to get the degree they never had a chance to earn or to pick up subjects they might have missed the first time around. Or like McNamara, who already has two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree, they can just stay current. "I'm curious about everything," he notes.
"UNH has a long history of providing learning opportunities for older citizens," says William Murphy, dean of the Division of Continuing Education. "Elderhostel was founded here, as was the first international educational travel program for older Americans, Interhostel, which we still operate. The participation of senior citizens in university programs enriches our learning community as much as the programs enrich their lives."
A father of seven, parachute infantryman in World War II, veteran of the Korean and Vietnam
wars, McNamara says he gets along well with the other students in his classes. "They want to look
at my homework, to see my answers," he says with a smile. "Some ask to sit beside me in the
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