The View from T-Hall

Laurels, But No Rest

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Earlier this month, I gave my annual State of the University address—a couple months deeper into the academic calendar than usual, but with the added perspective that the end of a calendar year can bring. We have much good news to recognize as we settle into 2014: the partial restoration of our state fiscal appropriation, which was so dramatically slashed in 2011; an in-state tuition freeze that will extend through the 2014-15 academic year; record philanthropy and a fine running start on our long-term capital campaign. The State of the University is an opportunity to take our institution's temperature, if you will, and notwithstanding the very February-in-New-Hampshire thermometer readings outside, our temperature is a healthy one, indeed.

president mark huddleston

I am pleased to report that this issue of UNH Magazine highlights some of the same terrific recent happenings we recognized in my address: the arrival of Arnold Garron '84 and Mike Hickey '73 as interim deans for Paul College and our Manchester campus, respectively; well-deserved honors for faculty members Jeffrey Bolster and Yitang "Tom" Zhang; the opening of our new interdisciplinary school of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering; a $1 million gift from Mike '84 and Yvonne Tuberty '84 Pilot; even our new university logo, which was rolled out to much fanfare at a men's ice hockey game on December 7, and a record-making football season, which took our Wildcats all the way to North Dakota and a first-ever FCS playoff semifinal game.

One of the central messages of my State of the University address was this: While we have much to celebrate, our work is far from done. We must continue to evolve, adapt, and innovate to thrive in the dynamic, rapidly changing landscape that will continue to define our environment. This, too, is a theme I see articulated throughout this UNH Magazine.

There's a story about former women's ice hockey standout Katey Stone '89, whose creative, successful coaching career has earned her a trip to Sochi at the helm of the women's Olympic hockey squad. There's also story about another coaching great, the legendary "Whoop" Snively, whose unorthodox and innovative tactics led a decade of UNH teams to unlikely victories.

But perhaps no story in this issue speaks to what it takes to thrive in a dynamic and ever-evolving environment more than the feature about UNH alumni in Hollywood. You may have heard of a little Disney movie called "Frozen," and you may have even heard that it was written and co-directed by a UNH alumna, Jennifer Lee '92, the first woman to ever direct an animated Disney feature film. From the names that are probably familiar—like those of Lee, Mike O'Malley '88, and Marcy Carsey '66—to those that probably aren't, there's a common thread that runs through the nine profiles here of Hollywood alums. An indefatigable energy, a willingness to get up again, to try something different, to never take no for an answer. A flexibility and adaptability that time and time again had its proving ground at UNH.

True, not all UNH alumni go on to be Olympians and Academy Award nominees. But what they do go on to do is take the deeply human experience of being a UNH student—the lifelong friendships, the core values, the 360-degree experience of living and working, studying and volunteering and competing in a community of peers—and take that in their own way out into the world. Whether it's solving global problems, helping those in need, or simply building better mousetraps, I truly believe that the future contributions today's students will make will be shaped and informed by their time at UNH. And if that isn't something to celebrate, then I don't know what is. ~

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