From the President

March, 2007

steen2Few university ceremonies can match commencements for sheer pageantry and joy they mark the culmination of years of effort on the part of friends and families as well as graduates. Faculty and staff members, too, share in the pride of seeing students successfully complete their programs and enter the next phase of their lives.

This year Plymouth State University faculty members awarded well over 300 certificates of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership (CAGS) and master’s degrees: in teaching, in business administration, in science, and in education across the disciplines, from art education and adventure learning to environmental science and policy, and athletic administration. Some graduate students won awards for excellence at the state and national levels. Two are on the way to Shanghai to establish a new American International School. One is a Christa McAulie Technology Award winner. One studied glacial geology in the Antarctic. Master of Business Administration students received first-place prizes in the national Small Business Institute Case of the Year Competition. Some graduate students published their research, benefiting others these graduates are teachers scientists, artists, principals, psychologists, superintendents, coaches, and more.

Nearly 800 undergraduates also received degrees in approximately 50 undergraduate majors and 60 minors, in fields from Accounting to Women’s Studies. They, too, achieved at high levels, investigating issues from water systems to marketing strategies to African music. Some won awards for papers and posters presented at national conferences, others saw their art accepted for juried professional shows or won vocal competitions, and one became the New Hampshire Social Work Student of the Year. Some traveled with faculty members to the Dominican Republic or Tanzania or Vietnam for academic or service work. Several saw their undergraduate research published.Many were active in service to the community, confirming their ability to make a difference in the world the list here, too, goes on. And every graduate is an individual story of
achievement and success.

Some families had special reasons to mark this commencement, such as that of Ryan Bishop Seaver, who graduated this year from PSU, and whose mother graduated from Plymouth State College, grandmother from Plymouth Teachers College, and great aunt from Plymouth Normal School they share a wonderful Plymouth tradition.

For this year’s senior class, there also was pain. In their final semester, two Plymouth State University seniors, Jessica R. Hamlyn and Jared R. Barrows, lost their lives. Their families accepted their posthumous degrees as University students stood in honor.

The University recognized with Granite State Awards for outstanding contributions to public service JamesW. Desmarais and the Reverend Sidney Lovett, and conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters on the Honorable Linda Tarr-Whelan, a former U.S. ambassador and representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, who also delivered this year’s undergraduate commencement address. She spoke of a degree as “a passport to leadership” and urged graduates to be the kinds of leaders who are “change agents for peace, human rights and justice.”

Eugene A. Savage (‘58), outgoing Plymouth State University alumni trustee, was surprised by University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Stephen J. Reno with the Chancellor’s Medallion, acknowledging Gene’s extraordinary contributions to USNH.Wallace R. Stevens (’62), former president of Slade Gorton and an expert on international trade issues, delivered the graduate commencement address. He urged graduates to remember those who support them as they accept new challenges, who “pack your parachutes” in life.

Eleven hundred graduates, eleven hundred individual stories.

In this issue of Plymouth Magazine, as you read of our alumni, friends, students and their families, and faculty and staff, please know that you are only glimpsing the richness that is Plymouth State University. For more information, visit our Web site at or take the opportunity to come to campus and attend presentations and performances. Theere is so much of which to be proud.

Sara Jayne Steen, President

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