Longtime Plymouth State educator Dr. Norton R. Bagley passed away Feb. 23 at the age of 94.
At Plymouth he had served over decades as professor, director of public relations, dean of students, dean of instruction, director of admissions, director of placement and as chair of the Education Department. Known as “Mr. Plymouth,” he was honored for his learning, his warmth, and his extraordinary ability to inspire students to achieve their dreams. Even decades after they had graduated, alumni always referred to him with affection as “Dr. Bagley,” a mark of respect in which he took pride.
Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said Dr. Bagley’s contributions to the institution were extraordinary.
“He believed in creating a learning environment of mutual respect between student and teacher and among students themselves,” Steen said. “He was a gentleman in the most positive sense and an educator who found joy in knowledge and in quiet commitment to others.”
His expertise was respected. He was the college representative of the New Hampshire Council for Education, assisting in the improvement of teacher education statewide. He received the Granite State Award from the University System for his service to education in New Hampshire. He expanded Plymouth’s education programs, introducing various master’s degree programs and laying the groundwork for today’s graduate programs in many aspects of education, including the master’s in guidance and counseling.
For the celebration of Plymouth State’s 100th anniversary, he wrote a history of the institution, “One Hundred Years of Service.” Until his death, he continued to be actively engaged with the institution he loved and had helped to create.