Plymouth State University Announces $1.5 Million Gift to Benefit New Hampshire Students Who Aspire to Become Educators and to Create Leadership Institute for K-12 Administrators and Teachers

Plymouth, N.H. (May 9, 2017) – Plymouth State University (PSU) today announced a $1.5 million gift from the late Ann G. Haggart, a life-long educator. This is the fourth-largest gift in PSU’s history and will establish the Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Family Fund. The fund will support two purposes: it will provide scholarships to New Hampshire students with financial need, giving priority to those hailing from Coös, Grafton and Carroll counties, and will create the Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Transformational Leadership Institute.

“Approximately forty percent of our students represent the first generation in their family to attend college,” said Vice President for University Advancement Paula Lee Hobson. “Ann realized how vital scholarship support often is to this segment of our student body.”

Haggart also envisioned a program in which K-12 administrators and teachers would have opportunities to work alongside community and corporate leaders to enhance their skills and knowledge of real-world challenges. The concept is a cornerstone of PSU’s Integrated Cluster model, and the guiding principle of the new Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Transformational Leadership Institute.

“We are grateful and truly honored to receive this significant gift from Ann Haggart,” said Donald Birx, president, Plymouth State University. “She was enormously proud of her family’s historical ties to Plymouth State University, and she was a visionary educator who recognized the possibilities of PSU’s transformation to an integrated clusters model. Ann’s generous gift will continue her family’s legacy by strengthening PSU’s future.”

The Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Family Fund was announced in a ceremony today in the Samuel Read Hall Building on the PSU campus. Nearby Samuel Read Hall Building stands the historic “Holmes Plymouth Academy Rock” that marks the original site of Holmes Plymouth Academy. Following today’s ceremony, PSU planted a memorial tree near the Holmes Plymouth Academy Rock in honor of the Holmes-Pattee-Haggart family.

Haggart was a descendant of Colonel Samuel Holmes who gave $500 to establish the Holmes Plymouth Academy in 1808. Holmes Plymouth Academy was one of the first formal teacher training institutions in the state, later becoming Plymouth Normal School and Plymouth State Teachers College, before evolving into Plymouth State College and ultimately becoming Plymouth State University. Members of Haggart’s family graduated from Plymouth Normal School and Plymouth State College, and all became teachers in New Hampshire public schools. Haggart carried on her family’s legacy as a public school teacher who supported children with special needs, frequently speaking on inclusion. Haggart was also co-author of several books and videos for educators.

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Elizabeth Bissonette stands with PSU President Donald Birx beside a portrait of her late sister Ann G. Haggart.

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