2019 Commencement Speakers

Ed MacKay

For more than four decades, Ed MacKay has been engaged in efforts to increase postsecondary education opportunities and the quality of student learning experiences. His first position with the University System of New Hampshire was in student affairs, and he assumed responsibility for a wide range of system-wide functions such as planning, facilities, and finances, serving as vice chancellor and chancellor before retiring in 2013.

From 2014–2017 he served as director of the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Higher Education Commission. His many accomplishments included leading New Hampshire to join a reciprocity agreement that enables the state’s colleges and universities to offer online programs nationally with less cost and fewer burdensome regulations, and supporting and expanding programs contributing to increased postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and graduation.

Ed will deliver the 2019 PSU Graduate Ceremony remarks.

John ’85 and Carrie Morgridge

John and Carrie Morgridge co-founded the Morgridge Family Foundation and serve as president and vice president, respectively. Carrie is the award-winning author of Every Gift Matters—How Your Passion Can Change the World and The Spirit of the Trail: A Journey to Fulfillment Along the Continental Divide, and chairs the board of directors of mindSpark Learning, a nonprofit that John and she founded.

The Morgridges also founded the Student Support Foundation, a youth philanthropy club that cultivates high school and college philanthropists, educating and teaching them the importance of giving through hands-on learning. PSU’s Student Support Foundation plays an active role on campus in addressing issues related to student need.

The Morgridges’ exceptional commitment to helping Plymouth State students surmount financial hurdles is evidenced by their encouragement of a campus philanthropic culture, and through their generous funding of endowed scholarships.

Carrie graduated summa cum laude from the International Academy of Design and Technology, and John received his BS in management from PSU and is an accomplished fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter pilot. Carrie will deliver the 2019 PSU Undergraduate Ceremony remarks, and both Morgridges will receive the Granite State Award.

John Farnam

John Farnam represents the Morgridge Family Foundation through his private public relations firm. In this role, he works to advance the mission of the organization by aligning resources and innovation around social issues.

Farnam began his work in education when he raised $6.5 million to build Vanguard Classical School, one of the first charter schools approved by Aurora (CO) Public Schools. He previously served as vice president of marketing for Goodwill Industries of Denver, where he supported the retail and human service efforts of the $40M organization. During his tenure as executive director of the Northern Colorado AIDS Project, he transformed the service delivery model for families living with HIV. His accomplishments were recognized with the DoSomething Award, which celebrates leaders whose work transforms their community.

Farnam received his BS in natural sciences and mathematics from the University of Wyoming. He will deliver 2019 PSU Undergraduate Ceremony remarks and receive the Granite State Award.

Joan C. Cook ’69

After practicing law in Maine for several years, Joan C. Cook developed and managed the Biddeford Savings Bank trust department, and later became vice president and wealth advisor for Charter Trust Company. Until she retired in 2018, she served as executive director of the Maine Pooled Disability Trust. Her board service includes several civic organizations, including Southern Maine Medical Center, Sweetser, United Way of York County, Brick Store Museum, and the Maine Estate Planning Council.

Cook received her bachelor’s in education, summa cum laude, from Plymouth State College in 1969, and her juris doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law in 1978. She will deliver 2019 PSU Undergraduate Ceremony closing remarks.

Cook is an emerita member of the PSU President’s Council, and chaired the President’s Council’s Holmes Heritage Society committee. The Holmes Heritage Society honors alumni and friends who have made provisions for Plymouth State in their financial and estate plans.

Rileigh N. Goulette ’18, ’19MEd

Rileigh Goulette received her BS in elementary education K–8 in 2018, and her MEd in Special Education K–12 in 2019. She earned a 4.0 GPA as both an undergraduate and to date as a graduate student.

Her student teaching took place at Plymouth Regional High School, where she worked with students with disabilities ages 14–21; Holderness Central School, as a fifth grade/K–4 math interventionist; and Newfound Memorial Middle School, in eighth grade English language arts. She has also worked summers as an essential early education paraeducator in the Burlington (VT) School District.

Her student teaching took place at Plymouth Regional High School, where she worked with students with disabilities ages 14–21; Holderness Central School, as a fifth grade/K–4 math interventionist; and Newfound Memorial Middle School, in eighth grade English language arts. She has also worked summers as an essential early education paraeducator in the Burlington (VT) School District.

Goulette ran on Plymouth State’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams during all four of her undergraduate years and was captain 2016–2018. She earned Academic All-Conference honors 2015–2018 and received the Brad Wilby Award for leadership, character, and service in 2017. She served as cross country assistant coach for Holderness School in 2018.

Her activities also include serving as treasurer of the PSU chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) (2016–2018).

2018 Commencement Speakers
The Honorable Christopher T. Sununu, Governor of the State of New Hampshire, delivered the keynote address at Plymouth State University’s (PSU) 147th Commencement on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m., New Hampshire Senate President and Plymouth State alumnus Chuck Morse (R-Salem) was the featured speaker at PSU’s Graduate commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. More than 1,100 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees were awarded between the two exercises, which took place in the Bank of New Hampshire Field House.

Chris Sununu, the youngest governor in the nation, is currently serving his first term as Governor of New Hampshire. Among his accomplishments during his first year in office were delivering a balanced state budget with no new taxes or fees and establishing full day kindergarten. He also expanded educational opportunities for students, doubled funds to fight the opioid crisis, made investments in clean water project and signed job-creating business tax cuts into law.

Before being elected governor in 2016 he served three terms on the New Hampshire Executive Council, representing 32 cities and towns in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties.

“I’ve long known the important role that Plymouth State University plays in educating young people in New Hampshire,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Since becoming governor I’ve had a close-up view of the vision the University has for the future, and the implementation of its revolutionary Integrated Clusters initiative. I’m honored to speak to the members of the Class of 2018 as they embark into the world as tomorrow changers.”

Senator Chuck Morse addressed students who earned graduate degrees and certificates from Plymouth State University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health, and Human Services.

“As a member of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees, business owner, and PSU graduate, Senate President Morse provides an inspiring example of the benefits of a Plymouth State education,” said Birx.

The Bank of New Hampshire Field House is a major component of ALLWell, the University’s state-of-the-art academic and athletic complex.

Honorary Degrees and Granite State Awards

Ann Haggart, Doctor of Educational Leadership


Dick Anagnost, Granite State Award

Ortiz, Carmen Milagros, Doctor of Public Service


Peter King, Doctor of Letters

Nick Vailas, Granite State Award


Richard J. Brenner, Granite State Award

James W. Foley, Doctor of Humane Letters (posthumous)

John M. Garnsey, Doctor of Business


Hugh Miller Herr, Doctor of Science

Joseph S. Nye Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters

Stephen J. Reno, Granite State Award

Stephen J. Sedensky III, Doctor of Laws


Richard H. Solomon, Doctor of Humane Letters


John and Cathy Bentwood, Granite State Award

Andrew Falender, Doctor of Science


Dick Hamilton, Granite State Award

Richard and Elizabeth Hanaway, Doctor of Business

Walter R. Peterson Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters


Raymond S. Burton, Granite State Award

Lewis M. Feldstein, Granite State Award

Alex Ray, Granite State Award


AnnMarie Morse, Granite State Award

Fred Minot “Fritz” Wetherbee, Granite State Award


Dean Kamen, Doctor of Science

Willem Lange, Granite State Award

Holmes “Bud” Moore, Granite State Award


James Desmarais, Granite State Award

Sidney Lovett, Granite State Award

Linda Tarr-Whelan, Doctor of Humane Letters


Jane E. Babin, Doctor of Humane Letters

Andrei Marga, Doctor of Humane Letters


Char Miller, Doctor of Humane Letters


Carl R. Johnson (Sen.), Granite State Award

Charles H. Marston, Doctor of Humane Letters

Richard E. Wylie, Doctor of Humane Letters


Susan B. Carbon, Granite State Award

Jane Maienschein, Doctor of Science


Edward “Ned” Gordon, Granite State Award

Jane Lubchenco, Doctor of Science

Society for the Protection of NH Forests,Granite State Award

Bradford Washburn, Doctor of Science


Walter L. Murphy, Granite State Award


Tomie dePaola, Granite State Award


Van McLeod, Granite State Award


Clinton Jay Sheerr, Granite State Award


Sheila Tobias, Doctor of Science


Sylvia A. Earle, Doctor of Science

Guy H. Orcutt, Doctor of Humane Letters

Eugene A. Savage, Granite State Award


William J. Driscoll Sr., Granite State Award

Elsbeth S. Woody, Doctor of Fine Arts


Bertha Fauver, Granite State Award

Lester Carl Thurow, Doctor of Humane Letters


Nevin Stewart Scrimshaw, Doctor of Humane Letters


Arthur J. Nighswander, Granite State Award

Bernice Resnick Sandler, Doctor of Humane Letters


Lynn Margulis, Doctor of Science

Jack B. Middleton, Granite State Award

Walter C. Paine, Granite State Award


Karl E. Rohnke, Granite State Award


Francis Grover Cleveland, Granite State Award

Jane Kenyon, Granite State Award

Gene Elden Likens, Doctor of Science


Henry I. Baldwin, Granite State Award

Mary Patricia Morse, Doctor of Science

William W. Treat, Granite State Award


Robert L. Barry, Granite State Award

Richard Eberhart, Doctor of Humane Letters

Major W. Wheelock, Granite State Award


William R. Kenan, Doctor of Humane Letters

Kasper C. Marking, Doctor of Laws

Elisabeth McLane-Bradley, Granite State Award

John A. Rassias, Doctor of Humane Letters

John Adams Thierry, Granite State Award


Howard H. Baker Jr., Doctor of Laws

Niels F. Nielson Jr., Granite State Award

Fernand Prevost, Granite State Award

Rawson L. Wood, Granite State Award


Herbert Ogden Waters, Doctor of Fine Arts


Eugenia Kirk-Hurme, Granite State Award

Arthur S. Pease, Granite State Award

Mary C. Taylor, Doctor of Fine Arts

Ruth Dixon Turner, Doctor of Science


Albert Beaulieu, Granite State Award

John Esten Keller, Doctor of Humane Letters

Geneva Smith, Doctor of Science


Donald Andrew Hall, Doctor of Humane Letters

Thomas Nee, Granite State Award


John H. Ryther, Doctor of Science


Donald Clark Hagerman, Doctor of Humane Letters

Robert Charles Hill, Doctor of Humane Letters


Louis Feron, Doctor of Humane Letters

Harold E. Hyde, Doctor of Science

Aria Roberts, Granite State Award


Lillian Kenison Bailey, Granite State Award

Ivah Hackler, Granite State Award


Nathan Brody, MD, Granite State Award

Reginald M.Colby, Granite State Award

James J. Hogan, Doctor of Humane Letters

Mildred McAffee Horton, Doctor of Humane Letters


Robert L. Boyd, Doctor of Science

John W. Day, Doctor of Humane Letters

Richard A. Tapply, Granite State Award

George C. Zoulias, Granite State Award


Frank T. Buckley, Granite State Award

Charles L. Currier, Granite State Award

Regis Horace, Doctor of Humane Letters

Placidus Riley (Rev.), Doctor of Humane Letters


William F. Batchelder, Granite State Award

Mildred K. Perkins, Doctor of Humane Letters

Stephen W. Smith, Granite State Award


Carleton W. Adams, Granite State Award

Norton R. Bagley, Granite State Award

Edward W. Brooke, Doctor of Laws

Howard R. Jones, Doctor of Humane Letters


Bernard L. Boutin, Doctor of Humane Letters

Leonard S. Hill, Granite State Award

Russell B. Tobey, Granite State Award


Harlan Atherton, Doctor of Humane Letters

Vivian H. Brown, Granite State Award

Elliot Lee Richardson, Doctor of Laws


Kenneth G. Bell, Granite State Award

Karl Drerup, Doctor of Fine Arts


Charles Wesley Hunt, Doctor of Humane Letters