Nearly two hundred Plymouth State alumni gathered on campus June 18 and 19 to participate in reunion events and alumni activities. Four alumni were honored for exceptional service at the annual recognition luncheon hosted by the Plymouth State University Alumni Association (PSUAA).
James B. Moore ’93 of Methuen, Mass., and the late Nelson L. Paquette ’63, formerly of Chelmsford, Mass., were awarded Alumni Achievement Awards for their many contributions to Plymouth State and the alumni association. Both we active as student leaders, and continued to contribute after leaving college.
Paquette was a founding member of the Boston Chapter of the PSUAA and a member of the association board of directors. He volunteered at Phonathon and golf tournaments with visiting alumni, hosted picnics for families of incoming Plymouth State first-year students and served three years as a class agent. Paquette taught high school mathematics while coaching baseball and basketball at a number of schools in southern New Hampshire. Gwen Paquette accepted the posthumous award on her late husband’s behalf.
James Moore, a Methuen police officer, was a part of campus life from his earliest days at Plymouth State. While completing the requirements for a B.S. degree in marketing with a minor in Spanish, he was a leader in many organizations and completed a congressional internship with then Congressman Dick Sweet. Moore graduated with numerous awards, including the Van A. Hartman Award as the outstanding senior male student, and induction into the foreign language honor society. After Plymouth he earned an M.Ed. degree in communication studies from Emerson College and an M.S. degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England College.
As an alumnus, Moore volunteered as a class agent and served on the PSUAA board of directors. He has also volunteered for Phonathon, served on the nominating committee and plays in the annual Dearborn Golf Classic.
The 2004 Distinguished Alumni Service Award was presented to Joseph D. McCool ’91 of Jaffrey. The award recognizes “faithful and continued effort in such areas as maintaining class or other alumni organizations, active participation in alumni or university affairs, and assistance in expanding the usefulness, influence and prestige of the university.”
At Plymouth, McCool was twice elected student body president, served three years as a student admissions representative and worked as a resident assistant. He was also recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as New Hampshire’s outstanding student leader.
McCool has been an active volunteer with the PSUAA, serving on the board of directors, activities committee, and for two years as president. He was class agent for 10 years, and in 2001 he received the PSUAA Alumni Achievement Award.
He is editor-in-chief of Executive Recruiter News, a monthly newsletter published by Kennedy information, Inc. in Peterborough. He has served as a freelance correspondent for regional and national media; his work has been honored by the New England and Massachusetts Press Associations.
The 2004 Ut Prosim Award was presented to Kenneth B. Williams’75 of Henniker, who served as a University System trustee from 1988-1991. The award recognizes alumni whose exemplary community service in business, professional, civic, philanthropic or volunteer activities have brought honor to the University.
In 1994, after recovering from a traumatic brain injury sustained in an automobile accident with a drunk driver, Ken was appointed by the governor to the State of New Hampshire Victims Assistance Commission, where he served as chairperson for one year. He also serves as a community speaker, talking about drunk driving and seatbelt awareness at area high schools.
The principal of Peter Woodbury School in Bedford, Williams was named New Hampshire Elementary School Principal of the Year in 2002 and was selected as the national Distinguished Principal from New Hampshire.
He has served several terms on the alumni board of directors, where he has been president and vice present, as well as a committee member.
Williams is a Special Olympics basketball coach—his team won a gold medal at the 2004 state championships. Each year members of the Williams family participate in the February “Penguin Plunge” into the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Special Olympics. In Henniker, Williams continues to volunteer as a basketball, soccer and baseball coach for his grandson’s tee-ball team.
PSU Alumni Director Joe Long says, “All these awardees exemplify what it means to be a true volunteer and to have served their family, alma mater and community well. Giving back is something they all have done without ever asking why.”