Members of the President’s Council at Plymouth State University were recently awarded medallions by outgoing President Donald P. Wharton at an event held in their honor. The Silas Pearl Presidential Medallion is named for the first principal of Plymouth Normal School, and honors lifetime service to Plymouth State.
The President’s Council recently spearheaded a capital campaign that brought more than $7.5 million in pledges to the University on a $5 million goal. “The Plymouth State President’s Council did an outstanding job on the capital campaign,” said President Wharton. “They worked extremely hard, worked together most effectively and they were enormously successful.”
Receiving medallions were founding council members Joan Cook ’69 of Kennebunk, Maine, who is a vice president and wealth advisor at Charter Trust Company; Eugene A. Savage ’58 of Barrington, former senior government relations advisor with Rath, Young and Pignatelli PA; Michael J. Spinelli Jr. ’68 of Dover, president of Spinelli Companies, Inc., and Wallace R. Stevens ’62 of Weston, Mass., president of Slade Gorton & Co., Inc.
Charter Members receiving medallions were William Belvin of Amherst, retired N.H. legislative finance committee chair; John L. Daly ’67 of Wellesley Hills, Mass., chair of social studies at Wayland Middle School; R. Steven Eastman ’71 of Intervale, former editor and general manager of The Mountain Ear; Steve F. Edwards ’86, of New Richmond, Wis., marketing development manager of 3M Companies; Carol Flate Gerken ’67, director of Meredith Senior Center; Larry K. Haynes ’86 of Weare, president and CEO of The Grappone Companies; Janet Fagnant Learned ’66 of Dunbarton, owner of Things Are Cooking.
Also Peter F. Graham’ 58 of Summerfield, Fla., headmaster of The Benjamin School; Theresa M. Koehler ’91 of Norwich, Vt., vice president of finance, Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital; Sidney R. Lovett of Holderness, senior minister, United Church of Christ; Gordon MacEwan ’75 of Duxbury, Mass., New England regional manager, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; John W. Manion ’85 of Encinitas, Calif., regional manager, Citrix Systems, Inc.; William Marston ’54 of Concord, interim principal, Keene High School; Roberta Wallace Stearns ’61 of Northwood, former president and owner, Casco Bay College; and Nicholas C. Vailas ’76 of Bedford, CEO and chairman of the board, Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center.
Emeritus councilors R.E. Collins of Alton and L. Douglas O’Brien of Bow were also awarded medallions.
Silas Pearl was principal of Plymouth Normal School when it opened its doors to 80 students in 1871. He also served as the senior of only two faculty members, chief recruiter and public ambassador. His personal motto was, “Better to wear out than to rust out.” His unfailing sense of duty and the rigors of his responsibilities took a physical toll on him from which he never recovered. Silas Pearl died in 1873, but through the many generations since, his inspiration has been engrained in the mission of Plymouth State University and is proudly reflected in the University motto, Ut Prosim, “That I May Serve.” He is buried in Holderness.