Update #42 from President Dean

April 28, 2022

Dear Staff, Students and Faculty—

When you read this our spring 2022 semester will be nearly over. I hope it has been a rewarding one for you and wish you luck in finishing out your courses and other projects over the next few weeks. 

We were once again able to keep COVID under control this semester, our fifth semester influenced by the virus. For example, our test positivity rate remained below one percent for most of the semester, even after we removed the mask mandate. Thanks to everyone who helped by getting vaccinated and boosted, and for everything you did to keep our campuses safe. We will be in touch soon about plans for the summer.

Commencement ceremonies are coming up the weekend of May 20, and we look forward to celebrating our graduates in Concord, Durham and Manchester. We are excited to welcome back Martin Kimani ‘96, the Kenyan ambassador to the United Nations, who will speak at several of the ceremonies in Durham. As a member of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Kimani has been a witness to and a participant in the historical events of the past few months. If you haven’t seen his powerful speech at the United Nations, you can watch it here .

The Franklin Pierce School of Law will welcome Kevyn Orr, head of one of the largest law firms in the world and a renowned expert on crisis management, having led the financial turnaround of places like Detroit and Atlantic City.

UNH Manchester will welcome Paul Boynton '73, the former president and CEO of The Moore Center, a Manchester based nonprofit serving people with Intellectual, developmental and personal challenges by creating opportunities for a good life.

Through the efforts of people across the university, it looks like we will be welcoming a large and academically strong class of students this fall across all three of our campuses. Students are, of course, a vital part of our community, so it is encouraging to see sustained interest in attending UNH at a time when demographic trends are working against us. Your engagement with prospective students and families from now until the first day of class this fall will go a long way to ensure we enroll a vibrant class. Thanks to all our faculty and staff, as well as student tour guides and admissions ambassadors, who have collaborated to make this happen.

I am very proud to announce that a record six undergraduate students have been awarded SMART (Science, Math and Research for Transformation) scholarships from the Department of Defense. Rebekah Adams ’24, Katherine Austin ’23, Josh Beaulieu ’24, Olivia Morel ’25, Joy O’Brien ’23G and Cameron Wagner ’23G make up the cohort of honorees from UNH this spring. Congratulations to all! You can learn more about the program here.  

Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful summer,

James W. Dean Jr.


P.s. If you would like to know what I have been reading, please click here.