Jay DeWitt '86 unapologetically calls himself a New Hampshire nationalist. He has a lot of passion for his home state, and therefore his state university — even though he's now based in the Windy City.
He started his career working for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national headquarters, visiting different universities in the U.S. to talk about leadership development among undergraduates. He worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), and has been a major account manager at F5 Networks, responsible for the firm's relationship with eight large clients in the areas of financial services and biotechnology.
When he's not working in the office, he's working to make sure other alums in the greater Chicago area are able to show their Wildcat pride. He's become active in the alumni network there, helping to organize football and hockey watch parties, as well as spring cocktail parties and fundraisers. Most recently he's been in touch with UNH admissions staff to discuss the qualified applicants in his adopted hometown of Chicago.
"I'm familiar with local area high schools, and there are a lot of great kids out here. The university can benefit from their enrollment, and they can benefit from the spirit of UNH and the education they can gain there," DeWitt says.
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His favorite memories of his UNH years revolve around academics — such as history classes with Darrett Rutman, David Long and Harvard Sitkoff — as well as the college social scene, especially the friendships made while living in Alexander Hall.
"There's a community at UNH, a family that the university promotes," says DeWitt who was an SAE brother and also played intramural sports.
Dewitt, who grew up in Hanover, N.H., recalls that he decided to stay in-state for his college years because of the affordability of in-state tuition back then — something that's not necessarily true for today's undergraduates.
"It's expensive to go in-state and it's really expensive for out-of-state students. President Huddleston has done a phenomenal job working to turn that around, but we're still 50th in state funding, and it's an embarrassment," Dewitt says.
He recalls working every spring break, summer break and Christmas break, and now gives to UNH so that future generations of students can enjoy the education and opportunities that are part of the UNH experience.
"Because of the costs of college, it's getting harder for people to enjoy that community, so to the extent that I can help that happen, or even help a kid who is on the fence about whether or not he can afford to return for a semester, I'm happy to do it," he says.