For a non-alum, I’ve always prided myself on knowing UNH pretty well.
My family moved to Durham when I was 18 months old, when my father took a job at UNH teaching physical education and coaching the men’s swimming and diving team. I grew up bouncing back and forth between his offices in the Field House and at New Hampshire Hall and logged three blissful mid-1970s Julys on Appledore Island, when the now-50-year-old Shoals Marine Laboratory was in its infancy. I spent more after-school hours than I can count in Dimond Library (the gold-and-orange-carpeted version, not the sleek blondwood incarnation); my first real job was scooping ice cream at the un-air-conditioned Dairy Bar, wearing an orange and white striped smock to serve up grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate frappes in the Formica “U.”
But working on this special sesquicentennial issue of UNH Magazine showed me how much more there was to UNH than I realized. Just for starters: For all the hours I spent at the Swasey pool and in Snively arena, I had no idea how many professional athletes and Olympians UNH’s sports teams had cultivated; I distributed programs and watched many a “Faculty Follies” production at the MUB without appreciating the number of original thinkers and inventors, award winners and recipients of prestigious fellowships there were within the university’s faculty ranks.
In the pages that follow, we have attempted to capture some of these remarkable UNHers — athletes and artists, public servants and philanthropists, scientists and inventors and a wide range of trailblazers — in a list of 150 remarkable Wildcats. While such lists are inherently problematic — there are certainly many more than 150 remarkable UNH alumni, faculty and staff — it seemed like a fun way to dig into this university’s 150 year history and the terrific range of achievements it has engendered. During the course of this sesquicentennial year, we’ll have two more issues in which to highlight additional Wildcats with follow-up features about “150 UNH moments” and “150 UNH memories.”
For now, I hope you enjoy the list we’ve put together, and additional stories on remarkable Wildcats Lori Robinson ’81— the highest ranking female general in U.S. history — and quiet philanthropist Robert Morin ’63. As our great university marks its 150th birthday, these are but a few of the reasons to celebrate.
Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
Originally published in UNH Magazine Fall 2016 Issue