Thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents celebrated 150 years of Wildcat pride as the University of New Hampshire kicked off its anniversary celebration with a $275 million capital campaign to support student scholarships and advance teaching and research, the core of the institution’s mission.
“We honor the generations before us who carved UNH’s legacy deep into the granite bedrock of this great state,” UNH President Mark Huddleston told the crowd gathered in the Whittemore Center Friday night.
“We share our pride with today’s students and their families. And we celebrate our successes together. Tonight is our opportunity to create a legacy for future Wildcats. In fact, right here, right now, we can challenge ourselves to stand up for families all across New Hampshire and beyond who dream that, one day, their own children will earn a college degree. Tonight, let’s make sure that UNH is their first choice.”
More than $225 million toward the $275 million has been raised over the past five years, the vast majority of which — more than 80 percent — is designated for student scholarships, faculty support and research. Over those five years, private support for UNH increased 250 percent.
In honor of the 150th anniversary the university also announced a new gift from 1945 biology graduate Elizabeth Ward, a total of $3.6 million for need-based scholarships for New Hampshire students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Ward was born and raised in Hanover but attended UNH rather than Dartmouth, which did not admit women at the time. After working in Japan for two years where she studied bacteria and the effects of the atomic bomb on survivors, Ward conducted research and taught at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for most of her career.
The Afternotes and the UNH Wind Symphony perform the alma mater.
“Celebrate 150: The Campaign for UNH” is the largest fundraising campaign the university has ever undertaken, almost three times greater than the last campaign which raised just over $100 million. The top priority for the campaign is scholarship support for students. Another priority is continuing to build career and professional success opportunities for students.
The celebration featured performances by the UNH Marching Band, the Wind Symphony and alumni acapella group the After Notes. The Wind Symphony performed the premiere of a new piece commissioned in honor of the 150th anniversary celebration. Video "Old Ben's Farm" was composed by Andrew Boysen, professor of music at UNH and conductor of its Wind Symphony.
Did you miss the fun in Durham? Don’t worry, UNH will bring the roar to YOU at one of these upcoming regional celebrations.
Boston: Nov. 29, 2016, at Taj Boston (combined with annual holiday party)
New York City: Dec. 1, 2016, at The New Yorker (combined with annual holiday party)
Southwest Florida (Venice): Feb. 10, 2017, at the Plantation Golf & Country Club
Southeast Florida (Palm Beach): Feb. 12, 2017, at the PGA National Resort & Spa
Atlanta: March 14, 2017, at the Capital City Club at Brookhaven
San Francisco: March 21, 2017, at Sens Restaurant
Los Angeles: March 23, 2017, at a private residence
Philadelphia: April 4, 2017, at the Merion Cricket Club
Washington, D.C.: April 6, 2017, at Occidental Grill & Seafood
Denver: May 9, 2017, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Chicago: May 11, 2017, at The Ivy Room