Peter Spain isn’t a UNH alumnus, but he’s the son of two UNH grads and a proud Wildcat parent. How proud? Proud enough to put it on his New Hampshire license plate.
Spain purchased a UNH license plate decal while in Durham visiting his children Elizabeth ’19 and Patrick ’21 during Homecoming and Family Weekend. Just introduced this fall, the decals are the centerpiece of a program that allows New Hampshire residents to showcase their affinity for UNH while supporting students from the Granite State. The decals, which must be used with a DMV-issued decal plate, can be obtained by making a gift of $55 or more to UNH’s Fund for New Hampshire Students. All gifts through the license plate decal program are 100-percent tax-deductible, with 100 percent of the proceeds dedicated to supporting students.
UNH launched the effort to introduce the plates about five years ago, following the lead of dozens of other states that have specialty plates to support public higher education. Two decal designs — the UNH logo and the wildcat mascot — were approved by the New Hampshire Legislature this year, and the bill authorizing them was signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu at a State House ceremony Sept. 18.
“It’s great that these plates give people the opportunity to celebrate their commitment to UNH,” says Patrick Closson ’95, president of the UNH Alumni Association board of directors. “UNH plays such a big role in the state, so it’s wonderful that we can give people the chance to show their support for our students and the university.”
Spain, a Plymouth State alumnus, read about the plate program the day before heading to Durham for Homecoming and Family Weekend and thought it would be a great way to be a good steward to the state and the university system. He’d been planning to purchase a decal online when he saw that they were available for sale on campus. “I saw the table set up on the Thompson Hall lawn and thought, great, let’s get this done,” he says.
Interest in the program has started out strong, with most supporters acquiring their decals online. New Hampshire residents — alumni, parents, friends and students — can obtain their own by visiting unh.edu/licenseplate and following the step-by-step instructions.
Originally published in UNH Magazine Winter 2018 Issue