Shawn Gorman ’89 — who is only the third chairman in L.L. Bean’s century-plus history — is now the newest member of the UNH Foundation’s board of directors.
The UNH Foundation, which was established in 1989 to build private support for the university, is an energetic team of volunteer leaders who direct their professional acumen and passion for the University of New Hampshire to strengthen and enhance academic quality and faculty excellence and to help provide outstanding facilities and a 360-degree student experience that sets the stage for UNH graduates’ lifelong success.
“We are incredibly fortunate that Shawn will now bring his considerable talents to benefit the work of the Foundation board,” says Debbie Dutton, president of the UNH Foundation.
Gorman was back on campus in October at the L.L. Bean pop-up shop as part of the legendary retailer’s “Be An Outsider” campaign, which brings some of the company’s most-loved products to campuses. He spent the day visiting with current Wildcats, and, he said at the time, was able to make his first trip to the Dairy Bar in what he estimated was about 25 years.
Joining the UNH Foundation’s board, he now has plenty of opportunities to continue connecting with his alma mater, beginning with the board’s January meeting in Boston.
Gorman spoke with UNH Magazine about his UNH experiences after becoming L.L. Bean’s chairman of the board: “When you picture in your head what an idyllic college campus would look like, UNH meets that criteria, with T-Hall lawn, the walkways, the library … it worked well for me,” he said.
Gorman, who graduated from UNH's College of Liberal Arts with a degree in English, also shared some advice for current UNH students.
“I would tell students to be open to new opportunities. And I know it might sound cliché, but I would also advise them to love what they do. Pursue what they are passionate about,” he said, adding, “When you can find a job you love, if you can see the rewards for hard work and you feel like you’re contributing something, it makes working harder that much more fun.”