For this issue’s feature story introducing UNH’s 20th president, James W. Dean Jr., I had the easy part. As manager of leadership communications, it made sense for Jim Graham to cover the story, just as he did our farewell to 19th president Mark Huddleston. I got to serve as Jim’s cheering section as he wrote and revised, making his way through a wealth of material uniformly extolling President Dean’s virtues as a leader and individual to find the beating heart of his story.
I later got to sit with President Dean and his wife, Jan, as photographer Jeremy Gasowski shot the images that grace our cover and the story spreads. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but our shoot took place on one of the summer’s hottest and most humid afternoons. The Deans’ unflagging good cheer surely reflect the 21 years they spent in North Carolina, but I suspect is indicative also of how easily they manage heat in other forms.
I took a decidedly more active role on the issue’s CELEBRATE 150 wrapup, as Laura Chisholm and I worked together to bring you the stories of the largest and most successful fundraising campaign in UNH’s history. When I started at UNH 10 years ago, this campaign — the university’s first truly public fundraising effort — was a mere glimmer on the horizon. A decade later, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the campaign’s entire arc — and the truly transformative changes that have taken place on the university’s campuses because of it. It would take more than the pages we have here to tell every story behind this $308 million, Wildcat-world-wide effort, but I trust we have done more than merely scratch the surface.
As you know, when we redesigned UNH Magazine in 2016, we eliminated the “View from T-Hall” in favor of this column. The intent was always to leave this space open to other voices, and with a new president in T-Hall, it may well be time to deliver on that premise. In a future issue, you can expect to hear from President Dean directly. For now, however, I hope you enjoy hearing about him.
Kristin Waterfield Duisberg