Sue Bennett: one of a rare few

Thursday, May 30, 2019

After graduating Epping High School in 1968, Sue Bennett’s mother told her she either had to go to college or get a job. Well, Sue did both. She started working at UNH three days after she graduated, and during her tenure, she earned three college degrees: an associate degree from the College for Lifelong Learning (now Granite State College), a Bachelor of Science from UNH and her MBA from Plymouth State College (now Plymouth State University).

On June 16, 1968, Sue started in Dimond Library as a card cataloger, creating a card for every new book.  (Do you remember the rows of card catalogs in Dimond Library?)  Well, for seven-plus years, that was thanks to Sue. In 1975, she was transferred and promoted to supervisor of the work control center within Physical Plant Operations & Maintenance, now called facilities. 

In 1979 when the department was restructuring, creating four work areas on campus for maintenance, Sue became one of the first women to work as a maintenance manager in a field that still hadn’t fully accepted women into the workforce. In fact, as she began this new role, several staff members resigned rather than report to a woman.

In 1986, Sue was promoted to director of plant maintenance. In addition to a short stint overseeing the automotive garage, her primary responsibility was managing UNH maintenance contracts.  That role expanded, and during the past 20 years, she has overseen the majority of contracts for Facilities, including maintenance, life safety and housekeeping. Sue has been a gender groundbreaker and role model for UNH and is greatly admired. What’s more, she is one of a rare few employees to have worked at the university for 50 years.

Sue’s most memorable UNH moments have been meeting her husband Walter, a now retired UNH plumber, raising their two daughters and sharing so much of what our UNH community has to offer with them and their eight grandchildren during these many years: bowling in the MUB, lunch in the dining halls, trips to the university museums, attending UNH athletic events, summer camp programs, to name just a few — and of course, Sue’s education, which she takes great pride in.

Sue, thank you for your passion, commitment and service to the University of New Hampshire, and congratulations on your 50 years of service.

Jeremy Gasowski | Communications and Public Affairs | | 603-862-4465