One of Jere Lundholm’s first jobs was driving the rolling machine over the turf on the UNH football field after a home game. He didn’t make any money, but he didn’t care. He was in eighth grade, too young for a driver’s license, and getting paid was the last thing on his mind. When he looks back now, he remembers that time as one of the many things that UNH gave him.
Many in the UNH community would say that Lundholm ’53 and his wife, Harriet Forkey ’54,’67G, have given more than they got. That sentiment was evident in October 2019, when the Durham couple was honored with the 2019 Hubbard Family Award for Service to Philanthropy.
The award was established in 2001 to honor Oliver, Austin and Leslie Hubbard, graduates from the 1920s well known at the university for their remarkable generosity, and recognizes outstanding individuals whose philanthropic leadership has significantly strengthened the state of New Hampshire, its communities and the university.
Over the decades, Forkey and Lundholm have contributed in numerous ways to UNH Athletics and other program areas, including establishing the Carl and Ada Lundholm Memorial Scholarship in honor of Lundholm’s father, who served as the university’s athletic director for 42 years, and his mother. They have inspired countless others to join them in supporting UNH and have made estate plans that will establish named endowed scholarship funds to benefit athletics, studio art and theatre and dance.
“When Harriet and I reflect on our college days at UNH, we are often reminded of how much the university has given us,” Lundholm says. “We have simply wanted to give back to the university to whatever extent we could with our time, with our energy and with our resources so that others could experience the same opportunities we had and more.”
Both cite the “excellent education” they received and the connections they made through numerous campus activities as examples of what they gained attending UNH. It also happens that they met at UNH and dated as undergraduates before going their separate ways. Forkey earned a master’s in psychology and then in 1975, a doctorate in organizational behavior from Union Institute and University. Lundholm spent two years in the Air Force before starting what would be a 34-year career at the international consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc.
Years later, they found themselves at Logan Airport headed for the same European ski trip, and their relationship was rekindled. They married and moved back to Durham in the early 1980s. Neither had lost their connection to UNH, helping to organize reunions throughout the years.
In 1966, Lundholm began serving what would be three terms on the Alumni Association board of directors. He was on the athletic director’s advisory board and numerous other committees. In 1973, he received the alumni board’s Meritorious Service Award. And in 2002, he was the first recipient of the UNH Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
Forkey taught physical education at UNH for four years before becoming an assistant professor at Plymouth State College from 1966 to 1972. Next came a job with the New Hampshire Department of Education, where she helped shepherd the state through the adoption of Title IX. She later became a management consultant for New Dynamics Associates. She was a founding board member of the Wildcat Winners Hall of Honor and chaired the integration of the 100 Club and Wildcat Winner’s Circle.
In 1997, the couple were founding committee members of the UNH Sports Gallery Project, a comprehensive photographic history of UNH’s varsity athletic teams. The photos, which date from 1894 to the present, line the Field House hallways. It took 10 years to complete the project, making it one of the single largest undertakings by a group of volunteers in UNH history.
For their efforts, Forkey and Lundholm received the Alumni Meritorious Service Award in 2005.
“We support UNH because it has given us so much. It is our family,” Forkey says. “UNH is more than an institution. It has a heart and soul with a serious mission of providing excellence and lifelong learning to its students. We are honored to be part of this family.”
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