Bob and Beverly Glendening adopt UNH as their own

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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Bob Glendening’s father instilled in him a passion to give back to causes with personal meaning. It just so happens he found a way to do so at his alma mater, Colgate University, while also filling his sports calendar.

And he’s already done the same for at least one season at UNH.

Bob and his wife, Beverly, both grew up outside of New Hampshire but have come to feel like true Granite Staters, moving to Laconia in 1992 and retiring on Lake Winnisquam. So after years of philanthropy at Colgate — where the Glendenings have established a number of scholarships — the couple recently set up an endowed scholarship in support of the UNH men’s hockey team as part of their growing relationship with the state’s flagship institution.

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“We’re supporting students in football, hockey and lacrosse at Colgate, so for nine months I can watch sports and be involved,” Bob says. “We enjoy being able to give back. We like meeting and being involved with the kids — it makes it that much more special.”

The hockey scholarship is not the first time Bob and Beverly have been involved philanthropically at UNH. When they moved to Laconia, they were “essentially adopted” by their neighbors, chief among them Alfred Atkinson and his family, which included sister Eleanor Atkinson Woodbury ’42, a doctor who earned her undergraduate degree from UNH.

Eleanor eventually established the Atkinson-Woodbury scholarship at her alma mater, and Bob and Beverly, who had grown very close to the family, wanted to contribute to the fund. They’ve been making $1,000 gifts ever since, continuing even after their friends passed away. The scholarship supports students enrolled at UNH who graduated from Lakes Region high schools.

The hockey scholarship allows the Glendenings to strengthen their ties to UNH and begin to build their own legacy in the Granite State.

“We’ve adopted New Hampshire as our home state, and this brings us closer ties to our community,” says Beverly. “It gives you a sense of pride, of making an impact for people in a positive way.”

That impact could soon expand beyond the world of sports. Beverly is interested in creating a way to support the library or environmental sciences at UNH.

For the Glendenings, connecting with the students who receive their scholarships is particularly rewarding. Bob was there to witness the current men’s hockey recipient at Colgate score the game-winning overtime goal during a trip last winter, and Bob and Beverly got to know a previous recipient and his family well enough that they received an invite to his wedding.

The Glendenings are hoping to share similar rapport with UNH students who benefit from their support. Both completed interesting and fulfilling careers: Bob served in the Air Force and worked as a commercial airline pilot, and Beverly was an FBI agent. Having the opportunity to open similar doors for UNH students by supporting their undergraduate careers is exciting.

“It makes you feel good to be able to help out,” Bob says. “The kids are really appreciative.”