UNH Announces 2013 Granite State Award and Honorary Degree Recipients

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DURHAM, N.H. - For their significant contributions to the state and its people, the Running Nuns from the St. Charles Children's Home in Rochester, and New Hampshire storyteller Fritz Wetherbee will receive 2013 Granite State Awards from the University of New Hampshire.

The awards will be presented during commencement Saturday, May 18, 2013. Also being recognized are Gov. Margaret Wood "Maggie" Hassan, commencement speaker Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere '82, and former chairman of the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees Andrew Lietz, all of whom will receive honorary degrees.

In 1996, Sister Maximilian Cote founded the Running Nuns program at the St. Charles Children's Home in Rochester. St. Charles provides a safe, nurturing setting for children who have severe behavioral issues.  Some of these children have been removed from their homes because of trauma in the family.

Running Nuns uses a daily exercise regimen to channel children's energy in positive ways and help them develop greater self-confidence.

St. Charles also sponsors an annual 5k road race that has raised more than $155,000 for the home, and has engaged the wider community in the health benefits of physical activity.

Fritz Wetherbee, an Emmy award-winning writer and television host, has been dubbed "the voice of New Hampshire."

During a career spanning a half-century, Wetherbee has established a reputation as one of New Hampshire's premiere storytellers. Although he has written for newspapers and magazines, done radio commentary and reports, and made films and TV shows about the Granite State, he is best known as the writer and host of programs such as N.H. Chronicle, Fritz Wetherbee's New Hampshire, and New Hampshire Crossroads.

By his own count, Wetherbee has produced no fewer than 2,000 stories about his beloved home state through his books and television programs. He resides in Acworth.

A native of Dover and 1982 graduate of UNH, Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere is a U.S. Army veteran whose military career spans three decades and includes tours in Germany, the Republic of Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, the Pentagon, and other U.S. stations. She has commanded at every level of the Army.

In April 2012, she was selected to serve as the Army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence, responsible for overseeing the readiness, modernization, and development of the 58,000 soldiers and civilians in the Army's military intelligence corps.

Gov. Margaret Wood "Maggie" Hassan began her career in public service in 1999 when Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asked her to serve as an advocate for education. In 2004, Hassan won her first seat in the New Hampshire Senate, where she established herself as a leader in the areas of job creation, improving access to quality education and healthcare, and developing a regional approach to environmental protection.

Hassan also used her skill as a consensus builder to get legislation passed in support of issues as varied as gay marriage, consumer protection, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. On Jan. 3, 2013, she became the 81st governor of New Hampshire.

For decades, Andrew Lietz has served as one of the most influential business and civic leaders in the state of New Hampshire. An executive with such companies as Amphenol, Safeguard Scientific, and Hadco, Lietz also served on three N.H. governor's commissions that significantly improved public education and the economy in the state.

Lietz used positions as the chairman of the board of trustees and the state's Business and Industry Association to successfully advocate for making high-quality education in the schools and colleges the basis for long-term economic growth.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.