Sayceans Return to Honor Their Mentor
Throughout the history of New England College, few faculty members have created a following of students so appreciative and loyal as Montford “Bunny” Sayce. And only one faculty member has ever had a group actually named after him or her. On July 23, the “Sayceans” turned out in force to demonstrate just how strong the bonds are between members of the New England College faculty and their students.
Representing class years from the seventies through the nineties, the “Sayceans” filled the Great Room at the Simon Center to honor “Bunny” Sayce on his 90th birthday. Nearly 200 in number, they shared their heartfelt stories of a man who had a profound effect on their education and ultimately on their lives. Many described him as a second father, and all spoke of his tireless devotion to the students of New England College as an educator, mentor, and advisor. The stories were both funny and deeply moving as alumni of the College eagerly spoke of an individual who awakened in them a love of learning and helped them to build the confidence to succeed. Time and distance has done nothing to diminish the devotion of hundreds of NEC alumni for Bunny Sayce.
At 90, Dr. Sayce continues to show the affection he has for his students as he greeted each one with the same interest and enthusiasm they found as an undergraduate student. Throughout the evening the line to greet Dr. Sayce stretched the length of the Great Room.
The birthday celebration, organized and planned by a dedicated group of alumni, was MC’d by Harriet Sanford ’74, and Quentin Leo ’74, and featured remarks by: President Perkins; Kate Luckett ’84; Anna Marie DiPasquale ’87; Tamar March, a former faculty member; Jason Paul; Rob Chan ’96; Franc Perry ’83, a former member of the NEC Board of Trustees; and Anne Sayce. In her remarks, Anne welcomed alumni back to campus and reminded them that New England College is truly their second home. Chris Hamm, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Hopkinton, read a poem she had written in Bunny’s honor several years ago and updated for this special occasion.
Harriet Sanford and Dr. James Garvey, Vice President for Strategic Priorities and Advancement, announced formation of the new Sayce Global Learning Fund, created in Dr. Sayce’s honor, and dedicated to supporting the faculty of New England College in their efforts to offer students a global perspective on learning. The permanently endowed fund will allow the faculty to develop the College’s curriculum, sponsor on- and off-campus events, and bring guest lecturers to the College.
After a toast to Bunny, Lori Zaniboni, Director of the Annual Fund, presented him with a cake while the gathering sang Happy Birthday. A bagpiper led a procession, headed by Bunny and Anne, out the front door of the Simon Center, over the stone bridge, and across the street to Daniel’s restaurant where alumni said their farewells to Bunny.
For information on contributions to the Sayce Global Learning Fund, please contact the Office of Advancement at 603-428-2300.
Click here to view photos of Dr. Sayce's 90th birthday celebration.