New England College Announces New Board of Trustee Members
February 20, 2019Posted in News Press Release
Four Outstanding Leaders Join College.
New England College (NEC) is pleased to announce the election of four members to its Board of Trustees: Katherine Haley, Jay Lucas, Tom Stevens, and T. Clarke Smith. The new trustees bring diverse experience and expertise in higher education, investments, banking, and insurance to the College’s governing board.
“We are fortunate to have such dedicated individuals as Kate, Jay, Tom, and Clarke joining our Board,” said Michele Perkins, President of New England College. “The guidance, knowledge, and good counsel our trustees provide is critical to the continued success of New England College. We are grateful to these outstanding individuals for their commitment to the mission and vision of NEC as we continue to experience record enrollment growth and expansion.”
About the New Board Members:
Katherine Haley is the former President of Gettysburg College (PA) and Whittier College (CA). She is Founder and President of Haley Associates, LLC, a higher education executive search and consulting firm in Manchester, NH. She advises colleges and universities on leadership succession, governance, and effective board performance. Prior to serving as the first woman President at both Gettysburg and Whittier, she was Provost and Professor of English at Kenyon College and Dean of Graduate Study and Director of General Education at Augustana College. Haley holds a PhD and AM from the University of Illinois and a BA from Tufts University.
Jay Lucas serves as Chairman and Managing Partner of The Lucas Group, a strategy consulting firm that he founded in 1991, focused on the specialized needs of private equity investors and their portfolio companies. Previously, he served as Vice President and Partner of Bain & Company. In addition, he is the founder and Managing Partner of LB Equity, a fund that invests in small growing brands in the beauty sector. Lucas is a strong supporter of veterans, leading efforts in NH for Children of Fallen Patriots. He is also founder of the Newport Sunshine Initiative, an effort to revitalize his hometown of Newport, NH. Lucas earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, his JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA from Yale University. He attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, where he studied International Relations and Military History.
Tom Stevens served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Administrative Officer of KeyCorp from 2001 to 2013. Before joining KeyCorp in 1996, he was the Managing Partner of Thompson Hine, a large, national law firm based in Cleveland. At Thompson Hine, he served as the outside counsel for KeyCorp and Society Corporation for over two decades, as well as representing other publicly held clients such as Steris Corporation, Eaton Corporation, and American Consumer Products. He graduated with a JD degree from Duke University School of Law and received his BA degree, summa cum laude, from The State University of New York at Albany. Prior to joining the New England College Board, Stevens served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
T. Clarke Smith ’79
Clarke Smith currently serves as Vice President at International Special Risks, the largest marine intermediary insurance broker in the country. From November 2012 to April 2018, he served as President of Norman-Spencer Recreational Marine Operations. He has been underwriting marinas, boat dealers, boat manufacturers, boat rental operations, and yacht clubs for over 36 years. Previously, he served on the Association of Marina Industries Board of Directors from 2008 to 2016. He is currently a Board Member of the Boating Industry Risk Management Council and is a Founder of the Joe Namath Foundation. Smith holds a BA from New England College.
Dr. James Murtha named Campus Director of New Hampshire Institute of Art
January 31, 2019Posted in News Press Release
Seasoned Higher Education Executive to Lead Merger of Two Colleges.
As the merger of New England College (NEC) and the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) moves forward, NEC President Michele Perkins announced today that NEC Senior Vice President of Academic Alliances Dr. James Murtha will assume a new expanded role as Campus Director of NHIA overseeing all day-to-day operations of the Manchester campus effective immediately.
Looking ahead, President Perkins commented on her designation of Murtha: “With his vast experience and deep engagement guiding the merger process for NEC, I cannot think of anyone better than Jim Murtha to steer a course for NHIA.”
Current NHIA President Kent Devereaux, who will depart the Institute at the end of this academic year to pursue other opportunities, has been working with Dr. Murtha to affect a smooth transition. “I am excited about the future potential of NHIA as part of New England College,” said President Devereaux, “and I feel confident that Jim is the right person to lead this merger integration effort.”
Dr. Murtha’s long and diverse career in higher education includes service in a variety of senior positions. He served as University Dean at the City University of New York (CUNY), Vice President for Finance and Administration at Baruch College (CUNY), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The New School (home to the Parsons School of Design) and most recently Chief Information and Effectiveness Officer at the College of New Rochelle (NY). From 2012-2017, he headed Maguire Associates, Inc., a noted higher education consultancy. Now on leave as board member, Jim chaired the NEC Board from 2009 through 2017. A sociologist by training, Jim has taught at Columbia University, St. John’s University, and Baruch.
“I look forward to working with the dedicated faculty and staff at NHIA as we begin the process of integrating the Institute into New England College,” says Murtha. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us to ensure the success of this merger and I am encouraged by the support and enthusiasm I have seen every time I visit the Manchester campus.”
On Thursday, January 31, NEC President Perkins, NHIA President Devereaux, Dr. Murtha and other senior staff met with NHIA students, faculty, and staff to provide them with an update on the merger of NEC and NHIA. Highlights included that Spring 2019 enrollment at NHIA has exceeded expectations and Fall 2019 applications are trending even higher. Information was also shared on a number of new programs now available to NHIA students including opportunities to participate in NEC’s just launched Esports program, the 2020 College Convention hosted by NEC in Manchester during the presidential primary, and a new visiting Artist-in-Residence partnership with the Currier Museum of Art.
NHIA will operate as a subsidiary of New England College during the initial phase of the merger. After a period of planning and program integration, both continuing classes and new students from NHIA will be enrolled as New England College students. The NHIA campus will continue to operate in Manchester as the Institute of Art & Design at New England College, and students from both campuses will have the opportunity to study at either campus location. Perkins noted “We believe students and faculty of both institutions will benefit from this merger.”
New England College Officially Opens Esports Arena; Scholarships Available; Gaming Part of NEC Academic Programs; In Talks with ESPN for Tournament.
It looks like something from a movie set, but Henniker’s version of a Hollywood ending is just the beginning of a new blend of computer gaming and academic programs at New England College (NEC). The newly built Esports Arena is officially open for business. Creators of this advanced facility for students who are serious competitors in games like Fortnite and other live-action online games are confident it will be the centerpiece of a successful program on campus. Video gaming has been a popular activity for a long time, but esports is just now emerging as a competitive event at the collegiate level. NEC will be actively engaged from the start in this emerging field and organizers believe the school will quickly rise to the ranks of top programs in the country.
“Students learn through participating in competitive esports teams, the same skills and talents as other sports: leadership, communication, perseverance and determination,” explains Michele Perkins, President of New England College, who spearheaded development of the program. “Esports is closely connected to several of our school’s academic programs and this arena will be an exciting new platform for learning as well as a center for exciting competition.”
Esports coach Tyrelle Appleton told the crowd he has recently heard from ESPN and the NEC team will compete in the network’s opening qualifier for the Collegiate Esports Championship. “We are the premier gaming program in New England,” says Appleton. “We will happily accept all comers who want to challenge that statement, including our friends at SNHU. They may not know us now, but they soon will.”
NEC student Trent Lyon is one of the first to be recruited to play esports for the school. The Texas native has been competing regionally in Fortnite competitions where he has made a name for himself in the esports community. “I’m immensely excited to be one of the first players in this program,” says Lyon. “I’m a 21st century Pilgrim, ready to lead into new worlds.”
New England College is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the governing body for esports. NACE’s purpose is to promote the education and development of students through intercollegiate esports participation. Member institutions share a common commitment to high standards through participation in organized esports competition and serve as an integral part of the total educational process. Although not part of the College’s varsity sports program, students do learn through participating in competitive esports teams.
As part of the program, President Perkins is making scholarship aid available for students who meet academic standards for esports. Institutional scholarships ranging from $22,000 and up will be based largely on student grade point averages and academic achievements. This is a co-ed program, currently offered at the club sport level, which will be regulated by NACE.
Program administrators believe the arena will be a magnet for many who wish to pursue careers in game design, game theory, and other related programs in this fast-growing professional field. “There may have been a time in the recent past that parents would be wary of sending their kids to college to play video games, but the games have changed,” explains President Perkins. “These games provide links to good-paying jobs in high-tech fields all around the country. These are 21st century careers and we are thrilled to offer a unique new doorway to these professional pathways.”
President Perkins recognized two corporate sponsors, Xsplit and EsportsGear, for donations of equipment and training to launch the arena. The program is based on Alienware hardware, which is considered the top platform in esports gaming worldwide. There will be 20-40 students involved in esports on campus in its first year. NEC officials are confident enrollment in esports games and related programs will grow rapidly. “There are no limits,” says President Perkins.
NEC Celebrates 73rd Founders Day; Military Students Find Community.
The United States Marine Corps battle cry came from the student section and echoed off the walls of Bridges Gymnasium. The gym—filled with students, regalia-clad faculty, and staff—served as the location for New England College’s annual Founders Day Celebration, held January 15, 2019.
Each year, the NEC community comes together to celebrate the College’s distinctive founding principle: to serve the educational needs of the country’s military men and women returning from service.
Our original World War II veterans returned home armed with expanded worldviews, the desire to learn more through higher education, and the new GI Bill to help finance their education. NEC’s founders recognized both the need and opportunity and had the wisdom, foresight, and dedication to establish New England College. In 1946, one year after the end of the war, NEC welcomed its first class with 68 students, 8 faculty, and 12 courses.
NEC enters its 73rd year in 2019 and now welcomes over 1,000 students on campus and over 1,800 online for more than 75 combined programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
Since its founding, New England College’s purpose has branched out to students from all walks of life, but it continues to steadfastly welcome those who serve our country. And today’s digital world allows NEC to extend that same welcome to military students everywhere via our online platform.
Servicemembers face unique challenges and commitments. NEC understands that and offers online programs that help servicemembers complete their degrees as easily and efficiently as possible.
- Associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree options
- Academic credit given for military experience and prior coursework
- Start anytime, anywhere: every seven weeks stateside or on deployment
- Military partnerships with CDET, MARSOC, JSOU, and CCAF GEM
- Uniquely affordable with further discounts for active-duty, military spouses and dependents, veterans, reservists, and National Guard
“Oorah!” It came confidently from the student section. Some in the audience looked to see which student called out. Others chuckled. Guest speaker Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, United States Army, Retired paused. His response was simple, “That’s right.”
Bolduc began his motivating Founders Day Address by mentioning hooah, the battle cry of the United States Army, and its variations across the different military branches.
“What grabbed me was what Bolduc did during his military service. To think about him leading one of the first groups into Afghanistan on horseback…,” marvels Joshua Owen, a freshman Criminal Justice major at NEC and Marine. “When he started speaking and said, ‘Hooah,’ I felt that spark of motivation like when I first joined the Marine Corps. I just yelled out ‘oorah.’”
Owen enlisted out of high school and intended to serve in the military longer than he did, but he also wanted to attend college, with the hope of playing lacrosse. After two deployments to Iraq, it seemed like the right time and age to pursue his other goals. He reached out to Cameron Cassavaugh (’20, Biology with a Conservation Biology concentration).
Owen and Cassavaugh have quite the connection. They knew each other from attending Concord High School (New Hampshire) together. Cassavaugh also enlisted in the Marines out of high school, two years ahead of Owen. And, in an unlikely turn of events, they ended up in the same unit in Mosul, Iraq for Owen’s first deployment and Cassavaugh’s second.
“I had always wanted to go to college, but about halfway through my senior year of high school, I decided to join the military,” Cassavaugh explains. “Every man in my family, except my father, has served in the military, and I wanted to resume that tradition before going to college.”
After his honorable discharge, Cassavaugh narrowed his college search to two schools. He chose the New England College campus because “it’s local and provides the community I need.” While he believes NEC is accommodating to all students, he likes being on a military-friendly campus.
“I basically recruited Josh to NEC,” Cassavaugh laughs. During Owen’s second deployment, the two started talking about NEC, its benefits, and using the GI Bill to afford college. “At that point, Cam and I were pretty much talking every day,” Owen says.
Their military experience behind them, Owen and Cassavaugh continue to share the strong bond that was forged in high school and fortified during their service. “We definitely have a big brother/mentor relationship,” comments Cassavaugh. “We have a far greater maturity level and amount of life experience than most college students, so it’s nice to have that in common with others at NEC.”
New England College is proud of its commitment to provide higher education opportunities to military students and to be a military-friendly environment where servicemembers can find the community they’re looking for. Learn more at www.nec.edu/honored.
New England College and New Hampshire Institute of Art Complete First Major Step in Merger Process
January 2, 2019Posted in News Press Release
Boards of Trustees of Both Institutions Approve Merger Plan; NEC Welcomes Students, Faculty, and Staff from NHIA
The merger of the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) into New England College (NEC) took a major step forward recently with the Boards of both institutions agreeing to enter into Phase One of a two-part merger agreement. “We have successfully begun the merger process of these two fine institutions and New England College is very pleased to welcome the students, faculty, and staff of NHIA into the New England College community,” said NEC Board Chair Lex Scourby.
NHIA, located in Manchester, enrolls approximately 350 students, primarily in undergraduate art and design programs. NEC in Henniker, has an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of nearly 2,800 students in a variety of undergraduate liberal arts, graduate, and professional programs, including offerings in art and design. The combined institution will maintain the name New England College, with NHIA anticipated to be named the Institute of Art and Design at New England College.
NHIA will operate as a subsidiary to New England College in Phase One. After a period of planning and program integration, both continuing classes and new students from the New Hampshire Institute of Art will be enrolled as New England College students (Phase 2). Plans are for the NHIA campus to continue to operate in Manchester as part of New England College, and students from both campuses will have the opportunity to study at either campus location.
The colleges announced last May that the two institutions would be merging to enhance the delivery of academic programs and streamline administrative services. Officials at the time stated that academic programs align particularly well in the areas of art, design, writing, and education and will be enhanced through joint marketing and programming efforts.
“We are excited to see this merger moving forward,” said NHIA Board Chair Tom Stevens. “This will allow the important educational work of NHIA to be both sustained and expanded in alliance with New England College. As the merger benefits are fully realized students can expect enhanced programs and expanded opportunities.”
The merger allows all current NHIA students, in good standing, to automatically enroll at New England College as soon as the Fall of 2019. Other than usual modest annual tuition increases, NHIA students can expect their costs of attendance to remain the same. NEC President Michele Perkins said, “Our goal from the beginning has been to improve the educational experiences of all our students and ensure the financial strength of the institutions. We will work hard to continue to live out the mission of both New England College and the New Hampshire Institute of Art as we bring our communities together into one entity.”
New England College Announces Purchase of Historic 20 Main Street Building
November 26, 2018Posted in News Press Release
College Expanding in Response to Growing Enrollments and Office Space Needs.
New England College has purchased an historic commercial building at 20 Main Street in Henniker, NH, to serve expanding needs for residential space for students and staff offices. The 27,000-square-foot building, located on the banks of the Contoocook River, was built in 1890 and through the years has been used for various small businesses and apartments.
“As New England College continues to grow our traditional undergraduate enrollment and expand into new academic program areas, in both graduate and online programs, the need for additional residential space for students and office space is also growing,” said President Michele Perkins. “By purchasing this important property, New England College is demonstrating our continued commitment to the Town of Henniker and to our shared development as an institution and a community.”
Sonny’s Main Street Restaurant, a landmark restaurant located in a storefront on the first floor of the building, will continue to operate and has signed a long-term lease. The top floors of the building have been used for apartments in recent years and the College expects to update the interiors and remodel the property to accommodate up to 26 students. In addition to maintaining Sonny’s on the first floor, the College plans to relocate the Advancement department and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies into the building. Other offices will be relocated as needs arise.
As with any of the College’s non-academic buildings, New England College will continue to pay property taxes on the property. Currently, New England College is the largest property tax payer in Henniker. “We are proud of our longstanding role in developing the community of Henniker and look forward to serving both our students and the community for generations to come,” said President Perkins.
New England College Launches Esports Program Led by Nationally Renowned Esports Player
October 22, 2018Posted in News Press Release Program News
Tyrelle Appleton Steps Out of Competitive Scene to Create NEC Esports Program; NEC Esports Arena Opens January 2019.
To complement academic programs that teach game design, game theory, social media branding, and strategy, New England College has entered the exciting new world of esports with plans to give students access to a unique New Hampshire technology environment, only found in Henniker. Starting in January, the College will launch a new esports program led by Tyrelle Appleton, a nationally respected former esports competitor, who will share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of gamers and designers. New England College is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the governing body for esports.
Appleton launched the region’s first ever collegiate esports program in 2017, and was the first ever competitive “Gears of War” player in the country to formally partner with Major League Gaming (MLG.tv). He will serve as head coach, building on deep involvement in the esports scene with experience in both tournament organization, sponsorship procurement and management.
The backbone of the gaming technology at New England College is Dell’s Alienware platform, the most popular gaming system in the world; it is offered at only a handful of colleges nationwide.
“It is the arena where the very best compete, and our technology will not only help NEC students learn and sharpen their skills, but we will be able to use this technology to provide students the very latest in video game design and development,” explains Appleton. Alienware pushes the boundaries of current gaming limits, and offers extensive partnerships nationally that will give students in Henniker unique and expansive esports opportunities.
A position on the esports roster will be competitively available to all interested students. Because this is a club sport open to all students, some will have the opportunity to build their skills and move to the professional ranks while others may play casually. Students on the roster must meet eligibility requirements including full-time enrollment, and progress toward degree requirements.
New England College will offer games such as “Overwatch,” “Fortnite,” and “League of Legends” – the most popular games in the world. All are online multi-player games and participants will compete as a team to defeat an opposing institution.
“Video gaming has been a popular activity for a long time,” said New England College President Michele Perkins, “but esports is just now emerging as a competitive event at the college level and we plan to be actively engaged from the start in this emerging field.”
Students learn, through participating in competitive esports teams, the same skills and talents as other sports: leadership, communication, perseverance, and determination. And, putting together an esports team really isn’t so different from putting together any other traditional sports team. New England College’s new esports program will include men and women competing with teams at other institutions.
New England College is currently building an esports arena at its Henniker campus, which will feature a competition and practice setting along with a comfortable vibe. Appleton anticipates 20-40 students will join the first semester. “My hope for the esports program at New England College is to build it from the ground up and help establish New England College as a major competitor in the esports field,” said Appleton.
The addition of an esports program is intended to promote a holistic approach to the college experience, while attracting students who possess skills including critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork, which are transferable to success in the classroom. New England College is a leader in technology focused programs and provides a platform where students can showcase their talents and compete with other college students regionally and nationally.
New England College President’s Speaker Series: New Hampshire’s Own Dean Kamen – Inventor, Thought-Leader, Engineer to Speak
October 4, 2018Posted in Event News Press Release
Inventor of Segway and Creator of Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) to Discuss 21st Century Workforce Needs in NH and Beyond.
His resume is the stuff of legends. Dean Kamen has changed how we look at the world with his imaginative approach to everything from transportation to technology. Inventor of the Segway human transporter and a simple device used to filter contaminated water in third world countries to make it drinkable, Kamen’s contributions to society are immeasurable.
Now, Kamen is launching a project that, until now, has been reserved for science fiction novels. Kamen founded ARMI, the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. The basic idea is to make practical the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies, to benefit existing industries and grow new ones. To that end, the technical scope includes innovations across five thrust areas: (1) Cell Selection, Culture and Scale-up, (2) Biomaterial Selection and Scale-up; (3) Tissue Process Automation and Monitoring; (4) Tissue Maturing Technologies, and (5) Tissue Preservation and Transport.
The long-term goal of ARMI is to expand this technology to everyone in need. The center of this activity is Manchester, New Hampshire and Kamen has made clear he intends to locally recruit the best and brightest to work on this exciting new project.
“Few people have combined dreams of ‘What if?’ with the results of creative engineering like Dean Kamen, and we are thrilled to have him visit our campus to discuss his vision for ARMI and to share how New England College, our faculty, and our students might play a role in this impressive new chapter in technology,” said New England College President Dr. Michele Perkins. “Dean’s use of engineering and science have made a difference in the lives of people all around the world. It is an honor to host him in Henniker.” The New England College President’s Speaker Series is open to the public at no cost.
WHAT: President’s Speaker Series: Dean Kamen
WHEN: October 29th at 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street, New England College, Henniker, NH 03242
About the President’s Speaker Series
Each year the President’s Speaker Series at New England College brings to campus prominent leaders and innovators from business, nonprofits, public policy, and issue areas that are interesting, insightful, and engaging for students and members of the community.
New England College to Receive $2.23 Million Federal Grant to Boost Retention RatesPosted in News Press Release
NEC to Use Title III Funds to Build Student Success Center.
New England College has been notified by Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office that the College has been selected to receive a five-year, $2.23 million-dollar federal Title lll Department of Education grant aimed at raising college retention rates among low-income students. The funds will be used to improve the supports for first-year students at the College, including new services, improved orientation, and new teaching approaches designed to increase academic successes for new students. The basic idea is to help students build momentum as early as possible that will carry them through an entire four-year college experience.
“Student retention is a priority and a challenge for every college and this grant will provide the funds to help New England College make the type of investment in resources for new students that will make a real difference in their life’s path,” explains Dr. Michele Perkins, President of New England College. “I am grateful to Senator Shaheen and her office for being a champion of New England College and assisting us in this grant process.”
The federal grant will focus on three main areas of activity for New England College:
Cohesive first-year experience: This program will streamline and clarify what can be a disjointed first-year “onboarding” transition for all new students. Faculty and staff will work to create what is called a “Purpose-Driven Orientation,” which offers resources for students. The central component of this plan is the addition of Student Success Coaches to design and implement a plan for each student to assure success in the first year and beyond.
Active Learning Strategies: New England College faculty and staff will redesign essential courses, with particular focus on improving so-called “core classes” that are required or encouraged for all students. The new goals of these core classes will include active learning techniques, increased use of technology, and better connections to graduate programs and/or career preparation.
Center for Student Success: To better connect what can be fragmented student support, New England College will revamp its student support programs. This new, technology-driven approach will include graduation mapping, an early academic alert system, student coaches, and new career and life planning resources. The goal is to connect programs and assistance to each first-year student’s academic goals.
“The transition to college can be exciting, but also overwhelming, and all of us in higher education understand that the current approach has gaps that results in some students leaving school or failing to get off to a successful start; this grant will help us close those gaps and retain more of our first-year students,” says Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. “We are excited to reinvest in the programs that will help our incoming first-year students enjoy a smooth transition and greater early success on campus. This is an exciting opportunity for our school.”
According to the grant announcement from the U.S. Department of Education, “the program is designed to expand a school’s capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.”
New England College to Host Annual Fall Festival The Evening of Excellence Awards Dinner
September 13, 2018Posted in Event News Press Release
Premier Event at College’s Annual Alumni Weekend.
New England College will host its annual alumni awards dinner, The Evening of Excellence, during Fall Festival Weekend on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner is a highlight event of the Festival, which is the longest standing alumni event in the College’s history.
The Evening of Excellence Dinner is designed to show pride for the College’s most impressive alumni, by annually conferring the College’s prestigious Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Award on those who have achieved notable distinction. Honorees are nominated by fellow alumni and recognized for their exemplary service to New England College and its mission, civic and professional leadership, and personal commitment and dedication to the community.
President Michele Perkins will present the awards. “The Evening of Excellence Awards Dinner is such an important milestone in our academic year, because in so many ways, it reminds us all, as a community, that we are engaged in a great mission, a mission that has been passed on from class to class for almost 75 years.” Perkins said.
This year New England College will present the following awards at the dinner:
Athletic Hall of Fame
Inductee: Billy Watson ’74 (posthumous)
The purpose of the New England College Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize those outstanding individuals (or teams) who have contributed to the ongoing success of the New England College Athletic Program.
William “Bill” Watson graduated from Concord High in 1969 and completed a post graduate year at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine. He then attended New England College where he graduated with a degree in Sociology in 1974. Bill was a consummate athlete. As a child in Concord, he could be found daily at White Park with his brother and friends in the neighborhood. At New England College he played three years of varsity baseball as a pitcher and four years of varsity hockey as a defenseman, where he was voted captain for three seasons.
After college, he coached hockey at Concord High and Tilton Academy. Later, he was a member of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association NH chapter. As he grew older, he could be found skating around Lake Morey and looked forward to an annual skating reunion with his college hockey teammates.
Honorary Alumni Award
Inductee: Scott Simpson
The Honorary Alumni Award may be given annually, when there are deserving candidates, to an individual or individuals who are non-alumni members of the College community-at-large, and who have demonstrated continued loyalty, interest, and service in the spirit of New England College.
Scott Simpson, an architect, author, and educator, has served as a trustee of New England College since March of 2010. He is the former President and CEO of The Stubbins Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has also served on the national board of directors of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, and the Design Futures Council in Atlanta. Simpson has published more than 180 articles on issues of innovation in the design and construction industry and authored three books: How Firms Succeed, The Next Architect—A New Twist on the Future of Design, and Lessons from the Future. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences and symposia and has lectured at a number of design schools across the country, including Yale and Harvard, where he is an emeritus member of the Alumni Council. Scott’s expertise has been put to good use at New England College, particularly for the new John Lyons Center, Putnam Center, and Athletic Center projects. He also serves on the Infrastructure and Audit Committees.
The Deborah Spring Reed ’60 Alumni Achievement Award
Inductees: Diana Merriam ’78, Peter Merriam ’78, and Ray Apy ’89
This award was established in 1994 to recognize an alumnus who demonstrated prominence in his/her profession and contributed significantly to the betterment of society, thus contributing to the honor and distinction of New England College.
Diana ’78 and Peter ’78 Merriam are the co-founders of Merriam Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA. Peter Merriam brings his love for living on the edge and finely tuned sense of focus to his vineyards and winery, with passions that span from the extreme in adrenaline to the extreme in patience. As a vintner, Peter finds that the discipline, determination, and singular focus that he has developed through skiing and fishing are the same skills that serve him well in the vineyard. A natural conservationist, he has always been an outdoor person. It was the beauty of Sonoma County that compelled him to plant vineyards and build a winery in the Russian River Valley.
Diana Merriam was raised in a New England home where food was not only the focus of the kitchen, but also the means of the family’s livelihood, she was transformed when she was introduced to the intricacies of food and wine during her honeymoon in France. It was there that her natural spirit of warmth and hospitality found new inspiration. The creative force behind the Merriam Vineyards Tasting Room, she hopes that guests leave Merriam Vineyard’s with feelings of generosity and abundance, reminiscent of her visits to the heart of France. A natural cook, her kitchen is where her family thrives. She also cultivates a garden every summer at their home in Maine, where she harvests a variety of vegetables.
Ray Apy ’89 is the former President and CEO of Annese & Associates, Inc., a tech solutions provider. As CEO he took the company from $50M in annual revenues to over $100M. In 2017, he sold the business to the $1.5B technology solution provider, ConvergeOne, Inc. He still works in the business today as a Vice President.
Outside of work, Apy serves on the board of directors for Syracuse, NY based software company Symphony Video, Inc., as well as on the New England College President’s Advisory Board. Together with his wife, Francine, they engage in many philanthropic activities as donors and active participants.
The Lee Clement ’49 Outstanding Alumni Volunteer Award
Inductee: Tom Farmen ’74
The Lee Clement ’49 Outstanding Alumni Award will be given to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding volunteer service, leadership, and commitment to goals in the spirit of the alumnus/a for whom it was named.
Thomas Farmen ’74 is the Headmaster Emeritus of Rumsey Hall School in Washington Depot, CT. He worked at the School since his graduation from New England College in 1974, was appointed Headmaster in 1985 and retired in 2016. A Trustee at New England College since 1999, Tom is a member of the Executive, Development, and Trusteeship Committees, and chairs the Audit Committee. Tom also serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of NEC Hockey.
In addition to his volunteer efforts at the College, Tom serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics of New Hampshire and is a member of the Development Committee for West Central Behavioral Health, a nonprofit, community-based, mental health organization serving the needs of individuals and families in New Hampshire’s lower Grafton and Sullivan Counties.
He and his wife, Ashley, have two grown sons. Farmen recently released his first book titled Bessie’s Story – Watching the Lights Go Out. A story about how a devoted dog’s advancing blindness provides timeless life-lessons on the art of aging gracefully.
William Troy Award
Inductee: TJ Whitelaw ’76
The William C. Troy Award is given in memory of William “Bill” Troy, Class of 1952, who was killed in action during the Korean conflict. The William C. Troy Award is presented in appreciation and esteem for dedicated service to New England College.
TJ Whitelaw holds Bachelor’s degrees from New England College in both Education and Sociology (Magna Cum Laude 1976) and an MBA from Northeastern University (1986). As an alumnus, Whitelaw served as Co-chair of the New England College Golf Classic for many years in addition to being involved in a variety of Alumni activities. In 2011, he joined the New England College Board of Trustees and currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chair, Chair of the Trusteeship Committee, Vice Chair of the Finance and Investment and the Academic Affairs Committees, and is also on the Enrollment and Student Engagement Committee. In addition to his New England College activities, Whitelaw served on the Board of Concord Country Club for many years and currently volunteers as an Ambassador at the Mount Sunapee Ski Area.
He was employed with Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP for over 27 years, moving on in 2005 to join Riverbed Technology as Director of Business Development. He and his wife, Jae ’75, have two adult daughters, Kate and Lindsay.
Tickets to the reception and dinner are $30. To register for The Evening of Excellence Dinner follow this link: https://www.nec.edu/awards-dinner