UNH Manchester Announces 2013 Granite State Award Recipient and Commencement Speakers

UNH Manchester Announces 2013 Granite State Award Recipient and Commencement Speakers

Thursday, April 25, 2013

For significant contributions to the state and its people, the Frederick Smyth Institute of Music will receive the 2013 Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire Manchester. The award will be presented during commencement on Thursday, May 16, 2013. 

The Frederick Smyth Trust has supported music and the arts in New Hampshire since 1949. Marion C. Smyth founded the Smyth Trust in 1949 in memory of her husband Frederick Smyth, former New Hampshire governor (1865 to 1867) and four-term mayor of the City of Manchester (1852 to 1854 and 1863 to 1864). 

Frederick and Marion Smyth shared a love of music. In her will, Smyth established the trust to bring music to the people of Manchester and the state of New Hampshire through cultural and musical programs and through scholarships to support students’ collegiate pursuit of their love of music. 

The Smyth legacy lives on through annual grant funding to UNH Manchester and other University System of New Hampshire institutions to support music and cultural programs. 

Gov. Margaret “Maggie” Hassan will be the commencement keynote speaker, and sign language interpretation student Ashley Potter will give the student address. 

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. 

Potter was chosen to represent the Class of 2013 because of her commitment to the college community, involvement on campus, and academic success. She is an officer in the student American Sign Language club and a member of the Milling Around A Cappella and the Brick and Mortar Theatre clubs. She also serves as a peer assistant leader (PAL) in the first year studies program. Potter is a graduate of Colebrook Academy and resident of Milford. 

For more information about UNH Manchester’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony, contact Kim.Wall@unh.edu.  

 By Kim Wall