Center for International Education

Philanthropy

McGee donates book profits to CIE in memory of Bob LeBlanc

by Michelle Giguere, Study Abroad Program Assistant

Donor Bill McGee, UNH Class of ‘59
Donor Bill McGee, UNH Class of ‘59

As a joke shared between two friends graduating with history degrees from the University of New Hampshire in 1959, the only options for their profession were to teach or write a book. One, Robert LeBlanc, pursued a doctorate and became a professor at UNH, while the other, William McGee, eventually wrote a book about 49 of New Hampshire’s men who made significant contributions in service to their country. More, though, than just a piece of non-fiction honoring these servicemen, McGee’s “Men of Granite” is a tribute to his friend Bob LeBlanc.

The two fraternity brothers worked their way through college in the Phi Mu Delta kitchen; LeBlanc was a waiter and McGee washed dishes. LeBlanc joined the U.S. Air Force before attending UNH and ultimately pursued teaching and world traveling, while McGee joined the U.S. Army and then became the associate editor of Army Aviation Magazine, eventually working with DuPont’s Biotechnology Division and founding his own business, Microtome Service Company.

As a professor of geography and a study abroad advisor here at the Center, LeBlanc was committed to encouraging students through stories and example to explore the world outside of Durham, New Hampshire. Even on September 11, 2001, when LeBlanc was a passenger on the doomed United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center, he was on his way to California for a geography meeting in hopes of expanding his own knowledge. In 2004, the Center for International Education dedicated its resource library to LeBlanc and created a memorial scholarship in his name for students studying abroad.

When LeBlanc’s friend McGee wrote his book “Men of Granite,” honoring the New Hampshire soldiers, sailors, airmen and servicemen of all military branches between 1755 and 1991, he dedicated it to LeBlanc, “whose knowledge, vitality and humanity touched so many lives.”

All profits from the book’s sale will go directly to the Robert G. LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship Fund at UNH. The proceeds will aid students studying abroad, just as LeBlanc encouraged them to do. As McGee said in his book’s dedication, “good friends are never forgotten.”

For more information about “Men of Granite,” visit www.menofgranite.com.