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UNH Announces First Gift to Fund Honoring Alum Killed in Afghanistan

November 5, 2008

The University of New Hampshire will announce the first gift to the Capt. Benjamin D. Keating Memorial Fund, which honors the UNH alum who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.

A gift of $4,000 was made by Professor Emeritus John Rouman. The announcement and a memorial service for Keating takes place Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008, at 4 p.m. in the Squamscott Room in Holloway Commons on Main Street. It is free and open to the public.

“The college is extremely grateful to Professor Rouman for his generosity, which will provide many deserving classics students with enriching academic experiences. This gift is all the more special because it serves as a lasting memorial to an outstanding young man, Ben Keating, who made such an impression on the faculty, staff, and students in his time here at UNH,” said Ken Fuld, interim dean of the UNH College of Liberal Arts.

One of UNH's most distinguished scholars and faculty members, Rouman is a former Fulbright Scholar in Byzantine Greek and won the prestigious National Award for Excellence in Teaching of Classics and the Distinguished Teaching Award from UNH.

Established in April 2008 by family and friends of Benjamin Keating, the Keating Memorial Fund is intended as a tribute to a remarkable young man who demonstrated a selfless commitment to the world at large.

“Ben Keating made it his mission as an undergraduate to find, in the study of classics, history, and political science, the things that they had in common, the things that would, in the long run, make him a better person and a better citizen. For Mr. Keating, what he learned about himself and his country while a student at the university he made a reality by serving his country in a faraway land and by making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. The short course of Mr. Keating’s life represents what we can all strive to do with our lives, and since I have long been a supporter of the endeavors of UNH students to enrich not only their own lives but also all our lives, supporting this fund was the right thing for me to do,” Rouman said.

Keating graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UNH in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in history and classics. While at UNH, he served as the chair of the Young Republicans. He participated in the Army ROTC program, was a distinguished military graduate, and recipient of the Marshall Award. The Army ROTC cadre at UNH called Keating “one the smartest and nicest young men to ever step through the doors of Zais Hall.”

Upon graduation, Keating was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and soon was promoted to first lieutenant. In February 2006, he was deployed to Afghanistan. He died Nov. 26, 2006, while serving in northern Afghanistan. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain, and was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device.

The fund provides support to selected undergraduate classics majors, allowing students to cover research expenses, including travel; to build a personal academic library or otherwise further their academic development; or to pursue service opportunities. Recipients must combine an excellent academic record with a demonstrated commitment to community service and citizenship in the broadest sense, on every level from the local to the international.

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