Austin Cook

Equinox Staff

On Dec. 5, the President of Keene State College Melinda Treadwell held a closed session with 20 regional corporate leaders to introduce new Keene State College team members, strengthen corporate partnerships, and apologize for mismanaging donations.

Treadwell explained that a few weeks ago, the Fenton Family Dealership raised concerns about their recent donations to the college. The Fenton Family Dealership had not received any acknowledgement of their donation or visibility to how their donation was appropriated by the college. Dr. Treadwell apologized to them both privately and within this meeting for not honoring them for their generosity and continuous support, as this sort of oversight is unacceptable. Treadwell noted she personally invited the Fenton Family to attend this meeting with other regional business regarding strengthening relationships with the college and to introduce the college business staff.

“I want the business community to know that Keene State is here to be a good partner… If we have transgressions where we have not acknowledged peoples’ gifts or connected them with the student being supported, then I need to know about it so we can move forward as a better partner and a more thankful gracious community partner. Specifically, so this is a chance to bring some business partners in,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell explained that her team is stabilized and that she wanted to start the meeting by expressing gratitude toward all the business leaders and introducing her staff. Dr Treadwell assured the committee that she wants to grow an open and active partnership.

Matthew Wheaton, Vice President of Business Development of DEW Construction Corp,  agreed that the meeting met his expectations, “ I think the school has undergone some leadership changes. They expressed concern for a lack of involvement and apologized for letting things fall to the wayside, but they are going to have a renewed commitment to make sure the students and the business community have the ability to showcase each other’s talent. Both the business talents and the students’ talents to allow them to make an informed decision.”

Wheaton said that DEW Construction Corp is a Vermont-based company.  As DEW is struggling to find people within the Keene area to fill open positions, they will soon open an office in Manchester. Dew believes they will be able to draw more young people to the Manchester area to fill open positions.

“DEW will remain in Keene and we are focused on the community. We are not going anywhere… What DEW and MacMillin want to do is be able to showcase the different fields available in our profession and draw interest to an aging profession. We are asking to come on campus and talk with students directly and hopefully capture some internships with students,” Wheaton said.

Treadwell emphasised Keene State College’s commitment to the Keene community and expressed the desire for a more open and active partnership with regional businesses. She expressed her desire for them to come to her with issues and ideas. Her door is always open.

Treadwell emphasised, “I’m insisting that whatever things we have done in the past that we stop doing that.  We have to be good people and follow up on our promises.”

Austin Cook can be contacted at

acook@kscequinox.com