On Thursday, Feb. 21, a Keene State College alum and former faculty member Don Carle passed away at the age of 92. Carle was born at Keene State College in Elliot Hospital, which is now known as the Elliot Center. He grew up in one of the first residences on Appian Way. After serving in World War II, Carle returned to Keene as a student and graduated with a degree in Education. While he was a student at KSC, Carle also played on the Owls Ice Hockey team. Carle taught and served as an administrator at schools throughout New England until he became KSC’s Alumni Director in 1977. He served in this role until 1988. After retiring from the college, Carle remained an active supporter of Owl Athletics. He instituted the Nim Grandin 1000 Points Club, and he also co-founded the Keene State College Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame with men’s soccer coach Ron Butcher. Every year an academic team award named after Carle is presented to the athletic team with the highest GPA.
KSC President Melinda Treadwell said that the College is currently working to find a way to honor Carle. “We’re going to try to find a way to celebrate him, given his long history with us and the tremendous support he offered the college and our students through scholarships and all sorts of things,” Treadwell said.
Director of Alumni Relations Steve Fortier said, “Don’s legacy will be part of Keene State College’s DNA forever. Every time we have a Hall of Fame ceremony, we can thank Don. Every time a student receives a scholarship from one of the many endowed scholarship funds he supported, we can thank Don. Each time we walk into one of the buildings he supported with his charitable giving, we can thank Don. His contributions to Keene State College are significant and everlasting.” Fortier is working with Carle’s sons to plan a memorial service at Keene State College this spring.
Athletic Marketing Coordinator at Keene State College Ron Butcher said, “He certainly was a historian and knew many facts and figures about the City of Keene as well as Keene Normal School, Keene Teachers College and now Keene State College. He was truly the Owls’ number one fan, as he attended most events.”
According to those who knew him, in his later years, Carle attended KSC athletic events on his little red scooter and would fist bump players as they came out of the locker room for each period.
Athletic Director at KSC Dr. Denisha Hendricks said, “If we had a number one fan, he would be our number one fan.”
According to Hendricks, Carle was a big believer in higher education and was proud of the fact that Carle Hall is named after his father. Both of Carle’s parents were the Dorm Parents of the Women’s Dorm in the late 1920s.
“He was a veteran and when he returned from the war, he had an opportunity to come to Keene State College. He became the Alumni Director and he said ‘I just couldn’t turn it down’. He loved Keene State College. Our students knew who he was. He wasn’t a person who came and nobody knew him,” Dr. Hendricks said.
In the final weeks of his life, Carle attended the Red and White Night basketball game and the final hockey game of the season. During the Little East Conference basketball tournament, a moment of silence was held in Carle’s honor.
Students, faculty and staff will be notified when arrangements are made for how Carle will be honored on campus.
Alex Harvey can be contacted at