Welcome to the Neighborhood, President Dean

Chief Financial Officer of The Music Hall and double UNH alumna (‘96 and ‘01G), Tina Sawtelle chatted with incoming University of New Hampshire President James W. Dean Jr. about the relationship between our two organizations.  

Why is supporting the arts important to the University of New Hampshire?

Arts play an important role in life in general and culture in particular. As we prepare our students to live full and rich lives, their exposure to and participation in the arts contribute in an important way to these goals. I have often thought that a life without enjoyment of the arts is missing something that is eternal and transcendent. The music of Ludwig van Beethoven, the choreography of Martha Graham, and the art of Claude Monet are among the things that make life worth living!

Why is it important to have a presence in the Seacoast community?

All universities play an important role in their communities, and UNH is no exception. While UNH is the state’s flagship university and our impact extends nationally and internationally, we have been rooted in the Seacoast for more than 100 years, and we aspire to be a good neighbor and a leader in our community. And of course, most of our students, faculty, and staff live in the region.

What are you most excited about in moving up to New Hampshire?

Lots of things! I am certainly looking forward to the beautiful New England autumns, and I have already enjoyed the delicious seafood, especially lobster. (I am confident I have had more lobster in my first month in New Hampshire than in the last 10 years combined!) I am also intrigued by New Hampshire’s unique role in the presidential primaries, and to perhaps meeting some of the candidates. I am enjoying the architecture, including the repurposed mill buildings found in so many communities. Finally, I have already benefited from the warm welcome that my wife Jan and I have received.  

As the incoming UNH president, what value does the partnership between the University and The Music Hall bring to the community?

The Music Hall and UNH are two influential institutions in the Seacoast region and our longstanding relationship provides a great environment where students, alumni, and community members can thrive. While neither of us has sufficient resources to meet the community’s needs alone, there is also tremendous potential for synergy if we can work together effectively. I look forward to strengthening and deepening our partnership in the coming years.