Thread: Belknap College
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:55 PM   #13
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Default The Founding of Belknap College


Dr Royal M. Frye and Dr, Virginia Brigham, who was related to Dr. Frye, where in residence at THE COLLEGE OF ADVANCED SCIENCE in Canaan New Hampshire when I first met them. Although Dr. Frye was the head of the college the financial head of the institution was mismanaging things. Three parents that were note worthy got involved to help solve all these problems. After discussions with Dr. Frye too help unravel and institute proper practices they flew in from various states afar and met with the key person who controlled that school. The out come was very dismal.

Involved in that meeting were the parents of David, John, and me [Tom]. We were just students seeking to obtaining various degrees under the very famous and highly dedicated and qualified staff. Collectively, these instructors had obtained many outstanding degrees and personal achievements as established in books like WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA. One example was Dr. Tracy who was F.D.R.'S ghostwriter. The parents were David ????? [Please excuse that I lack access to this man's last name] [Vice President and CEO of GE], Mr. John Woodbridge [Vice President and CEO of Pan American World Airlines], and Mr. Warren Clark Devitt [CEO and President of Great Lakes Coal Company] who were our respective fathers.

After that unsuccessful meeting the parents involved conferred with the three of us students and our desires. Then they pledged support to create another institution with Dr. Frye as the unfettered head of the institution. Several of the teachers were also interested in becoming part of that fledgling institution. With in just a few weeks, after much diligent work on the part of our parents and the guidance of other friends we all became a part of the new institution, BELKNAP COLLEGE, that was soon up and running at a full head of steam. One might think that GOD almighty was in charge because what seemed to be an impossible situation became a fully developed college with staff, financial backing, and additional instructors of note in a historical amount of time. Help was also coming forth from a number of very well know famous people. Then due to Dr. Frye's status we had almost immediate arrangements to issue valid college degrees. This was because of Dr. Frye's prominence at Boston University and his influential acceptance by the University of New Hampshire.

One of the key physical requirements to achieve qualifications to give degrees was to have a proper established library. The activity to achieve that status was literally miraculously achieved by the existing student body, parents, friends, and staff. All were caught up in a specific loyalty that was of extreme dedication. This was so much so that each of the three initial noted students above awaited and became established with Belknap College degrees rather than the option of having them issued from the other two other institutions noted above.

Loyalty was so fierce that a locale Judge, Dan Fleetham, in Canaan New Hampshire, that was loosely associated with the other college we departed from was encouraged to leave his present job and businesses to join the staff. This included departing from a family home, which was also a bed and breakfast, and his profession as a judge. He became the Dean Of Men. Many others also sacrificed in many ways including physical renovation and much, much, more.

Many of us, came to realize that at this juncture in life prominent the significance of both Dr. Brigham and Dr. Frye as much more than just mentors in education. Dr. Frye was more like a grandfather to many of his initial students and many others that followed. Dr Brigham was likewise a supportive member akin to a family matron. My last meeting with Dr. Frye, while on vacation, was some years after graduating from Belknap. I parked my car in front of his home in the Center Harbor downtown area. Then as I approached the house he literally came running to me from out of the house with exuberant greetings. He was thrilled to see me, as he was with many of his graduates. He warmly expressed a welcoming far beyond what was the norm for people in their upper eighties. This immediately also brought remembrance to mind that even at 82 years he use to run up and down stairs two steps at a time out distancing those many years younger than him as he also did during this reunion. However, most importantly, he continually lived a life with a smile, regardless of the challenges that were presented to him.

Probably the most important gift to all student's is that he truly cared to listen to others and present practical optimistic solutions in a peace and joy about all of life's challenges. He saw not problems, but solutions of great optimistic possibilities, and even though he truly cared for people, and loved LIFE, his deep down prayerful concerns for others, in general, always prevailed. Whether things were of nature, the physical universe, music, as well as all of GOD'S creation, Royal acknowledged they were wrought by THE MASTER CREATOR'S TOUCH.
Someday may never be an actual day.
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