Robert M. Gordon first came to UNH to take a leadership course taught by a trio of University Board of Governors members whose names would one day grace three buildings: Ellis C. Maxcy, Roland M. Bixler and John E. Echlin.
A young businessman at the time, Gordon felt an immediate connection to the University that has continued to this day.
Before long, he was asked by then-president Marvin K. Peterson to help raise funds for a UNH campaign. Gordon, who worked at Milford Rivet and went on to become president and chairman of the company and, later, president of Raybestos/Manhattan, took on the task with gusto. He was named to the UNH Board of Governors and became one of its longest-serving members. One of his proudest moments came when he received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University in 1987. He continues to serve as an emeritus member of the board.
“When I started on the board, the school was morphing into a university, and we had just moved to West Haven,” he said. “It was a very important occasion in the school’s life and for anyone connected with it.”
One of his earliest contributions was saving Maxcy Hall. “The big question at the time was, Should we tear down Maxcy Hall or should it be restored?” he said. “I fought for restoration. It was such an icon. You’d never create another building like that, a cornerstone for the University. I thought if Yale had a few old buildings, why can’t we?”
Gordon, who lives in Naples, Florida, stopped back for a visit this summer. He found the changes made under President Steve Kaplan remarkable. “His vision for the University is extraordinary,” Gordon said.
“The University is always on the upswing, almost endless in the way it is changing and moving, getting better and better.”
He gives because he believes in the mission and cares deeply about the students. “I’m proud to be part of the UNH community.”
Bob Gordon passed away on January 15, 2014.