George Edward Newton Jr. '68
Ensuring the Legacy of St. Francis College Lives On
“I was the first male from my family to attend college, and my father made a deal with me — he would pay for half my college education and I would be responsible for paying for the other half. We came to visit St. Francis College in spring of my senior year of high school. I fell in love with the facility and with the people that were here during that visit. St. Francis College was my first choice and I was accepted.
“I was an American History major, a decision made partly because I wanted to learn more about America’s role in World War II as both of my uncles were killed in the D-Day invasion in Europe. I intended to become a college professor in American history, but it turns out that after we graduated in 1968, most of us were drafted to go to Vietnam.
“Despite the draft and the war, there remained a core group of 15 to 20 of our class members who stayed in touch and have continued to stay in touch these past 50 years, and who see each other on a regular basis.
“The genesis of the St. Francis College Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship started with Joe Valenza, (Joseph J. Valenza, Ph.D., ’68) and Wes Kenyon, (Wesley P. Kenyon, ’68). When I heard about the scholarship, I thought it was a great idea. The idea of helping out a current student seemed like a fitting way to live up to the values of St. Francis College, and a wonderful way to carry on the St. Francis College legacy. When you look at what it cost for a college education today, it's actually higher than what it was in our day, even with inflation factored in. When we attended college we all enjoyed our education experience here at the University of New England and we felt it was an opportune time for graduates to help out today’s students who experience financial need.”