Jean Farnham Henshaw '55

In 2017, Jean Farnham Henshaw WJC ’55, a Westbrook College Annual Fund donor for many years, established the Robert and Jean Farnham Henshaw WJC ’55 Research in Neurobiology Endowment. The decision to create the endowment was partly due to an everlasting connection Jean made with Katherine Roach Greco WJC ’56.

Katherine “Kit” Roche has been one of Jean’s closest friends since she started at Westbrook. Their friendship spans college weekends where they would sneak off campus with their jeans tucked under their skirts, to moving to Massachusetts together, and even taking a 15 month journey across Europe together in 1958.

Sadly, Kit has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and has been wheelchair bound for the past several years. As Jean continues to connect with Kit, attempting to rekindle some of their favorite memories, she has become more involved with research efforts surrounding the disease. She has taken particular interest and pride in the research UNE students are doing to make an impact in neurological studies to help others understand and better prepare treatments for Alzheimer's and similar neurological issues. Kit’s experience with this disease and UNE’s expertise in neurological research inspired Jean to establish the Robert and Jean Farnham Henshaw WJC ’55 Research in Neurobiology Endowment Fund in her estate plans.

“Looking at photos of Westbrook College now, I can't help but notice the changes. However, UNE’s Portland campus still has a lot of elements of Westbrook College, its tradition and its history which is important to other Westbrook College alumni,” reflected Jean. Jean’s legacy, the Robert and Jean Farnham Henshaw WJC ’55 Research in Neurobiology Endowment Fund, will support UNE efforts to reach the next milestone in neurological research with the hope that the research will help future generations to look back on their memories as fondly as she does.

Jean Farnham Henshaw is a proud member of the University of New England Heritage Society.

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