Laurie Ferguson '75

A great friend of the college, Laurie passed away in 2011, some time after this Q&A was conducted. We leave it up as originally written, a testament to a dear alumna.

Which dorm(s) did you live in?
Burpee.

What do you remember most about Colby-Sawyer?
The fantastic teachers. I did a lot of growing up at Colby-Sawyer because of them.

Which staff or faculty member inspired you most?
There are two. Dr. Allen Koop taught me to love history, to write well, and to better understand the Bible (we met 3 times a week during lunch to discuss it). Dr. Mary Glynn inspired me to break out of my safe, all-American, suburban-girl cocoon and take risks, challenge the norm, and be a leader.

How do you think your classmates remember you?
Yikes, I'd probably leave that up to them to answer. Hopefully the memories are all good.

What are you doing these days?
I'm the executive director of NH Made, the statewide organization that promotes the people, products and places of New Hampshire. We help market and promote more than 850 businesses and the products they produce. This includes specialty food producers such as orchards, wineries, breweries, bakeries and maple producers; fine handcrafts such as pottery, glassware, furniture, and weaving; and service providers such as restaurants that serve local foods, and stores that sell local products.

How do you go about promoting them?
Any way we can, with printed guides and directories, e-newsletters, all kinds of special trade and consumer events, and our website, www.nhmade.com. For all of you who fell in love with New Hampshire while you were at Colby-Sawyer, visit the website and you'll find thousands of products that make perfect gifts or special mementos for yourself to remind you of the time you spent in this beautiful state.

How did you get involved in NH Made?
I was one of the original members of the task force that created NH Made back in 1995. I had my own marketing business, Ferguson Communications, but when they needed an executive director to run the organization, I didn't hesitate for a moment. The main office is in my home which enabled me to be with my kids while they were growing up. Every day is filled with exciting challenges and meeting terrific people all over the state.

What do you think is the best thing about New Hampshire?
The landscape. The White Mountains, the ocean, the lakes, the open fields, the stone walls, the historic buildings and town greens, the four distinct seasons that always keeps things “new.”

The worst?
It's a long way from where I grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn. I wish I lived closer to my family.

Last book read?
The Bible.

Favorite movie?
There are lots. “The Sound of Music,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Babe,” “Simon Birch” — to name a few.

Favorite TV show?
All my favorite shows tend to disappear, like “The West Wing” and “American Dreams.” It's hard to find good stuff these days. I usually watch Fox News and listen to them rant — they make some good points about the future direction of this country.

What might your classmates be surprised to learn about you?
Well, I had to battle Stage 3 breast cancer this past year. (I had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, but the prognosis is good and my hair is finally coming back!) It was a life-changing event, obviously, but has served to be a real opportunity to help others. Despite this set-back, life has been very, very good to me. I've raised two terrific boys, now ages 16 and 20, have a terrific job that I love, and live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Anything you'd like to say to your fellow alumni?
Give back to the communities where you live.


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