Asked for his reaction about being inducted into the Keene State Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame, Don Carle said his first thought was “I haven’t done anything to deserve it.” But that could be the farthest from the truth. When you consider his life long devotion to the College first as a student, and later as an administer and fan, he rightfully takes his place tonight among the many Hall of Fame members that he’s worked with and cheered for over the years.
As a longtime supporter of Owl athletics and the College's former alumni director, Carle and Keene State go back a long way. Born in Elliot Hall (then a hospital), Carle grew up on the KSC campus. His mother and father (H. White Carle and Helen) were house parents of the women’s dorm and later moved to one of the first residences on Appian Way. He attended the Wheelock School and Central Middle School, both operated by the College, before moving on to Keene High.
Returning to Keene following the war, Carle, enrolled in Keene Teachers College where he earned a degree in education and also played on the Owl hockey team. Carle taught and served as an administrator at schools throughout New England before taking over as the College’s alumni director in 1977.
“Keene always meant a great deal to me and when I had a chance to come back. I couldn’t say no,” said Carle, who has known every KSC president since Dr. Jeremiah Rhodes. “It was natural.”
As alumni director, Carle attended area meetings around New England and played a major role in honoring Owl athletes. He instituted the Nim Grandin 1,000-point club, and joined with men’s soccer coach Ron Butcher to establish the College’s alumni athletic hall of fame. Since retiring in 1988, Carle has been an avid fan of Owl athletics. An academic team award bearing his name is presented each year.
Not matter the season, it’s not unusual to seem him out in the stands showing his support for Keene State teams.
“Keene State is his priority,” said his wife Charlotte Carle’53, who met Don at KTC. “He always had fond memories of the College growing up and that’s carried on to this day.”
“I can’t say how much Keene State athletics has helped me” Carle said. “It’s given me an interest and something to look forward to every day. I might be sitting in the stands, but I still feel a part of it.”