Bob Thoresen

After leaving Claremont, I spent six years at Syracuse University getting a BA in Sociology (studying architecture for two years) and an MRP (master of regional planning). While in graduate school, I met my wife, Susan Werner, and we were married in 1967.

I worked as a planning consultant in Cambridge, MA before being drafted into the Army. I spent most of my time at Fort Benning (GA) as a counselor in the base’s mental health program. It was interesting work— we conducted a major drug abuse survey (the Army was not happy with our findings!), used the computer as a diagnostic tool (remember that was the 1960s), and wrote about illness patterns in a medical journal article (in which I served as one of the authors).

Following the Army, I came back to New Hampshire to work in a Manchester community advocacy program. It became clear that Manchester (and particularly William Loeb’s influence) were not for us. After a short job search, I became the Planning Director for the City of Portsmouth in 1971, and we have remained in Portsmouth ever since.

The 1970s were exciting in Portsmouth, and my work satisfying. We were able to initiate a major downtown revitalization program, spur economic development, and develop growth control methods. During this time, I also received an MPA (Master of Public Administration) from UNH. After leaving the City, my wife and I started a planning consulting firm. We worked in many NH communities (including Claremont) helping them plan for the future. After working working on reuse studies for historic properties, I got more interested in private development. For the last several years, I have been a development consultant and have developed commercial real estate, and this work continues. Sue works for Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor.

On the family front, Sue and I have two children—Kristin and Erik. Both are married. Kristin and husband John, who works for Liberty Mutual, live in Dover. They have a son (7) and a daughter (5). Erik, who has his own investment and consulting firm, and wife Traci have a daughter (3) and a son (1) and live in Cambridge. What a joy to have grandchildren. My parents, both healthy, will be returning for their 75th Stevens Reunion!

Our family has been very fortunate, and we have been able to travel in the United States and a number of foreign countries. Sue and I have also been very involved on community and statewide organization boards over the years as a way to give back to the community. I served as the Chair of the regional division of the NH Charitable Fund. I served as the president of the NH Art Association, so my interest in art continues. I currently serve as Vice President of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. I continued to ski competitively throughout college, and taught our kids to ski, and I currently ski with the grandkids too. Summers find us at Lake Winnipesaukee where we have a place on an island for all of our family.

I look back and realize what a strong background Claremont and Stevens gave me for my college studies and the values that I have lived. Growing up in a solid and healthy working community, I believe has served me (and I hope all of you) well. I look forward to re-connecting in June.