The late Pete T. Cenarrusa, ’40, holds a degree in animal science husbandry from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. A first-generation Basque-American, he also is a lifelong farmer and rancher who has created a legacy in the state’s political arena with more than 50 years of service, as well as an active member of its Basque community.
“My degree from the University of Idaho opened doors to my career in politics where I served as the Secretary of State for 35 years. It also provided me the foundation of knowledge I used in my everyday life and served me well as a farmer and businessman,” Cenarrusa said.
In 2003, he and his wife, Freda, founded The Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture to promote the culture and history of the Basques by providing resources for performances, presentations and programs to organizations throughout Idaho and Oregon.
The former Marine Corps Naval Aviation instructor (1943-44), is a longtime aviator who flew for 59 years, logging more than 15,000 hours of flight time.
Inducted into five national halls of fame, Cenarrusa celebrated his 92nd birthday in 2009 with the release of his memoir, “Bizkaia to Boise: The Memoirs of Pete T. Cenarrusa.”
A true inspiration to many in public and private service, one of Idaho’s largest government buildings in the state’s capital was named the Pete T. Cenarrusa Office Building when dedicated by then Gov. Phil Batt on March 2, 1998.
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