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College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS3161
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3161
Phone: (208) 885-6478
Toll free: (800) 960-3033

Kelsey Pilch

Kelsey Pilch - Graue Scholar

When I decided to attend the University of Idaho for the fall 2006, I knew that the Graue Scholarship I received was an honor and one piece of a larger picture helping me reach my goal of a college education. Little did I know that the man who inspired this scholarship, alumni who learned under Dr. Graue, and the professors and faculty of the college he previously taught at would act to mold my undergraduate experience in ways I could not anticipate.

A senior in the College of Business majoring in Economics, I am originally from Palmer, Alaska. I knew that moving from this small town almost 2,500 miles to a state I had only visited a couple of times before was going to be a huge adjustment. I always had faith in myself to succeed academically, but I was worried that I would have trouble finding activities and a similarly dedicated group of people to share my college experience with. But I found a community almost instantly and was able to immerse myself and become active in the College of Business.

Even as a freshman Graue scholar, my opinion was valued as the group organized faculty receptions and engaged in community projects. I was chosen to represent the Student Grant Foundation for the CBE as this fledgling organization worked to provide grants for students pursuing independent research from all U of I colleges. Travelling to Shanghai, China, as a freshman Graue was a truly unique learning opportunity as I was immersed in a radically different culture and learned about business practices there firsthand.

My involvement in the Graue scholars opened up other learning opportunities for me as well. Spending a great deal of time in the Albertson building made me aware of the Davis Student Investment Group, and I was fortunate to be chosen for membership in the Davis group in the spring of my freshman year. Now, as Portfolio Manager of this fund valued at over $360,000, I can see that the knowledge I have gained from my direct experience analyzing specific stocks as well as staying informed about market movements will be invaluable when I enter the workforce.

In my junior year, I was chosen to receive the Steele Graue Scholarship, and my appreciation and knowledge of Dr. Graue, former professor at the College of Business and Economics, continued to grow. I was lucky enough to hear alumni’s firsthand accounts of his tough teaching style as well as the generosity and sincerity with which he approached all of his personal relationships. This importance of balancing a successful professional career while maintaining meaningful personal relationships is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned during my time at the University of Idaho and something that I have used to guide my decisions.

It is truly bittersweet to be graduating from the University of Idaho this May. I am excited to begin a new part of my life but also sad to leave a town and a group of students and professors who have made such a meaningful impact on my life, and I would like to thank them all. I would also like to thank Mr. Jim Steele for his generous support of my own education as well as the College of Business and Dean Jack Morris for his unyielding enthusiasm for the Graue Scholars program and all students.