University of Idaho
students walk on University of Idaho campus

Visit U of I

Learn about the many reasons the University of Idaho could be a perfect fit for you. Schedule Your Visit

Parents on campus during orientation

Homecoming Oct. 1-7

Join other Vandal families for a week of celebration and Vandal traditions. View Calendar

campus full of students

U of I Retirees Association

UIRA has a membership of nearly 500 from every part of the University. Learn More

Alma Mater Surprises Top Canadian Broadcaster Marilyn Denis On-Air with Honorary Degree

February 28, 2017

University of Idaho alumna Marilyn Denis has been selected as the University of Idaho 2017 commencement speaker and as an honorary degree recipient. The surprise announcement was made today, Feb. 28, during a live taping of the Canadian daytime series “The Marilyn Denis Show” on CTV.

UI staff members coordinated with Denis’ TV production crew to orchestrate a surprise taped video appearance by Andrew Kersten, dean of UI’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, and a live in-studio appearance by UI mascot Joe Vandal. After Kersten reviewed Denis’ “university files,” he read pieces from her nomination letters, calling Denis an inspiration to women in broadcasting in both Moscow and Canada. Following the taped video message, Joe Vandal walked into the studio to the school fight song to surprise and present a stunned Denis with two messages‑ the first that she was receiving an honorary degree and the second that she was selected as UI’s 2017 commencement speaker. The episode was recorded in front of a live studio audience and aired on CTV in Canada. It can also be viewed online at

A graduate from UI in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in radio and television, Denis is recognized as a pioneer for women in broadcasting. It is a feat that began in Moscow, where Denis was the first female broadcaster at local radio station KRPL. 

“I am truly humbled to receive this prestigious honor and to return to the happiest of memories in Moscow and participating in a wonderful celebration at the University of Idaho,” said Denis, who is also co-host of “Roger & Marilyn” on 104.5 CHUM-FM. “My career in broadcasting began at KUID-FM/TV and introduced me to many lifelong friends. To be invited to speak to the graduating class of 2017 … there is no greater honor for me.”

Denis is the recipient of three Gemini Awards, given by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and was awarded The Rosalie Award, honoring Canadian women who have paved the way for others in radio broadcasting. In April 2017, she will be presented with the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award presented at Canadian Music Week’s annual Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards – also in recognition of Denis’ extraordinary contribution to the broadcast industry – marking the first time a female broadcaster will receive the prestigious award.

Denis will accept her honorary degree and give the address at the University of Idaho 2017 commencement on May 13.

Media Contact:
Kathy Foss
Marketing and Communications Manager
College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Marilyn Denis is surprised by Joe Vandal during a live taping of her show, "The Marilyn Denis Show."

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: