Student Union Building
PO Box 444264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Jeff and Kristine Stoddard
When Jeff Stoddard ’75,’76 graduated from the College of Business and Economics – first with a degree in management, then with a degree in accounting – he began a lifelong tradition of supporting both the athletic and the scholastic side of the University of Idaho.
As a young graduate he gave what he could afford: donations of $5, $25 and $100. Over the years, his commitment never wavered and his generosity grew. Now, Jeff and his wife, Kris, have presented the University with a leadership gift of $1 million. The gift supports the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center Renovation and Expansion project and establishes the Jeff and Kristine Stoddard Distinguished Teaching Scholar Endowment to attract and retain top-notch faculty in the College of Business and Economics.
“Faculty members define a college, and the best have profound impacts on their students,” says College of Business and Economics Dean Jack Morris. “Jeff and Kris personify the values that our faculty members hope to instill in each and every one of our graduates – entrepreneurial spirit, integrity and a sense of community.”
The Stoddards’ gift has generated significant momentum to the fundraising efforts for both the Kibbie Dome and the College of Business and Economics. Their generosity is a direct reflection of what Jeff says were the most important lessons he learned at Idaho: Plan ahead, aim high, and invest in a solid foundation.
“I spent some of the best years of my life at the University of Idaho, and I have a strong emotional connection to the place,” says Jeff. “However, the more important reason for our support is that the University urgently needs help from its alums. With financial support from the state lacking, the only way the University can maintain its academic standing and hope to remain 'the' university in the state is with significant financial assistance from its friends and alums.”
As a student, Jeff says that he was deeply influenced by accounting professor Hal Jones, who gave him a framework for success. “He was the one who encouraged me to build the best foundation you possibly can for later in life,” recounts Jeff. “He saw that I was doing well in school and told me I might want to consider Harvard Business School. Well, at that time, Harvard just wasn’t on my radar – but he helped me believe that I might be admitted.” Jeff graduated from Harvard with an MBA in 1978.
Jeff began his career in Chicago in commercial banking where he helped developers secure financing. That experience proved to be invaluable when, in 1983, he became one of the founding partners of the Buie Corporation, a commercial real estate development company. Now known as the Buie-Stoddard Group, the company specializes in developing commercial properties and residential communities throughout Southern California.
In 2007, Jeff was presented with the University’s Silver and Gold Award, an honor given to a select few alumni that signifies exceptional success in their chosen field.
Still, his fondest college memory is his freshman year at the University of Idaho.
“How can that not be the greatest time?” he asks. “Freedom, a wide open path, innocence and youth – it doesn’t get better than that! And, of course, that’s when I met the girl who became my wife.”
Kris and Jeff both lived in the Wallace residence hall complex. After her first year, Kris left Moscow to study physical therapy at the University of Utah. “She was dating my friend, but I pursued her, and eventually she – reluctantly – succumbed!” laughs Jeff. Married for 30 years, the couple has three children.
Jeff is an avid Vandals fan. With Rob Spear and Gary Michael, Jeff formed the Quarterback Club as a means of raising additional money for the athletic program. Last summer, the Stoddards held a fundraiser for the Vandal Scholarship Fund at their summer home on Payette Lake in McCall.
“Jeff is one of Vandal Athletics’ best friends,” says Rob Spear, Director of Athletics. “I was tremendously excited about the Stoddards’ leadership gift, because it indicates that Jeff believes in the vision we have for our athletic program. When Jeff Stoddard shows support and commitment to projects, those projects become successful."