Student Union Building
PO Box 444264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Vandal Family Tradition
By Leslie Einhaus
It’s Commencement Day. You can count on the pearly white smiles representing pride and excitement, the shiny black robes of scholarship, and the golden tassels jangling from the mortarboards that evoke a graduate’s bright future. Picture also the colorful plaid kilts worn by the bagpipers who usher in these giddy grads who will become the newest generation of University of Idaho alumni.
This scene has played out for more than a century in Moscow – 113 times, to be exact. This spring’s procession featured senior Melissa Newhouse from Pendleton, Ore. Newhouse is all too familiar with Idaho traditions and practices. She is the 48th member of her family to attend the University of Idaho.
“I enjoy knowing that I will leave here with the same degree my grandfather did more than 50 years ago,” she said.
Newhouse ’08 received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the College of Business and Economics.
The University of Idaho is etched into her family tree, forever a part of her family’s legacy.
“My first relative at the University of Idaho was my great-great-grandpa, John Ross Good, around 1903,” explained Newhouse.
There’s also great-grandpa Robert Earl Newhouse, who was active in various student activities, including student government and athletics.
“He was student body president and held a pole-vaulting record on the Vandal track team for several years,” she added.
The Newhouse family enjoys an unmatched record of student experience at the University of Idaho.
“The University has given my family a diverse and successful education,” she said. “Being here has allowed my relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – to pursue their passions in life and shape the people they are today,” Newhouse added.
Inheriting a love for the University of Idaho is a special gift.
“Since I was a little girl, I can remember my parents bringing my sister and me to the University of Idaho and taking our picture on the ‘I’ Bench,” she said.
Upon her official arrival on the Moscow campus, Newhouse recalls a visit to the alumni office to peruse the library of yearbooks from days gone by. Of course, she spotted a few familiar faces.
“I went looking through the yearbooks, getting an idea of what certain family members were involved in and what it was like during their college years,” Newhouse explained.
On Commencement Day, Newhouse was greeted by numerous family members who know just how it feels on Commencement Day in Moscow. For a photo shoot, relatives wore Idaho’s signature colors, smiling much like the procession of graduates a few hours before. As they gather in front of the Administration Building, memories unfold amidst laughter. They huddle together on the “I” Bench – the perfect family portrait.
Even with a diploma in hand, Melissa’s story – her family’s story – is far from over. There’s the next generation of family members to consider. When it’s time to have children, Newhouse hopes they, too, will step on that well-traveled path toward the University of Idaho.
“I would love for my children to come to the University of Idaho so that way they can write a story about being a sixth-generation Vandal.”
To be continued…