Spring Commencement Includes 181 Degrees from U-Idaho Coeur d’Alene Center

Thursday, April 25 2013

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Graduating students are eligible to receive a combined 181 degrees this spring at the University of Idaho's Coeur d’Alene campus.

The candidates applied for 97 baccalaureate degrees, 8 doctoral degrees and 76 specialist and master’s degrees. Some students will have earned multiple degrees.

Statewide this spring, five commencement ceremonies celebrate the accomplishments of 1,774 University of Idaho students who are eligible to graduate, earning a combined 1,845 degrees. This year's commencement brings the university's all-time totals to 107,519 graduates and 115,317 degrees.

The Coeur d’Alene commencement ceremony will take place Monday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Willard Arts Center Colonial Theatre, 450 A St. in Idaho Falls. The commencement speaker will be JoAnn Harvey.

A member of the Nez Perce Tribe, JoAnn Harvey is an Idaho Native in the deepest sense, and sharing the value and benefits of education have been an important driver in he career.

Growing up around Lapwai, Harvey went off to earn a Bachelor of Arts in education from Eastern Washington University, followed by a master’s in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

She is nothing if not organized, and a leader. Harvey has “held every office” for the Coeur d’Alene Teachers Education Association from building representative to president. She has also been deeply involved in the Region 1 Idaho Education Association, covering the state’s five northern counties, and became well-known nationally while chair of the National Education Association’s American Indian/Native Alaskan caucus for her efforts to training a spotlight on raising graduation rate for indigenous students.

Harvey organized the NEA’s very first American Indian/Native Alaskan Issues Conference, which was held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Casino in June 2003. The conference has since been held twice more, in 2005 and 2009. She has also devoted six years to the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Committee, along with a myriad of others, and was selected as a delegate to Education International conferences in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2002, Berlin in 2006 and Cape Town, South Africa, 2011.

Perhaps an extension of her concern for indigenous and minority education, Harvey for the last 20 years has been involved with the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, she is the immediate past president, and also serves on the board of a sister organization, the Human Rights Education Institute, since it was formed in 1998.

She still teaches as a physical education specialist for the Coeur d’Alene School District, where she began work in 1986.

Harvey ran unsuccessfully for the Idaho Senate in 2000 and 2002 with one of her campaign goals to increase education funding in the state.

She has a black belt in Tang Soo Do, four adult children, six grandsons and a granddaughter.

President’s Medallion

Dennis “Denny” Davis left the University of Idaho with two degrees, a bachelor of science in 1973 and his juris doctorate degree in 1977. From there, he headed north, where he has been deeply involved in his adopted city of Coeur d’Alene for the last 35 years.

Davis, who has specialized in real estate and development law for Witherspoon Kelley, also has served as a state senator and participates on two notable initiatives in the northern Idaho city: urban renewal and human rights.

Davis was appointed to serve on the board of the urban renewal entity, the Lake City Development Corporation, in 2005 and has been board chair since 2008. The LCDC has helped reshape Coeur d’Alene, especially along its lakefront, with high-profile projects such as the education corridor, Midtown revival and, most recently, the redesign of venerable McEwen Field.

In 1998, he was one of the founding members of the Human Rights Education Institute, an offshoot of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.

Davis was elected to the Idaho Legislature as a Democrat, serving in the state senate from 1989 to 1994 and as Assistant Minority Leader in 1993 and 1994. A key promise of his campaign was to challenge the construction of large-scale medical waste incinerators that would accept out-of-state waste. One was proposed for Hauser Lake. Davis won the support of Gov. Cecil Andrus for a moratorium and later successfully pushed a bill, it passed by one vote, limiting the scope of such incinerators.

“Small communities in rural Western states should not be targeted as dumping grounds for large urban areas,” Davis said at the time.

He was an Idaho State Bar appointee to the Idaho Judicial Council from 1999 to 2005. In 2010 he received the Idaho State Bar Association's Professionalism Award. Davis also serves on the University of Idaho College of Law Advisory Council and the university’s Northern Advisory Board.

Davis is a former member of the Coeur d’Alene city planning commission and currently serves on the board of Jobs Plus, (Kootenai County's Economic Development Corporation).

More information about the Boise commencement is available online: www.uidaho.edu/commencement.aspx.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.

Media Contact: Andrea Thomas, University Communications-North, (208) 292-1401, andreat@uidaho.edu