Spring Commencement Includes 73 Degrees from Idaho Falls Campus

Tuesday, April 23 2013


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Graduating students are eligible to receive a combined 73 degrees this spring at the University of Idaho's Idaho Falls campus.

The candidates applied for 21 baccalaureate degrees, 9 doctoral degrees and 43 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 Idaho Falls commencement ceremony will take place Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Willard Arts Center Colonial Theatre, 450 A St. in Idaho Falls. The commencement speaker will be former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig.

Craig took an unlikely path to national prominence, beginning his education in the one-room South Crane School near the family ranch at Midvale, Idaho. By the time he graduated from Midvale High, Craig had become a prize-winning speechmaker, active in FFA and sang in the choir.

He embraced larger life at the University of Idaho, winning election as student body president and was an active member of Delta Chi fraternity. He left Moscow with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, minoring in agricultural economics, and pursued graduate studies at George Washington University in U.S. foreign policy.

Craig soon entered politics and was elected in 1974 to the first of three terms in the Idaho Senate. By 1980 he had been elected to an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he supported President Reagan’s push for vocational education and where, as a member of the Mining Subcommittee of the Interior Committee, he worked to block the demise of the 1872 mining law.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1990, Craig rose to prominence and power. In 2007, he declined to run for re-election and left the Senate in 2009—his 28 years in Congress second in Idaho only to Sen. William Borah’s 32 years.

As a senator, Craig championed public land resource issues and was influential in writing and passing the Energy Policy Acts of 2005 and 2007.

Craig and his longtime Senate chief-of-staff Michael Ware in 2009 opened the lobbying firm New West Strategies. Clients include coal mining giant Murray Energy, on emissions and mine safety issues, and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a sportsmen's group that wants Congress to lift Endangered Species Act protections from wolves on grounds the prolific predators are hurting big game populations coveted by hunters.

“I was used to having a staff. Now I’m the guy who does the research,” Craig said last year on the differences between his senate office and his lobbying digs in the Watergate complex.

More information about the Idaho Falls commencement is available online: www.uidaho.edu/commencement.aspx.

President's Medallion

The President’s Medallion is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the cultural, economic, scientific and/or social advancement of Idaho and its people, and have provided exceptional service to the state or nation that has influenced the well-being of humankind.

The 2013 honoree is David Hill, who until his retirement last year, had been deputy laboratory director for science and technology at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, where the focus on research has expanded to include alternative energy as well as nuclear energy and cleanup.

His tenure was honored on the floor of Congress last year when Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson said, “Dave brought a wonderful vision and talent to INL and his imprint is visible in the new and improved facilities that INL scientists and engineers now use. Dave saw the unique role INL can play as our National Nuclear Laboratory and he helped demonstrate how INL's capabilities could support important nuclear energy, nonproliferation and national security programs. Dave also helped bring an unmatched collection of world-renowned technical experts to Idaho to lead the nation's nuclear energy programs. While serious budget challenges are staring every federal program in the face, Dave will leave the Idaho National Laboratory with a firm foundation.”

Hill was responsible for the science and technology strategy for a lab whose research and development funding nearly doubled under his seven-year leadership to $1 billion for programs pertaining to nuclear energy, national and homeland security, and clean energy. An internationally acknowledged expert on nuclear reactor and fuel cycle issues, he has extensive experience in the area of international nuclear cooperation, working with the countries of both Western Europe and the former Soviet Union.

He joined the Idaho National Laboratory in 2005 from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was associate laboratory director for energy and engineering sciences. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in mathematical physics from Imperial College, London University in his native United Kingdom, and a master’s of business administration from the University of Chicago.

He and his wife, Georgia, are living in Boise.
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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.