University of Idaho Ada County Silver and Gold Celebration Honors Volunteers and Leaders

Wednesday, January 27 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho Alumni Association will honor five individuals for their achievements and service to the university at the Ada County Silver and Gold Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 4. The event takes place at the Boise Centre on the Grove, 850 W. Front Street, and runs from 6-8 p.m., with an awards presentation at 6:45 p.m.

“We are very proud of this group of alumni award recipients,” said Wayne Wohler, Alumni Association national president and award committee chairman. “We can be proud of their extensive public service and leadership that continues our Vandal legacy of leading.”

Dr. Roy and Frances Ellsworth of Boise will receive the Silver and Gold Award for their record of achievement and service in their specialized areas of endeavors. Roy Ellsworth is an ophthalmologist and founding partner of Intermountain Eye Center. He has served as president of both the Ada County Medical Society and the Idaho Medical Association. Dr. Ellwsorth also has been a leader of the St. Alphonsus medical outreach program to assist impoverished children in Haiti. He currently serves on the University of Idaho College of Science Advisory Board.

Frances Ellsworth is owner of River Place Design in Boise. She is the chairman of the University of Idaho Foundation, member of the St. Alphonsus Foundation Board, and past president of the Idaho Humane Society and the Learning Lab.

The Ellsworths have worked as a dedicated team in support of the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, and for 19 years have hosted a fundraising event, known as “The Lawn Party,” to benefit the Idaho Humane Society. In 2007, they were recognized Outstanding Philanthropists by the Idaho Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Frances earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Idaho. Roy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a M.D. from the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Four individuals who have shown long-term dedication and service to the university and the Alumni Association will receive the Jim Lyle Award. Those to be honored are Dolores Chapman of McCall, Jim Dickinson of Boise, and Tom and Diana Nicholson of Boise.

Chapman has been called a born cheerleader, which, in fact, she was during her student days at the University of Idaho as she earned a bachelor’s degree in French.

She has been volunteering her time and talent to the university for more than 40 years and is a past member and chairman of the University of Idaho Foundation Board of Directors and member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Chapman also has established an endowed scholarship at the university.

Her civic contributions include service as director of the Boise Area Chamber of Commerce, trustee of the McCall-Donnelly School District and chairman of the Idaho Community Foundation.

Dickinson is senior deputy prosecutor for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, where he has worked for 26 years in both the civil and criminal divisions. In addition, he is on the faculty of the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C., and is a lecturer for the Idaho Prosecuting Attorney’s Association and the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy. He is the author of "Doing Justice," published by the National College of District Attorneys.

Dickinson’s service to the University of Idaho includes membership on the Alumni Association National Board of Directors from 2001-07 with leadership terms as treasurer, vice president and president. He also provided more than a decade of volunteer service to the Ada County alumni chapter where he also served as president for three years. In addition, he has served as a mentor for students in the University of Idaho College of Law.

Dickinson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and his law degree at the University of Idaho.

Tom and Diana Nicholson are longtime supporters of the University of Idaho and have generously offered their time, talent, resources and influence to the university. Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and animal husbandry at Idaho in 1959, and later was a co-founder of Micron Technology Inc. The Nicholsons currently are involved in numerous business ventures in Idaho and the Northwest.

Both were active in the university’s previous fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Idaho, and Diana has served on the University of Idaho Foundation board of directors. Their support of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences includes participation in the campaign to build the Agricultural Biotechnology Building, and they are loyal donors to the Steer-a-Year program that supports scholarships in the college.

Tom was inducted into the Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

For more information, contact the University of Idaho Alumni Association’s Boise office at (208) 364-4030 or e-mail Those wishing to attend should RSVP to the Boise office by Jan. 28. Tickets to the event are $25 per person. Payment can be made online with a credit card at, or by check payable to the University of Idaho Alumni Association mailed to Silver and Gold Reception, 322 E. Front St., Suite 324, Boise, ID, 83702.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps 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. For information, visit