Vandal Parent Newsletter: May 1, 2012
The End Is Near. I can imagine a long-haired, bearded cartoon-looking guy standing in front of the Idaho Commons with a sign that predicts the end of time or at least the end of the academic year. The actual signs of “the end” are students intensely working to complete final projects and preparing for final exams.
Students huddle in groups to complete group projects, and the time-tested flash cards are being made as a last-ditch effort to cram a few more facts before those tests are taken. Near the end of this week a much larger number of students than usual will also give into fatigue, and their bodies will sprawl in soft chairs outside my office for short naps.
Each year, I hope for really bad weather as we close the semester. Rain, wind, and cool temperatures help students focus on the challenges at hand. Right now, I am the “dean of no fun” as I hope that there will be few distractions, like warm, sunny days. A week ago, there were a string of warm and sunny days that led to sunburns and a few Frisbee-related injuries. The next seven-day weather forecast is in my favor.
Many seniors are experiencing these final days on campus with a mix of excitement and bittersweet feelings about leaving a place that has become home and friends who have become dear. Many of these seniors have touched us very personally as they have earned their degrees and engaged in many great adventures. Two graduating seniors in particular have a shared and interesting story. This summer, Samantha Perez who is from Rigby, Idaho, and served as ASUI president this year will marry Stephen Parrott from Buhl, Idaho, who was ASUI president the prior year. Politics may be in their future. Best wishes!
Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 12th, at 9:30am in the Kibbie Dome. General James Amos will be our Commencement speaker. General Amos is the Commandant of the US Marine Corps and a 1970 University of Idaho graduate. He has had a distinguished military career, and now he is the highest ranking officer in the US Marine Corps. It will be an honor to have him address our graduating students and their families.
In the last few weeks, we have enjoyed many award ceremonies. These ceremonies gave us the opportunity to recognize the excellent work that has been accomplished. Among the many students we have honored, there are ten outstanding graduating seniors, who were named at the ASUI Leadership Ceremony:
Sally Ames, Blackfoot, Idaho
Emily Brookhart, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Juan Corona, Parma, Idaho
Megan “Micah” Kehrein, Woodland, California
Anna Marshall, Meridian, Idaho
Danielle Merriman, Boise, Idaho
Charito Morales, May, Idaho
Samantha Perez, Rigby, Idaho
Samantha Storms, Idaho Falls, Idaho
David Tart, Moscow, Idaho
We wish them well as they move to first jobs, graduate school, and military commitments.
In the midst of these celebrations, we have also been saddened by the unexpected death of Karen Pohl. Karen was a 22-year-old student from Portland, Oregon, who was also preparing to graduate. Karen suffered a very serious stroke on April 9th and died on April 15th. Karen was an exceptional biology student and a leader on many of our Alternative Service Break trips. Karen was part of a student team that I accompanied in spring 2009 as we went to Louisiana to do hurricane restoration. She was also an EMT. The Vandal family gathered with her parents and siblings last week to celebrate her life with a very moving memorial service.
In mid-April, the Idaho State Board of Education set University of Idaho 2012-2013 tuition and fees. In-state tuition will be $6,212 and out-of-state tuition will be $19,000. The State Board of Education also reaffirmed their commitment that requires students to have health insurance. This requirement does not mandate purchase of insurance that the University offers but does require verification that students have coverage.
Last weekend, approximately 900 alumni and friends gathered at the University of Idaho to support our $225 million fundraising campaign. This gala made public the goals of a campaign that has been underway for four years. We have contributions and pledges for approximately 72% of that goal. The primary objectives of this effort are to increase student scholarships, improve facilities, enhance support to faculty, and increase our research capabilities. One specific building project to be funded will be a new research and innovation building. These generous gifts from our friends will improve the quality of education that can be provided to your sons and daughters.
Best wishes to you if your son or daughter will be graduating. It has been a privilege to have shared this journey with you. Please wear your Vandal gear wherever you go, and return to Moscow when possible. I hope that the University of Idaho will be a special place for you and your family in the years to come.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs/Dean of Students