Vandal Parent Newsletter: May 17, 2010
It was a perfect weekend. Our Commencement ceremony was extraordinary. Approximately 1,500 students received degrees and one of those Vandals was the 100,000th graduate of the University of Idaho.
Kristin Armstrong was our Commencement speaker who gave a remarkable inspiring story. Kristen was a 1995 alumna who won a Gold Medal in cycling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Most families were joyful ……while a few were amazed. A few parking tickets may also need to be paid before the diploma actually comes in the mail.
The weather was perfect for Commencement as we basked in sunny 80 degree weather. However, the end of semester weather has been great for the “Dean of No Fun”. During the last few weeks, it has been uncomfortably cold, wet and windy. Bad weather helps students focus on final exams and dampens end of the year celebrative activity. Most people in our community do not share my enthusiasm for 20 mile an hour wind and sleet in May.
This weekend, members of our Vandal Track team scored significant victories at the WAC Outdoor Track Championships. Allix Lee Painter won an unprecedented three gold medals in the distance events of the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter and the steeplechase. She was also named the WAC Track Performer of the Year. Four other Vandals won individual gold medals in their respective events.
Yesterday, the Vandaleers began their 12- day European concert tour. The Vandaleers are an extraordinary choir that presents classical and contemporary music. They will present concerts in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. They will enjoy an extraordinary cultural experience and share their musical gifts. They are grateful to many donors who have helped fund this trip.
Today, our campus will begin a significant transformation. Construction crews will start major renovations and basic infrastructure work. Central areas of campus will quickly become construction zones. Several food service venues will be completely renovated. Decades old utility tunnels will be rebuilt and streets will be repaved. (I suspect that workers may find evidence of student expeditions in the heat tunnels.) A new entrance to campus will also be opened in late June. This new attractive entrance will be located on the north edge of campus onto the Moscow Pullman highway. It will significantly improve pedestrian safety for our students who live in apartments in north and west of campus.
Later this week, a team of students will travel to Mississippi to help with areas that were ravaged by tornadoes in April. They will be on the ground for 10 days primarily helping with debris cleanup. They will have a powerful experience and will help people who have lost everything.
Tomorrow will mark the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mt Saint Helens. Thirty years ago volcanic ash covered the UI campus and changed how we have used the campus from that point forward. The center of campus became a pedestrian walkway as interior streets were closed to regular vehicular traffic. We needed to close that part of campus so that we could clean-up the ash and we simply did not reopen the area to traffic. Mt. Saint Helens helped transform our campus into a beautiful pedestrian campus from a cluttered and congested network of streets that verged on chaos during class changes.
Final grades should be posted by Tuesday afternoon. I hope that you are pleased with results of the semester. If your son or daughter has earned poor grades, there are still a few options that may be helpful.
- Students can retake a class where a D or F was initially earned. The new grade will be calculated into the cumulative grade point average and the failing grade will not be calculated in the cumulative average. The failing grade will still appear on the transcript along with the new grade. It is a one-time opportunity for a “do over”.
- Students who lose their eligibility for financial aid may ask for reinstatement of financial aid by requesting reinstatement through the associate dean of their academic college.
- Students can also seek exceptions to academic regulations by submitting a petition to the Academic Petitions Committee through the associate dean of their academic college. A common request to drop a class after the deadline for some extraordinary reason.
The 2009-2010 year has ended well. In some respects, it seems like our fall welcome activities ended only a few weeks ago. It has been a year of substantial progress in the face of very difficult economic problems.
The University of Idaho will be busy this summer as we prepare for our next academic year. Summer school classes began today and we will host many conferences, sport camps and workshops. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.
I wish our new graduates and you (their parents) good fortune as you move your attention to new jobs and transitions to other parts of the world. If your son or daughter graduated this weekend, you may want to unsubscribe to this newsletter. I hope that the newsletter has been helpful to your family during your time associated with the University of Idaho. This is still your University of Idaho….return when you are able. Remember that Vandal gear is always in fashion.
Have a great summer!
Vice Provost for Students Affairs