President's Office

Administration Building
Room 105
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3151
Moscow, ID 83844-3151
Phone: (208) 885-6365

Friday Letter Office of the President

April 5, 2013

Dear Friends,

Our students have done it again! They’re bringing home more national awards.

This week we’ve had great news about three undergraduates being selected for Goldwater and Udall Scholarships. Only 271 Goldwater Scholars and 50 Udall Scholars were selected nationally this year. Idaho has three students who’ve been selected as scholars in these separate programs this year. All are Vandals!

University of Idaho junior, Wieteke Holthuijzen of Meridian, has been selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar.

The Udall Foundation was created to honor the legacy of U.S. Representative Morris Udall and his older brother Stewart who was also a U.S. Representative. The 50 winners were selected from 488 candidates representing 230 colleges and universities across the country. Each receives a $5,000 scholarship.

Since 1996, we’ve had 15 Udall Scholars and seven Honorable Mention recipients.

I’m also proud to report that two other Vandal undergraduates have just been named Goldwater Scholars, bringing the total number of our students to have garnered the award since 1991 to a total of 26. 

Rebecca La Verne Winzer, a sophomore physics major from Coeur d’Alene, will receive $7,500 in support for each of her two remaining years of undergraduate education. Meanwhile, Kevin Witkoe, a junior in mechanical engineering from Spokane, will receive $7,500 in support of his senior year.     

Congress established the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1987 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. The scholarship provides a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships. The 271 recipients for 2013 were selected from 1,107 mathematics, science, and engineering students.  

This national, high-level recognition of our students is reflective of the quality of our student body and our university.  We are not surprised by this success.  We’re committed to drawing the best and brightest to study with us, Idaho’s leading institution of higher education. We expect more successes like this in the future. In fact, we’re banking on it, because we invest in every student.

That’s why nearly one–third of our students will be the first in their families to earn college degrees. For these and others, we’ve helped to secure nearly $125 million in financial aid, of which more than $29 million comes in the form of scholarships.

We’re also looking to expand opportunities for students to experience our special brand of education by expanding these scholarships through our Inspiring Futures Capital Campaign. Scholarships are one of the four cornerstones of the capital campaign and allows donors to partner with us to invest in future generations of leaders who will go on to lead their professions and their communities.

I am incredibly proud of our students. They are truly amazing and inspiring. I am also grateful for those who help us make Idaho’s national university available to students by supporting our campaign, Inspiring Futures. Our students will indeed inspire and shape the future, and your university remains committed — just as we have been for almost 125 years — to making that future better for our communities, our state, our nation and our world.


M. Duane Nellis

Professor, Team: Thin, Low Arctic Clouds Key To Massive 2012 Greenland Melt. Clouds over the central Greenland Ice Sheet last July were “just right” for driving surface temperatures there above the melting point, according to a new study by University of Idaho geography professor Von P. Walden, doctoral student Christopher Cox and scientists at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Colorado.  The study, to be published this week in the journal “Nature,” found that thin, low-lying clouds allowed the sun’s energy to pass through and warm the surface of the ice, while at the same time trapping heat near the surface of the ice cap. This combination played a significant role in last summer's record-breaking melt. Read more.

Kyle Barone Named All-American. Idaho senior men’s basketball player Kyle Barone was recognized as an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, the AP announced Monday night. Barone, the Western Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year in 2012-13, averaged 17.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. The 6-foot-10 center shot 59.7 percent from the field and 78.2 percent from the free throw line, and racked up 516 points and 291 rebounds in 2012-13. Barone leaves Idaho as the program’s career leader with 126 games played, and ranks fourth with 1,433 career points and second with 869 career rebounds. Barone was a two-time WAC Player of the Week and first-team All-WAC selection in 2012-13, a second-team All-WAC pick in 2011-12 and an All-WAC Honorable Mention in 2010-11. Read more about Barone.

Film Maker To Address Vandal Graduates In May. Independent film producer Jim Lemley ‘88 will deliver the commencement address to some of the 1,774 spring graduates next month. Lemley’s credits include “Tristan & Isolde,” “Red Eye,” “Wanted,” “9,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and most recently “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” He also is currently producing multiple projects including “Wanted 2” and “Moby Dick” for Universal, and a science fiction project called “Forever.” Read more.

Alum Turns House Into Future Vandal Gains. Michael D. Roach ’74 recently turned his residential real estate into an investment to benefit the future of the University of Idaho. Roach is using the first house he ever owned, now a rental property, to fund a charitable remainder trust, or CRT, with the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.

The $110,000 house currently generates cash flow thanks to its current tenants, allowing the Foundation to be judicious in finding a buyer. The CRT will distribute an income to Mike during his lifetime, and upon his passing, the remainder will go to a program of his choosing within the University.

Mike has initially provided for a previously established endowment fund in the College of Natural Resources but he maintains the flexibility to change designations, if he desires. “The University of Idaho has benefited me in so many ways” said Mike. “This is just one way I can give back to my alma mater.”

Mike graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in wildlife resources. After a successful career as a banker, he now serves as the state natural resources director for Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho. For more information on funding a charitable remainder trust with real estate, contact either Ed McBride at or Bob Scholes at in the Office of Estate, Trust and Gift Planning; or call (208) 885-1201 or (866) 671-7041.