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

Oct. 5, 2012

Dear Friends,

Homecoming provides a time to celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going. As a university that predates our state, we have a long and proud history of scholarship, research and service.  Moreover, we have a bright future as Idaho’s national land-grant university.   

We’ve also been innovators.  That’s part of the reason I joined in a joint White House and U.S. Department of Commerce event on Monday that focused on promoting university-based innovation and entrepreneurship. Our university has long been a leader in thinking and acting entrepreneurially. This is essential for us to continue in our third century as a 21st century land-grant university that impacts the world.

From the first 40 students who walked through our doors on Oct. 3, 1892, to the more than 12,000 today, our impact has grown as has the size and reach of our Vandal alumni who now span the world and number nearly 100,000. 

Some of our great alums have been able to visit our campus in Moscow over the last several weeks, and more have been here in spirit.

The world visited us too. This week, the annual Sherman J. Bellwood Lectures featured sessions in Boise and Moscow with attorney Kenneth Feinberg, known primarily as the architect of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. 

In addition, our Women’s Center celebrated its 40th anniversary with a series of eventsthat included a public lecture by women’s rights activist, author and attorney Gloria Steinem in the ASUI-Kibbie Dome.

As always homecoming festivities reach their big finale with Serpentine and Bonfire tonight and the parade and game tomorrow. Leading the parade will be a Vandal football legend Jerry Kramer, who holds five World Championship football titles including his two winning Superbowl appearances with the Green Bay Packers. Jerry is a Vandal leader off the gridiron too. He continues to help former NFL members with medical and other needs through his "Gridiron Greats" assistance fund. That’s one of the traits of Vandal leaders – they help others. 

On Saturday, we’ll also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the University of Idaho’s statewide 4-H program during Ag Days in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

With its commitment to head, heart, hands, and health, 4-H teaches and embodies the virtues of your university -- sharing these positive attributes with the 34,000 4-H members ages 5 to 18 statewide. We give thanks to the more than 4,000 adult and youth 4-H leaders who’re working with our extension educators.     

A common theme in all that our university does is our commitment to inspiring futures…of encouraging leadership through education and experience…as a means to improve the future of individuals, communities and countries.

Here’s thinking of all of you as we look to the future! 


M. Duane Nellis

Vandal Gear Sales Fuel Scholarships.  Nearly $80,000 in U-Idaho scholarship funds will be presented this weekend thanks to the purchase of branded Vandal Gear. The program started in 1984. It generated $676.63 in royalty that year compared to $263,946.41 in royalty in fiscal 2012.  All monies beyond the cost of agency fees and trademark and licensing costs go to U-Idaho scholarships. “The majority of our growth has been in the last two years,” said Sue Chen, director of trademark and licensing. “Increased interest by Vandals and partnership with many firms from national chains like Fred Meyers, Costco, Kohl’s, J. C. Penney’s, and Walmart to local stores like Tri-State, Sport Town and the VandalStores have made a huge difference."

U-Idaho Welcomes New Faculty -- CLASS. The university welcomed 47 new faculty members this year. One was seen frequently this week as the new Director of Athletic Bands. Spencer Martin (M.M., 2002, University of Idaho; B.M. Percussion Performance, 1999, University of Idaho) is serving as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Music in the Lionel Hampton School of Music within the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.Martin has taught music in the public schools at both the middle and high school levels and has been a lecturer in percussion at colleges in Wyoming and Washington. He has extensive experience in athletic bands in all his positions, including at both Boise State University and the University of Idaho as a graduate teaching assistant. He has conducted bands by invitation at the Idaho Music Educator’s Conference, Montana AA High School Band Festival, and has adjudicated at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and the Southeast Alaska Music Festival.

Vandal Pride Can Be Found In Unsuspecting Places. Hank Heusinkveld ’84, a devoted alum and University of Idaho donor, was surprised and overjoyed to find a fellow Vandal in Wilmington, North Carolina. While out driving one day, he spotted a Vandal decal on a nearby vehicle and motioned for the driver to roll down his window. “Go Vandals!” were the words that began an instant and ongoing friendship between the two Vandal fans. “You can only get away with that with people from Idaho,” Hank said. After realizing they were neighbors, the two have since enjoyed sharing their fondest memories of Idaho and even attended last weekend’s Vandal football game at the University of North Carolina to cheer on the team. Hank recently told his story to a student fundraiser with Vandal Connect, the University of Idaho’s call center where students raise $1 million every year for the University and its capital campaign -- Inspiring Futures: Invest in the University of Idaho. Vandal Connect contacts over 60,000 alumni and friends, like Hank, each year to promote giving to the donor’s area of interest. For more information on supporting the University of Idaho, visit the Inspiring Futures: Invest in the University of Idaho website or contact Meghann Kolb at (208) 885-5204 or