President's Office

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

The Friday Letter

March 30, 2012

Dear Friends,

          We're connected... across the years... across the disciplines... and across the world.

          The University of Idaho has been helping Idaho grow for more than 120 years. Along the way, we've created relationships that span the decades and the miles while building the state's economy.

          Along the way, we have led the way in reaching diverse populations. You can see this in pictures of the first graduating class, which was split evenly between men and women.

          This came at a time when most classes nationwide, were almost exclusively male. Early in the university's history, Native American and Asian students would also join the Vandal ranks.

          This continues in many ways. For example, this week we recognized three Athena Women of the Year. From the faculty, Elizabeth Barker Brandt, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and James E. Wilson Distinguished Professor of Law, was recognized for outstanding leadership to the University community. Similarly, the leadership of Brenda Helbling, Executive Assistant to the Provost, was recognized as the Woman of the Year from among university staff. Carmen Suarez, Director, Office of Human Rights, Access, and Inclusion, was recognized also for her leadership from among administration candidates. In addition, we hosted a series of events focusing on farm workers and Hispanic culture.

          I'm also excited about the diverse group of nearly 1,000 potential students who are joining us today in the first of two Vandal Friday events. Many in this group will be first-generation college students, who will change the course of their family's history by attending and graduating from the Idaho's most historic and distinguished university. In addition to building leaders for future generations, we've added to the body of knowledge that has moved Idaho and the nation forward.

          In fact, we've developed an amazing collection of documents that showcase this historic work. One collection recently digitized for better access and public use showcases more than 100 years of Extension and Idaho Agricultural Laboratory Publications. Here you can even see the 1892 bulletin that launched our publishing efforts. Thanks to the efforts of Devin Becker, Kevin Dobbins, and others, you can now look at the ways our University has helped millions live better, more productive lives from the 1890s into the 21st century.

          They've also helped digitize collections from the Idaho State Supreme Court, the Intermountain Forest Tree Nutrition Cooperative and two online collections pertaining to the construction of Northwest Dams, recently featured in the Idaho Western Waters Digital Library. Lately, they've also been working with the Library's Special Collections & Archives Department to provide access to a Google Maps application that features historical photographs of Idaho among other projects.

          These collections not only underscore the role our University plays in the state, but they also reaffirm the interdisciplinary efforts with which knowledge is acquired and then actively shared the public as well as our students.

          We cross traditional and academic boundaries to build for the future. That's something our University has done for more than a century. That's what innovative institutions do, as we celebrate our legacy of leading and inspiring futures.


M. Duane Nellis

Here's the latest news from the University of Idaho

Top National Scholarship Awarded to University of Idaho Student. Rebecca Johnson, a junior at the University of Idaho, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education program. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1987 to honor Senator Goldwater. The scholarship provides a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students. Johnson's work goes beyond the classroom. She has studied in Costa Rica, Panama in its coral reefs, Virginia at the Mountain Lake Biological Station for Research Experience for Undergraduates and Ecuador on an Associated Student Body trip. A National Merit Scholar from Ridgecrest, Calif., she was named a Udall Scholar last year - one of only 80 students nationwide to receive the honor and accompanying scholarship.

High School Seniors to Preview Campus in Vandal Friday Events. High school seniors admitted to the University of Idaho will preview the Moscow campus today and April 13. During the events, students may tour the university campus; meet with professors and advisers; register for classes before other students; purchase Vandal gear; and learn about housing options, financial aid services, and academic and personal support staff. The events include opportunities to "test drive" on-campus living options with one- or two-night stays in residence halls, fraternity, sorority or the Steel House co-op. Representatives from many student organizations will be at the Academic and Activities Information Fair to provide information about numerous leadership, educational and social opportunities available. Special information sessions also are available for parents to discuss a variety of topics, including financing a student's education. Registration information and full details are available online.

Ehrenreich And Family Extend Graduate Scholarship Opportunities. John Ehrenreich, emeritus professor, has a passion for graduate education that stems from his years of service in the University of Idaho's College of Natural Resources (CNR). During his tenure at CNR, Ehrenreich taught and mentored more than 100 master's and doctoral degree students, helping prepare them to become research leaders in their home countries. His exemplary career at the university, coupled with his earlier experience working on national and international initiatives to improve science education, research and policy, filled a lifetime of dedication to higher learning. Recently, Ehrenreich and his wife Dixie, and children John Jr., and Karen (Lyman), created the Ehrenreich Family Graduate Student Scholarship supporting students pursuing graduate degrees in forestry, range, fire ecology and management, fisheries, wildlife, or conservation social sciences. In addition to his faculty position, Ehrenreich also served as dean of CNR from 1971 to 1984. Under his leadership, the college expanded its academic programs, facilities, research capacities and international activities while enhancing the university's reputation as a research giant. CNR will honor him with the Honor Associate Alumni Award on April 19 at its annual college awards celebration. For more information, about giving to CNR, contact Steven Hacker, director of development at (208) 885-7400 or

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