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

May 24, 2013

Dear Friends,

We’re heading into a three-day weekend that for many simply signals the start of summer. In truth, it symbolizes something with much deeper meaning.

Originally begun as Decoration Day in 1865, this remembrance of military members lost in the Civil War would later become a national holiday -- Memorial Day -- and in time would stretch into a three-day holiday.

In the wake of World War II, towns all over America began staging their own observances with parades and memorials. Today, the ceremonies have dwindled, and many seem unfazed by the weekend’s original intent.  

Yet our overall respect for our military men and women is demonstrated in other important ways.

The university has seen a dramatic increase in the number of enrolled military veterans and family members. We are dedicated to finding tangible ways to help them in their new journeys.

Here we are proud supporters of a very special program unique to the University of Idaho – called Operation Education. Operation Education is the nation’s leading scholarship and assistance program for military veterans with disabilities. It is available to military personnel who sustained permanent disabilities while serving our nation since 9/11. Spouses of qualifying veterans may also be eligible for the program.

We recognize that for many veterans with disabilities, returning to a productive and satisfying life is about more than just money. Rather, it is about the need for comprehensive and integrated support.

Each individualized scholarship provides financial, academic and social support and resources – such as tuition, fees and books, on-campus housing, transportation, medical assistance, childcare, adaptive equipment, tutoring and mentorship – for the diverse challenges that accompany returning to civilian life, adjusting to life with a disability and working to earn a college degree. We also work with companies to offer internships and assist in job placement.

I’m excited that we’ve also seen an increase in giving to Operation Education.  We just surpassed the program’s $1 million capital campaign goal.  However, there’s always room for more to join in giving to this fund.

This weekend I encourage you to remember those – living and dead – who have sacrificed for their country.

As Wallace Bruce wrote, 

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.”


M. Duane Nellis

Recent Grad’s Research Helps State Plan Chinook Salmon Season. Spring is here, Chinook salmon are swimming from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho hatcheries and rivers where they were born – and anglers are waiting for them. But how do state management agencies balance the need for adequate numbers of Chinook in the fisheries against anglers’ desire to stock their larders?

Thanks to Josh McCormick, a recent graduate of the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game now has improved tools for managing Idaho’s Chinook salmon population. This is the second year IDFG has incorporated McCormick’s data into the Chinook season. Read more.

New U-Idaho WWAMI Interim Director Named. The University of Idaho announced today that Joe Cloud has been selected as interim director of the WWAMI – Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – Medical Education Program for Idaho. He will take the helm on June 1 from Andrew Turner, who has provided exemplary leadership in the program for the last 10 years.

“Along with serving as the former chair of the department of biology and having a distinguished record of scholarship and teaching in biological sciences, Joe Cloud has worked extensively with WWAMI students and faculty over the years. I look forward to working with him to continue the high quality and strength of the WWAMI Medical Education Program,” said Katherine Aiken, interim provost and executive vice-president. Read more.

Cowans, Others Have Their IRAs Do The Giving. University of Idaho alumni, Bob ’59 and Jan ’57 Cowan of Richland, Wash., are long-time supporters of several programs at Idaho, including those in business, agriculture, athletics and renovations to the Kibbie Dome that support the Inspiring Futures Capital Campaign.

"Our experience at the University of Idaho provided us with the foundation for our careers, as well as the beginning of life-long friendships that are very dear to us today," said Bob. "Our support of the university and its programs and students is our way of giving back so students receive the first-rate educational experience like we did."

In recent years, the couple has taken advantage of an IRA rollover bill that allows those 70 1⁄2 and older to make tax- free transfers from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA directly to the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. Congress instituted the IRA rollover tax benefit program in 2010. It permits tax-free transfers of up to $100,000 per person or $200,000 per couple to charitable organizations.

Please consider acting now by making a gift directly from your IRA. For more information, contact Bob Scholes, Office of Estate, Trust and Gift Planning. He can be reached at (208) 885-5371 and (866) 671-7041 or by email at