Marilyn Howard ’60 ’65 in Memoriam
It is with great sadness that Marilyn Howard - College of Education, Health and Human Sciences alumni, donor, and Advocacy Board Member - died Monday, July 13, 2020 at her Eagle home.
Howard was the former Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction and Idaho’s 23rd chief state school officer. She was elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002 to a statewide constitutional office.
Education propelled Marilyn Howard ’60, ’65 from Mackay to head of the class in Idaho’s education system. She pointed to two core pillars that supported her: reading and social responsibility.
“I was known as a ‘reading person,’ that was my calling card,” Howard said. “I was taught to believe you had to be smart, but also be good. Understand your civic responsibility and be a good community member.”
Howard, retired after two terms as Idaho superintendent of public instruction (1999-2007) and a stint with the U.S. Department of Education, served on multiple boards. Two — Garden City’s Learning Lab and Boise’s Wassmuth Center for Human Rights — speak to her core pillars.
When Howard arrived in Moscow as an undergraduate, she discovered a community with ideas where each individual was important.
“I was a real small-town kid. The fact that I could be accepted and comfortable there was important. My instructors took a real interest,” she said. “There was a real personal touch that was important to me.”
Howard has left a legacy for not only her daughter and grandson who have also graduated from U of I, but also for the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, the University of Idaho, and the state of Idaho at large.
Article by Steve Corda, updated by Melanie Leija, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences