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Idaho Treasure Award to Honor D. Nels Reese

October 23, 2017

This November, the University of Idaho will honor alumnus and preservation advocate D. Nels Reese with the 2017 Idaho Treasure Award.


Awarded by the UI Retirees Association, the Idaho Treasure Award recognizes retired university faculty and staff and their family members for contributions of leadership and service to the university. 


A native of Boise, Reese graduated from U of I in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He went on to receive a master’s in urban planning from City College of New York. His resume includes eight years spent in the Army National Guard, five years as art director for Army in Europe magazine while living in Heidelberg Germany, and seven years as director of facilities at U of I.


Reese taught architecture at U of I for more than 20 years. His focus was primarily on urban design and planning and he led his students on numerous field trips, including to New York, to see architecture at work. A longtime public servant, Reese was appointed to Moscow’s Planning and Zoning Commission in 1996, a post he still holds today.


“Nels is a tireless advocate for preservation through his efforts to cultivate public awareness about the importance of our historic resources to Moscow’s quality of life and their stewardship for future generations,” said Wendy R. McClure, Professor Emeritus in the College of Art & Architecture. “He routinely shares his knowledge about Moscow’s architectural history and historic neighborhoods with University of Idaho and Moscow communities.”


In 2007, Reese led a group of fourth-year architecture and landscape students in planning the Legacy Crossing Urban Renewal District, an ongoing project to develop and beautify 20 acres of industrial land in the heart of Moscow. Reese is passionate about architecture — especially in Moscow and Idaho communities — and spends countless hours dedicated to preserving and sharing his knowledge and passion for architecture. Reese has been a member of the Moscow Historic Preservation Commission since 2009, serving as the chair from 2009-13. He holds the position of vice chair.


Reese retired from U of I in 2008, but he continues to serve the university and the state. He has been a participant in a project to compile a list Idaho’s 100 most significant buildings for the Society of Architectural Historians. He also leads walking tours of Moscow, the U of I campus and New York City. He is an active member of the University of Idaho Retirees Association and served on the board of directors for three years. Reese continues to mentor many of his former students, making a point to visit them wherever he travels.


The Idaho Treasure Award Luncheon is at noon, Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Best Western Plus University Inn in Moscow. The luncheon is open to the public, and costs $12 at the door. The deadline to RSVP is Monday, Nov. 13. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 208-885-6154 or e-mail to confirm attendance. 

Media Contact:
Whitney Schroeder
Marketing and Communications Manager, Office of Alumni Relations

D. Nels Reese

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more: