Local Businessman and Volunteer to Become Honorary University of Idaho Alumnus

Wednesday, February 25 2009

Feb. 25, 2009

Photo is available at www.today.uidaho.edu/PhotoList.aspx.

Written by Jeff Olson

MOSCOW, Idaho – Moscow businessman Jim Anderson may not have a college degree, but on March 5, he will become a University of Idaho honorary alumnus for his commitment to the university and Vandal Athletics. The University of Idaho Alumni Association will honor Anderson during halftime of the Idaho-Louisiana Tech men’s basketball game in the Cowan Spectrum.

“Jim Anderson may not have graduated from the University of Idaho but he has spent a lifetime advocating, supporting and promoting the University of Idaho, and because of his dedication, the Alumni Association is honored to make Jim Anderson an honorary alumnus,” said Steve Johnson, executive director of Alumni Relations.

Anderson came to Moscow in 1968 as general manager of Tri-State Distributors and from 1977-97 he was co-owner of Ambassador Auto. For more than 40 years, he has been active in the Vandal Booster organization, now known as the Vandal Scholarship Fund.

“As a businessman, I realized how important Idaho’s athletic program was to the local economy,” said Anderson. He pointed to a recent alumni survey where Idaho athletic events were the top reason alumni visited Moscow. But his commitment runs deeper than just dollars and sense.

“Jim gives selflessly of his time,” said Rob Spear, director of athletics. “Everything he takes on, he takes to a higher level. Vandal Athletics is blessed to have him as a supporter and volunteer.”

Anderson served as chairman of the Latah County Fund Drive for Vandal Boosters in 1979 and 1980, and introduced new methods in fundraising that resulted in record-breaking fund drives. He also was a member of the Vandal Boosters National Board of Directors and served as president of the board in 1984. In 1979, he was selected as National Vandal Booster of the Year. In the early 2000s, Anderson helped to revive the Latah County chapter of the Vandal Scholarship Fund.

Perhaps, the project for which he is best known is the creation of the outdoor “I Vandal” signs. Boosters throughout the region and state now display more than 500 of the signs.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu

Media Contact: Brandi Hayes, University Communications, (208) 885-7251, brandih@uidaho.edu.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.