University of Idaho Freshman to Introduce Rev. Jesse Jackson

Friday, February 4 2011


Written by Chelsey Remitz

MOSCOW, Idaho – When the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to University of Idaho audiences on Monday, Feb. 7, there won't be a long line of university dignitaries introducing him.

Rather, Christina Boddie, a freshman from Port Orchard, Wash., will do the honors.

Mark Edwards, assistant to the president for diversity, equity and community, anticipates 4,000 people will attend the event. When organizing the event, he immediately knew he wanted a student to make the introduction.

“I felt this would be a great opportunity to create a lifelong experience for a young person,” said Edward.

“As I began to think of students, I recalled a high school student that I had met two years ago when she and her mother visited the university,” said Edwards. “I remembered how accomplished, confident and well spoken she was, and – most importantly – how she talked about what she wanted to achieve in life.”

Boddie is majoring in chemistry. In the future, she would like to become a dermatologist, eventually owning her own practice and traveling to help people in third world countries.

“This is such a big honor! I’m super excited because Jackson has so many accomplishments and is so well known,” said Boddie.

Boddie's father, Tony, is African-American, and mother, Susanne, is Caucasian, making Boddie the first player of African- American descent in the Idaho soccer program. Up until recently, she was unaware of her historical position. She marks a momentous time in the university's history, as well as in her own.

"Right now I am just excited, but I know a few days before the event I am going to be so nervous," Boddie said. “This is a big deal for the University of Idaho. I truly believe everyone should know Jackson’s accomplishments, the background on Black History Month and how we got to where we are today. It’s important to know our past.”

“Keep Hope Alive,” Jackson’s address, will be presented at 7:15 p.m. in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center, 1000 Stadium Way in Moscow. Following his address there will be a question-and-answer period. It is free and open to the public.

Bleacher seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m. General parking is recommended in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center west end parking lot. For more information about the event, visit www.uidaho.edu/newsevents/features/events/jessejackson.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant 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 classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu.