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The Friday Letter

The Friday Letter is U of I’s long-running, weekly message straight from the president to members of the Vandal family. Each week during the academic year, and with breaks for holidays, the president offers an update on Vandal teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and notable initiatives and priorities. Alumni and friends are welcome to join students, faculty and staff in receiving the newsletter. To subscribe, contact Executive Communications Manager Brian Keenan at bkeenan@uidaho.edu.

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Nov. 17, 2017
Letter from the President
Dear Friends,
The University of Idaho marked this past Veterans Day in several ways. The annual Veteran’s Appreciation Dinner on Saturday was an opportunity to honor and celebrate veterans from U of I and the surrounding community. Last Friday, our Veterans Services and ROTC departments held a wreath-laying ceremony at Memorial Gym, in remembrance to those who have lost their lives in service to the country. In each case, U of I affirms its appreciation for service members and veterans.
 
Last week I mentioned a 100-year-old issue of The Argonaut. The front page of that issue offers a window into U of I’s longtime connection with military service. In 1917, World War I’s shockwaves were producing headlines like “Bayonet Practice Added to Course” and “‘Eat Less’ Says Federal Agent,” a reference to food conservation initiatives to help the war effort. Scroll through other Argonaut pages of that era, and you’ll find notices of students accepting commissions, drills on campus, updates from the front and more. “The university campus has taken on the air of a military camp,” offers one article, suggesting how dramatic war-time measures were on campus, and noting with pride the determination of the campus community to offer aid and support.
 
In the 128 years of the university, that spirit has extended to those who have completed their service. After World War II, for example, service members took advantage of their GI Bill education benefits in such numbers that temporary housing went up all over campus. That educational experience, at U of I and across the country, contributed to the incredible mid-century growth of the middle class. Those veterans, like generations before and after them, forever shaped our institution. Service to our veterans is definitional to this university.
 
We continue to build on that tradition in multiple ways. At every Commencement, we are honored to see commissions awarded for our Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force cadets and midshipmen, and I appreciate the commitment these young people display by participating in the rigors of ROTC while completing their education. We also proudly offer wraparound support to disabled veterans and spouses in our Operation Education program. It is an honor to facilitate an outstanding, accessible education for those who have given so much.
 
The University of Idaho has long held the door open to veterans, and to those who wish to serve. That role is a duty and a privilege.
 
We look forward to serving those who serve for years to come.
 
Chuck Staben
Go Vandals!

Chuck Staben
President
THE LATEST NEWS FROM UI

Supporting Faculty Excellence in Business and Economics

Matt Espe ’80 and Lori Espe ’81 recently fulfilled a six-year, $100,000 annual commitment to support the Espe Family Faculty Fellowship that they established in 2010. This fellowship recognizes and rewards faculty members who excel in teaching and research; it also serves to attract talented faculty to the College of Business and Economics (CBE). Matt and Lori graduated from the college with degrees in marketing and accounting, respectively. “We donate to the CBE because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my experiences there,” Matt said. “Years before I got there, people made investments from which I benefited. So, as alums, it’s only right for us to make a similar investment in the future and to create opportunities for the young men and women coming after us.” The Espes understand that motivated, talented educators directly affect the quality of the student experience and influence post-graduation success. For more information about giving to the College of Business and Economics, please contact Brian Mitchell at bdmitchell@uidaho.edu or 208-885-2634.

Dietetics Students Offer Thanksgiving Recipes

Pie made with root vegetables. Potatoes made with coffee creamer. Cookies from mashed potatoes. Even chocolate soufflé starring yams. If these combinations don’t sound like your typical Thanksgiving fare, that’s the point: They are recipes created by students in the University of Idaho’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Each fall, students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences are challenged to create a new recipe along a theme chosen by U of I first lady Mary Beth Staben. This year, Staben challenged the teams to create recipes around a “unity” theme of combining uncommon ingredients. The results showcased the creativity and ingenuity of students, said Katie Miner, a senior instructor in CALS. The recipes are judged and the winner is featured on a holiday card sent to university donors by the Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship. This year’s winner, Vandal Sweet Potato Mash, combined cultures as well as ingredients. Read more.

Her Best Self: VSF Offers Support for Success

In a way, volleyball is the perfect outlet for DeVonne Ryter. The fast-paced nature of every spike, dig and serve prevents the 20-year-old University of Idaho middle blocker from focusing on any one aspect of her game and pushes her to grow. “The sport itself, physically, is so fast-paced,” she said. “If you make a mistake or something happens, you have to move on.” It’s a framework Ryter has learned to live by. A junior from Sedona, Arizona, Ryter credits her coaches and other supporters — including financial support from the Vandal Scholarship Fund — with her growth as a person and athlete, especially when the hard reality of life was volleyed in her direction.
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