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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.

Letter from the President
Office of the President |
May 22, 2020
Dear Vandals,
In-person activities are starting to resume here at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

We’re taking measures to safely return to a new normal across the state over the next several weeks, including engaging prospective Vandals at recruitment events and congratulating our spring and summer graduates during Commencement Ceremonies Aug. 1.

The Summer Commencement will be a time to celebrate our students and the many successes of the past year. Despite recent challenges, the collective strength and resilience of the entire Vandal Family has resulted in accomplishments we can all take pride in.

Just this month, for example, we raised more than $650,000 as part of our annual Vandal Giving Day. That money crushed the previous record for the annual online giving event and will support current and future student scholarships. Thank you to the hundreds of generous donors who stepped up so that our hardworking students can return this fall and continue their education at the University of Idaho.

I’m proud of that record-breaking accomplishment, and the many others we have been able to highlight since spring semester’s end:

  • Idaho CAFE Grant Award: In yet another step forward for building the nation’s largest research dairy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $10 million grant to the University of Idaho to fund research at the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). The award will spur bioeconomic research to support sustainability, crop productivity and nutrient recycling in the state’s dairy industry – the third largest in the nation.
  • STEM Educator Training: The University of Idaho has joined some of the country’s biggest names in impactful research as a member of The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Network. The dynamic academic network of top research universities, including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Cornell, Yale and Michigan State, among others, is committed to enhancing STEM undergraduate education and preparing future STEM faculty.
  • First-Generation Student Support: The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) has provided financial and academic support to hundreds of first-generation students for more than two decades. We received word this month that the program has been renewed for another five years, helping 35 students annually chart their own path to the future with a Vandal education.
  • Second Chobani Scholar Cohort: Four Magic Valley students have been named to the second cohort of Chobani Scholars, each receiving $20,000 from the company to support their pursuit of a four-year degree. The University of Idaho’s first cohort thrived in their studies this year.
  • Rural Math Education: Coeur d’Alene-based faculty member Julie Amador will lead a collaboration to establish and study online professional development for math coaches in rural school districts with the help of a $2.7 million National Science Foundation grant awarded in May. Work is just getting started and will continue over the next four years.
  • ICCU Arena: A 90-ton crane installed the first 35-foot-tall wood column earlier this month on the future Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) Arena. This column was the first of more than 442 tons of glulam beams and columns to be installed in the 62,000-square-foot engineered-wood arena, slated to open in 2021.
I also had the opportunity to present the University of Idaho’s annual report to the State Board of Education earlier this month and highlight our accomplishments over the past year as Idaho’s land-grant university.

I told board members how proud I am to lead the University of Idaho. We have produced a life-changing educational experience since opening in 1889 – and that continues each and every day. Our successes over the past month, and the past year, demonstrate those accomplishments.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
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