Louise McClure grew up in the small farming town of Nezperce, Idaho, and was valedictorian of the graduating class of 1946. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.A. in Music, Phi Beta Kappa. In 1950, Louise married James McClure, which began their lifelong commitment to public service.
During James’s years in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Louise was engaged in the congressional wives organizations; hosted diplomats and members of congress and volunteered countless hours to a number of organizations. In the midst of being actively engaged in such work, she also raised three children: David, Ken and Marilyn. It is an indication of the respect Louise earned and her influence in Washington that President George H.W. Bush appointed her to the National Council on the Arts, the governing council of the National Endowment for the Arts. She served on the Council from 1991 to 1997. She also served on the board of the Boise Philharmonic; Parents and Youth Against Drug Abuse; Boise State Radio Community and Women’s and Children’s Alliance. In 2010 the Governor of Idaho recognized Louise’s lifelong contribution to the arts by awarding the Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement to Louise and Jim McClure.
Louise is a dedicated Vandal. She has served on the advisory board for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; the Martin Institute and the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. She also has served on the University Foundation, Foundation Board of Directors and 2003 Strategic Initiatives Committee. Her service to the University of Idaho has been honored with the President’s Medallion, Alumni Hall of Fame Award and Distinguished Idahoan Award.