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C of I to celebrate distinguished alumni at 2017 Homecoming

Among the many festivities that will take place during The College of Idaho’s 2017 Homecoming events will be an opportunity to celebrate the excellence of several deserving alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration on September 14, 2017.

The College’s National Alumni Board will recognize five individuals and one group during the celebration. Dr. Brian Attebery ’74, Dr. Jennifer Eastman Attebery ’73 and Bob Beckwith ’72 will each receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, Corey Surber ’91 will receive the Alumni Service Award and Dr. Robert Hamilton ’08 will receive the Young Alumni Award. The Asa L. and E. Grace Blood family will receive the Family Heritage Award.

“We’re proud to be able to recognize the achievements of some of the alumni in our community who are out there making a difference,” said C of I President Charlotte Borst. “We will be thrilled to have them return to campus to congratulate them on the success they’ve had since their times as students here.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to members of the National Alumni Association who have shown either exceptional or sustained accomplishments in their chosen professions or have distinguished themselves as leaders.

Although Brian and Jennifer Attebery are married, they are each being recognized for their individual accomplishments. Both are Fulbright Fellowship awardees and each has received the Distinguished Researcher Award from Idaho State University, where they are both longtime members of the English faculty. Brian Attebery has received the Award for Outstaniding Achievement in the Humanities from the Idaho Humanities Council, while Jennifer Attebery received the Idaho Library Association Book Award for Building Idaho: An Architectural History.

“I can think of no other couple who better epitomizes the College of Idaho values of academic excellence and community involvement,” said Barry Fujishin ’72, the classmate who nominated both the Atteberys for the award.

Bob Beckwith spent 33 years working in public education following his graduation from the C of I, earning several distinctions for his work with students, including Idaho’s Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year, Environmental Educator of the Year and the Presidential Award for Science Excellence. Now retired, he continues to work with students through C of I’s Outdoor Program.

The Alumni Service Award is given to alumni who have given unselfishly of their time in any field of community service. For Corey Surber, a longtime advocate of community health, this means continuing her work developing public policy and public health initiatives as Director of State Advocacy for Trinity Health, as well as continuing her service on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County and the United Way of Treasure Valley.

The Young Alumni Award is given to alumni who have completed at least two years at the C of I within the last 10 years and have demonstrated significant career achievements and service to the College. Dr. Robert Hamilton went on to receive his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from UCLA following his graduation from C of I, and has since cofounded Neural Analytics Inc., which has raised over $25 million to further develop brain assessment platforms.

The Family Heritage Award is given to a family with multiple alumni who have demonstrated their loyalty to the College through service and/or gifts. Although Asa and Grace Blood did not attend the College themselves, 10 members of their family across three generations have attended the College over the last 75 years, including three who later returned as faculty or staff members. The family has established the Dr. Franklin H. Blood Memorial Scholarship to provide financial assistance to science students at the C of I.

Each of the awardees will deliver TED-type talks at 3:30 p.m. on September 14 in the Langroise Recrital Hall, followed directly by a formal ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in the Langroise Foyer. For more information about the event, as well as to register to attend other Homecoming events this year, click here.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit