C of I Newsletter

2007. 08. 23.

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ACI increases standing in U.S. News & World Report ranking


ACI has risen in the rankings of America's best colleges according to results released Friday, Aug. 17 in U.S. News & World Report.

In the 2008 edition of 'America's Best Colleges,' CofI is ranked in the third of four tiers. In last year's edition, CofI was in the fourth tier. The magazine is available online at www.usnews.com/colleges beginning today.

'Our goal is to become more like a Top 100 national liberal arts college and these results show that our efforts are paying off,' said CofI President Bob Hoover.

ACI made significant gains in several of the magazine's ranking criteria:

  • Graduation rate: The 2006 CofI graduation rate was 65 percent, up from 55 percent in 2005. 'The college has been working very hard to increase its graduation rate over the past several years and it's obvious that we have done that,' Hoover said.

  • Freshman retention: The freshman retention rate (averaged over four years) increased to 78 percent in this year's rankings, up from 68 percent a few years ago. ACI's retention rate for 2006 was 86 percent.

    'The graduation and retention rates are important because they show that CofI is recruiting and accepting high-caliber students with strong academic abilities. Moreover, the college has worked hard in a number of areas to improve both of these outcomes and the graduation rate will continue to go up in the next several years because of our improved retention,' Hoover said.
  • Quality freshman class: 40 percent of ACI's 2006 freshman class were in the top 10 percent of their high school class. In the U.S. News rankings four years ago, 17 percent of the freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

    Additionally, 25 percent of the 2006 freshman class were in the top 7 percent of the national ACT and SAT pool of high school students, up from the top 14 percent three years ago.

    'One of our students was named a Goldwater Scholar in the spring, and our Marshall Scholar just graduated,' Hoover said. 'Our students are among the brightest in Idaho and these rankings reflect that.'
  • Alumni support: The percentage of ACI's alumni who financially support the college has risen from 12 percent seven years ago. U.S. News & World Report shows a four-year average of 17 percent alumni giving rate in this year's ranking. ACI's alumni giving rate for 2006 was 21 percent.

    'This is an important measure of how well the college is connecting with its alumni and that we are receiving their support,' Hoover said.

This is the time of year when several organizations release their annual rankings of colleges and universities.

The Princeton Review 'Best 366 Colleges' guidebook was released Tuesday and names CofI as a Best Western College. CofI is one of 123 public and private western colleges to receive the distinction.

The Princeton Review survey is unique because it asks students for their opinions about their schools. Students answer 80 questions about their school's academics/administration, campus life, student body and themselves. This year, 120,000 students at 366 schools in the book responded to the survey.

Dr. Fern Nolte Davidson's 100th birthday party is Sept. 1

Fern Davidson

The public is invited to attend a 100th birthday party on Saturday, Sept. 1, honoring Dr. Fern Nolte Davidson. Dr. Davidson is an emeritus piano faculty member of ACI, a recipient of the Governor's Award in the Arts and an influential mentor to hundreds of students. Dr. Davidson taught at CofI from 1946 to 1994.

Events include:

  • A catered, sit-down lunch on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. in Langroise Hall. Cost is $15 including gratuity. Seating is limited, so please RSVP with your check for $15 to Avonne Higgins, 5007 Umatilla Ave., Boise, ID 83709.
  • A recital on Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Jewett Auditorium will be presented in Dr. Davidson's honor. Sixteen pianists, graduates of Albertson College of Idaho and former students of Fern, will perform Rossini's 'Semiramide Overture' on eight grand pianos provided by Albertson College of Idaho, and Dunkley Music, Idaho's Steinway dealer. Other recital performers include Dr. Marvin Blickenstaff, well-known national clinician and teacher of teachers; Dr. Susanne Skyrm, an ACI alum ('71) and professor of piano at University of South Dakota. Two piano performances will include Barbara Attebery ('47) and Sylvia Hunt ('59).
  • On Sunday, Sept 2 there will be open house from 2 – 5 p.m. in Fern's yard at 223 19th Ave. South in Nampa.

All events are open to the public and invitations have been sent to all music majors who studied at CofI between 1946 and 1994.

For more information, contact Avonne Higgins at (208) 362-1975, [email protected], or Kristin Sample, (208) 466-4560, [email protected].

Lecture series with Prof. Denny Clark on Saturday

SterryACI Professor Denny Clark will speak at Bitner Vineyard on Saturday, Aug. 25 as part of the lecture series sponsored by ACI's Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.

The event begins at 7 p.m. with light hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary glass of wine. Clark will speak at 8 p.m.

Cost is $15 and you can pay at the door. For more information or to RSVP, call Mary Bitner at 459-5300 or email [email protected].

Directions to Bitner Vineyard: Hwy. 55, R. on Hoskins, R. on Plum, Left at Vineyard – Look For Bitner Vineyard sign

New Heritage Scholars announced

ACI has named its newest Heritage Scholars. The Heritage Scholar Program provides four years of full tuition scholarship at CofI to highly qualified students with exceptional intellectual abilities. Scholarship recipients are expected to demonstrate both the academic and personal qualities that will allow them to flourish in the College's rigorous but community-oriented academic environment, and in the challenging world beyond.

The newest Heritage Scholars are:

Morgan C. Bow – Gooding
Camrin D. Braun – Fish Haven, ID
Rebekah D. Chace – Meridian
Dylan D. Evans – Nampa
Alexandra S. Grande – Boise
Melissa A. Pickett – Midvale, ID
Jenna E. Raino – Boise
Kaylyn H. Ruddy – Boise
Hanne L. Sharkey – Parma
Madison J. Skogsberg – Meridian
Amanda R. Smith – Boise
Bradley R. Steele – Boise
Erin K. Urquhart – Grangeville
Brett M. Ward – Nampa
Nicole A. Watson – Boise
Ryan Z. Zuckman – Katy, TX

Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History to co-sponsor Bug Day


Learn about the exciting world of bugs in an adventurous environment at Bug Day, on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children 4-12, and $4 for Idaho Botanical Garden members.

Bug Day is co-sponsored by the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History at CofI and the botanical garden.

Activities include:

  • Ask an entomologist – bring a bug for identification
  • Bug tattoos
  • Bug bingo
  • Catching live bugs

Everyone who participates in Bug Day receives a certificate of 'Bugology.'

For more information, contact museum director Bill Clark at [email protected].

ACI hosts Treasure Valley Youth Summit

ACI hosted the U.S. Attorney, District of Idaho and Idaho Criminal Justice Commission at the 2007 Treasure Valley Youth Summit on Wednesday. This year's theme was 'Uniting Our Community' and looked at ways to end youth violence. Approximately 200 people attended.

The group discussed violence, gangs and weapons in Idaho, how to collaborate and share information, and what actions to take next.

Life after ACI: Where are we now?

Heather (Wood) Camp ('01) is currently completing her PhD in Englishat the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and accepted a tenure track position at Minnesota State University as a Writing Program Administrator. She'll be teaching the TA practicum in the fall (two sections) and one other course in the spring.

ACI in the News

  • The Idaho Press-Tribune ran a story in its sports section on Tuesday, Aug. 21 about the women's soccer team's success on the field last season and the team's hopes for this year. The story includes an interview with Coach Niki Taylor.
  • The Idaho Press-Tribune ran a story in its main section on Saturday, Aug. 18 about ACI's improved ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 'America's Best Colleges.'
  • The Idaho Statesman ran a story in the Aug. 18 sports section about incoming freshman Brianna Hansen signing a letter of intent to play basketball at ACI. To see the story, click here. The Idaho Press-Tribune ran a story about this on the same day.


  • Melissa Williams ('72) will be the featured artist at The Art Source Gallery in downtown Boise, for September's First Thursday celebration.The public isinvited to attend the opening reception onThursday, Sept. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. The show is entitled 'Expressions in Fibres and Threads,' andincludes Melissa's handwoven pieces as well as a wide variety of her art quilts.