C of I Newsletter

2008. 07. 17.

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Boone Fund update: Alumni donors break College record

The College of Idaho thanks all of its alumni who donated to the Boone Fund this year – those gifts helped break the College’s alumni giving record, exceeded the College’s goal, and also bucked the national trend that indicates giving to colleges is down.

The C of I has never had more alumni gifts than it has this year, thanks to a strong show of support from the Class of 2008 and all others who have given.

“What an outstanding year,” said Boone Fund director Jessica Jewell (‘02). “I’m so proud to be part of such a successful and growing institution.”

Here are this year’s numbers:

  • Number of donors: 1,973, which is 344 more than last year.
  • Percentage: 29 percent, up from 19 percent in 2005, and up from 12 percent in 2000.
  • Over the last three years, the College has increased its number of donors by 883 – an 81 percent increase in alumni donors.

President Bob Hoover pointed out that nearly 150 of this year’s new donors were young alumni who graduated from the College during the last 10 years.

“This year’s senior class exceeded everyone’s expectations with an amazing 81 percent giving rate,” Hoover said. “It’s wonderful to see this level of support from our young alumni and recent graduates.”

The College’s class agent program also helped boost the giving percentage this year, Hoover and Jewell noted. Below is a chart showing the levels of giving by class:

Class Agents Giving   Class Agents Giving
1952 4 26.98%   1997 6 21.99%
1958 8 29.29%   1998 1 15.08%
1962 8 27.27%   2002 8 29.66%
1968 6 24.86%   2003 8 17.37%
1972 4 29.05%   2004 8 21.53%
1978 1 18.09%   2005 2 23.74%
1982 2 12.21%   2006 9 34.68%
1988 2 14.86%   2007 23 42.14%
1992 4 12.90%   2008   81.20%

The goal of the class agent program is to increase the percentage of alumni giving, participation and involvement. For more information about becoming a class agent, please email Jessica Jewell or call her at (208) 459-5086

The alumni giving rate is important to the College because it influences The C of I’s ranking in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. President Hoover said there’s an even more important reason.

“This College is able to offer its high quality liberal arts education to new generations of students because of the generosity of our donors, many of whom are graduates of the College,” he said. “We acknowledge and appreciate their continued support.”

Invest in Excellence Profile: David Miller

David Miller (Class of ‘64), Campaign co-chair

David Miller recalls his time at The College of Idaho as “a perfect fit” for him. As a non-athlete at Twin Falls High School where athletics was important, Miller says he didn't fit the mold. “I was a dud in high school,” he said frankly.

But at The C of I he found his niche, both socially and educationally. He met lifelong friends Jim Smith, Lonnie Naylor, Allen Neece and Jerry Baur. He studied under some of The College's most renowned faculty, including Ralph Berringer, William Chalker, Franklin Specht, Leslie Vanhorn Brock and George Wolfe. In 1963 he was elected student body president.

In 1964 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force where he served as a regular officer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1984. He served in Viet Nam (1967-68), and as an Assistant Air Attaché at the American Embassy in Moscow, USSR (1975-77). He finished his military career in Washington, DC, serving in the Office of Foreign Missions at the Department of State and in the International Affairs Division of the office of the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

He was awarded a Masters Degree in Russian Studies from the George Washington University in 1975.

After leaving the State Department, he founded a real estate development firm specializing in working in the inner city of Washington converting decaying or abandoned light industrial buildings to residential and commercial lofts.

Miller, who has maintained a residence in Washington DC since 1969, makes an annual gift to the Boone Fund every year, but thought he would like to do more for the College. When he learned about the Invest in Excellence campaign, which will raise $175 million for the College over the next 10 years, he wanted to play a key role.

He made a substantial donation and was named a campaign co-chair by President Bob Hoover. C of I Trustee Ray Melville ('73) and his wife Nancy Melville ('74) are the campaign's other co-chairs.

Miller said his reason for making such a significant contribution to the College was clear. "Living on the East Coast, I haven't been able to be as involved in the College as I would have liked," Miller said. "The College not only prepared me for a lot of my success in life but enriched it as well and I would like to give back."

Miller recalls that the personal attention he received from his professors was what set him on the path to success, even if it wasn't always easy. As a freshman, he was warned by some older students not to take Ralph Berringer's advanced freshman English course (English 21), because Berringer was "a terror."

Miller accepted the challenge, took the course and, determined to impress Berringer with his writing skills, wrote his first paper "stringing together all the biggest words in the English language I could think of."

"When the paper came back it had a big, red 'F' on it and a note that said: “'Mr. Miller, we have a lot of work to do,'" Miller said with a laugh. “Ralph Berringer taught me to write, a skill that has served me well all my life.”

Miller wants to ensure that future C of I students get the kind of personal attention and excellent education he received.

"We received such a high quality and personalized education and C of I kids are still getting that," he said. "I want to help make sure that is always available."

Miller currently is semi-retired and divides his time between his real estate interests, volunteer activities working with inner city kids, sailing and writing projects involving the Civil War and post Civil War American history.

Museum receives donation of 29 African animal mounts

The Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History has received a donation of 20 African animals thanks to the work of Professor Eric Yensen.

The collection, which was appraised at more than $30,000, includes a full-sized leopard mount, a shoulder mounted zebra, a spectacular running nyala antelope and a full-sized bontebok mount, a type of small antelope that was almost endangered many years ago.

The collection belonged to Dan Dienstbier, an oil company executive from Nebraska who died in spring 2007. Mr. Dienstbier loved to hunt, made four safaris in Africa and had an addition built onto his home to showcase his trophies. Following his death, Dienstbier’s wife Barbara contacted mammalogists in Nebraska who sent a nationwide email asking if anyone was interested in the collection.

Yensen expressed interest on behalf of the museum. After emailing back and forth, Barbara Dienstbier told Yensen he could have the African collection. Yensen said he was thrilled by her decision.

“These are extremely nice specimens,” Yensen said. “The taxidermy on them is very high quality.”

Several biology classes could use the animals in their studies, Yensen said.

“Mammalogy is particularly relevant, but many other courses such as Diversity of Life, Evolution, Population and Ecosystem Biology, and Organismal Biology can make use of them,” he said.

Yensen is currently working on a display for the animals and hopes to have them ready to be seen by the public in September.

President Bob Hoover, who took a tour of the collection this week, said he was impressed by the collection and by Yensen’s persistence in bringing them to The College of Idaho.

“These trophies could have gone anywhere in the country, but Dr. Yensen did an excellent job of explaining how much they would mean to the College,” Hoover said. “These specimens will provide the museum with an opportunity to show the public some animals they otherwise might never have seen up close.”

Coyote Athletic Association reorganizes to help C of I teams fundraise

The Coyote athletic teams at The College of Idaho are struggling to keep up with rising fuel and travel costs, and the College is getting creative with the ways it send its student athletes to national tournaments.

The College is reorganizing its athletic association to increase broad-based funding for all C of I athletic teams, rather than funding specific sports.

The College of Idaho Athletic Association (CIAA) will be structured similar to the Bronco Athletic Association, Vandal Scholarship Fund (formerly Vandal Boosters, Inc.) and the Bengal Foundation with volunteers soliciting contributions.

“Contributors may still donate to their favorite sports programs,” President Bob Hoover said. “But the goal is to fund the CIAA annually and grow the endowment. Funds and revenues will be used to offset post season travel costs and to enhance recruiting efforts and scholarship funds for all sports.”

This past school year the College spent more than $126,000 on postseason travel, compared to about $77,000 in 2006-07 and $71,000 in 2005-06.

“In a way, we’re a victim of our own success,” The C of I athletic director Marty Holly said. “We’re so proud when our student-athletes perform well, but we have to swallow hard when we look at these travel costs.”

Post season travel included the men’s and women’s alpine ski and snowboard qualifying for the national championship in Maine, men’s and women’s swimming going to Texas, men’s and women’s cross country traveling to Wisconsin, men’s and women’s indoor track going to Tennessee, men’s and women’s outdoor track going to Missouri, and the women’s softball team going to the College Softball World Series in Alabama.

Regional travel included Ashland, Coeur d'Alene, Klamath Falls, Olympia, Portland, Spokane and Vancouver, BC.

That doesn’t even include regular season travel, which is fast becoming a budget buster.

“Our teams travel throughout the west and northwest during the regular season games,” said Hoover. “With the rising cost of fuel, those away games are getting to be very expensive.”

The College has saved money in the past by having men’s and women’s teams travel together, sending as few athletes and coaches on the road as possible, having athletes share hotel rooms and asking boosters to provide meals to students who arrive for practice before school is in session and the cafeteria opens.

In addition to finding ways to save money, athletes and coaches fundraise for their teams to help offset the costs of national travel.

Reorganizing the athletic association was the next step. The CIAA grew out of the Coyote Athletic Association, which was formed in 1981 primarily in support of men’s basketball, one of only four sports the College sponsored at the time.

“The C of I athletics program has now grown to 21 sports,” Holly said. “We needed to grow our athletic association to keep pace.”

The CIAA Board will have input and influence on expenditures of the funds it raises. Board members are:

  • Dave McAnaney (‘77) Chair of CIAA, McAnaney & Associates
  • Carl Anderson (‘78), retired from Intermountain Gas
  • Danielle Brazil (‘05), marketing director for Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl
  • Dick Carrow (‘54), retired C of I athletic director and men’s basketball coach
  • Kevin Hulsey (‘88), CEO Sports Rehab Authority
  • Andrea Nilson (‘99), director of acquisitions at Heslin Becker Properties
  • Stan Zatica (‘76), CEO, Paul’s Markets

On campus: Exploring Environmental Literature

“A Word for Nature: Exploring Environmental Literature,” a summer institute for teachers that includes C of I environmental studies chair Rochelle Johnson, has offered several lectures and presentations this week.

Tonight (Thursday, July 17) at 7 p.m. is Elizabeth Grossman, author of High Tech Trash and Watershed: The Undamming of America, whose lecture “A Land Ethic for the Digital Age,” will discuss high speed communication, how we use natural resources and how what we send into the air, ocean and ground water has an impact on the quality of life halfway around the world. Grossman will sign books following the event

On Friday, July 18 at 7 p.m. Greg Keeler, a Montana song writer and postmodern western troubadour, will perform “Fish, Sheep & Environmentalists,” hilarious songs about the American west, the environment, environmentalists, anti-environmentalists and more.

All events are held in Langroise Recital Hall and are free and open to the public.

“A Word for Nature: Exploring Environmental Literature” is supported in part by the Idaho Humanities Council’s Endowment for Humanities Education and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Program.

Staff News

Jen Nelson’s baby girl born Tuesday

Jen and Erik Nelson became the proud parents of a baby girl, Rose, on Tuesday, July 15. Rose weighs 7 pounds 14 ounces.

Life after The C of I: Where are we now?

Faculty, grads, proud parents and others – send news to Jennifer Oxley of where our students and alumni are this summer so we can keep everyone updated.

Cindy Anderson (‘97) earned her MA in organizational leadership from George Fox University in April.

Adrienne Feagin ('99) just accepted a new role as inventory administrator with Angus & Robertson, the most recognized book retail brand in Australia. Previously she worked for KAMCO, a company that is implementing a new smart card system on all public transportation in the state of Victoria (Australia). She has lived in Melbourne, Australia for nearly two years.

Dana Stewart Quinney (‘66) is now the State Natural Resources Director for the Idaho Army National Guard. Dana and husband Scott live near Boise. Every summer, students from The C of I work on her bio field crew, and she said this year is no exception.

Jenny Waters (‘03) and Steve Waters (‘04) have moved to Florida so Jenny can pursue a MFA in acting at Florida Atlantic University.

The C of I in the News

The Idaho Statesman sports section did a story about the new College of Idaho Athletic Association on Tuesday. President Bob Hoover was on the Caves and Prater radio show on KTIK Tuesday to talk about the change. The story also ran in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Philosophy and Religion Professor Denny Clark was interviewed for Dan Popkey's column in today’s Idaho Statesman about how Bryan Fischer and Brandi Swindell, who sued the city of Boise to halt moving the Ten Commandments monuments from Julia Davis Park, were able to use media coverage to support their efforts.

Jobs at The C of I

Staff Openings

  • IT Support Specialist II
  • Maintenance & Operations Administrative Assistant
  • Maintenance Craftsman

Faculty Openings

  • Environmental Studies Instructor

For complete job descriptions and application instructions go to http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/jobs. EEO


  • Professional photographs from commencement (including all-senior and department photos), baccalaureate and commencement eve dinner are all available for review and purchase from Schmidt Productions.

  • Don’t forget that The C of I is on Facebook – join The College of Idaho Official group and get in touch with classmates and see what current and former students are doing.

  • Check out Mike and Linda Danielson’s “before and after” Idaho license plates with The College of Idaho name and logo. The plates cost $35 the first year they are purchased, which is in addition to the annual vehicle registration fee. They are $25 plus annual fees for each subsequent renewal. The College of Idaho receives $25 from the sale of new plates and $15 from each renewal, which goes to its scholarship and academic programs.

    Personalized and sample license plates can be ordered online. Non-personalized plates are available at any county auto licensing office in Idaho.