C of I Newsletter

2009. 08. 20.

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The C of I newsletter is sent on alternating weeks. The next edition will be sent Sept. 3.

In this newsletter:

Faculty News

Staff News

Upcoming Events

In Every Issue

  • Life after The C of I: Where are we now?
    Rich Hatch, Rachel Moore, James Spirup, Andy Young
  • Alumni Events:
    Aug. 21 – Idaho Falls area alumni event
    Aug. 22 – Salt Lake City area alumni event
    Aug. 27 – Portland area alumni event
    Sept. 3 – The C of I Campus Clean Up
    Sept. 9 – Ada County Luncheon
    Sept. 16 – NYC area alumni event
    Sept. 17 – DC area alumni event
    Sept. 24-27 – Homecoming 2009
    Nov. 8 – San Francisco Bay Area alumni event
  • Reminders

The C of I among top liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest and West

The College of Idaho is one of the top seven liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest and one of the top 20 in the West, according to this year’s edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” released today by U.S. News & World Report.

The top seven liberal arts schools in the Pacific Northwest are Whitman College (Wash.), Reed College (Ore.), Willamette (Ore.), Lewis & Clark (Ore.), University of Puget Sound (Wash.), Linfield (Ore.) and The C of I.

“These are outstanding schools with national reputations and I am very pleased to see The C of I included in this group,” President Marv Henberg said.

The C of I rose in several measures used to determine the U.S. News & World Report rankings, most significantly in alumni giving. For 2008 the alumni giving rate was 27 percent, up from 21 percent in 2007.

The increase in alumni giving has been dramatic at The C of I, especially in the past three years. Nationally, alumni giving is on the decrease, falling from nearly 14 percent in 2001 to 11 percent in 2008, according the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Henberg said the increase in alumni giving was gratifying given the challenging economic times.

“This is a strong indication of the high level of quality we offer at The C of I,” he said. “Particularly in light of the poor economy, I am proud of how deeply our alumni dug into their pockets.”

The C of I also increased its rankings in graduation rate (67 percent in 2008, up from 60 percent in 2007) and freshman retention (82 percent in 2008, up from 80 percent in 2007).

Several organizations have released their annual rankings of colleges and universities recently and have included The C of I:

  • Two weeks ago, The C of I was ranked fourth in the Northwest and first in Idaho as a best buy in Forbes magazine’s ranking of the top 600 colleges and universities in the country.

  • In July, The C of I was ranked a top national college by the Princeton Review’s “The Best 371 Colleges.”

Highlights of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings are available online and will be published in the September 2009 issue, available on Monday, Aug. 24. The 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook will be available Tuesday, Aug. 25.

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Former art professor Robert Max Peter died Wednesday

Robert Max Peter, who was a professor of art at The C of I from 1953-1985, died Aug. 19 at the age of 86 in Stockton, California.

Peter left a very promising beginning as an artist in the San Francisco Bay area in 1953 to join The College of Idaho faculty, and over the next three decades became one of Idaho’s most recognized artists.

His art was exhibited widely throughout the American West and also at the Smithsonian. He was recognized by Gov. Cecil Andrus with the Idaho Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Art in 1972 and also earned the Idaho Statesman’s “Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen” award in 1969. The Boise Art Museum, which owns a substantial number of Peter’s works, hosted major shows of Peter’s art in 1976 and in 1992.

Peter was a popular teacher at The College of Idaho, and many of his students went on to important careers as artists, professors and museum directors. For many years he organized and directed an annual cultural field trip to San Francisco, where students attended the symphony, the theater, and also went “behind the scenes” to meet prominent artists such as Alexander Nepote and Peter Voulkos at work in their studios. He also founded the College’s Sawtooth orientation, which took new students backpacking into the Idaho wilderness as part of their introduction to college.

Peter also managed The College of Idaho art collection and galleries. During his tenure he solicited and received numerous important donations of art for the collection, including original signed lithographs by Picasso and Chagall.

For the grand opening of Jewett Auditorium at the College he negotiated the loan from San Francisco’s DeYoung museum of Ruben’s “Madonna and Child,” which was then the most valuable painting ever to have been shown in Idaho.

Peter is survived by his wife Helen, sons David and Kenneth, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The family will hold a private memorial in Florence, Ore., where Peter lived for many years following his retirement.

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Faculty News

Professor Larry Merk announced as new director of business and accounting

Larry Merk, who has more than three decades of experience in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho, is the new director of business and accounting at The C of I.

Professor Merk has had a relationship with the College since 1968 when he worked with professor LaMar Bollinger to help create the Idaho Council on Economic Education.

“LaMar and I worked together and with others for at least two years in developing the council, and it still is doing good work in Idaho today,” he said. “He was a delight to work with and left me with a very favorable impression of The C of I.”

Merk also served on The C of I task force that reviewed the College’s business curriculum several years ago. He will teach the business and accounting capstone.

Merk retired from the UI in 2001 and spent time traveling and fishing, but found after a few years that he missed teaching. He began volunteering as a math teacher at South Boise Women’s Correctional Center in January and enjoys it immensely. He will continue volunteering at the prison while teaching at the College.

“When a student says, ‘Oh, I think I get it!’ that’s a very satisfying comment to hear,” Merk said.

Mark Smith, vice president for academic affairs, said he is pleased Merk agreed to join the faculty.

“I have known Larry for many years,” Smith said. “He is a first-rate teacher, as well as a seasoned leader, who has dedicated his career to providing students with the skills and knowledge they need for the business world. We are privileged to have his intelligence and passion on our campus.”

Merk, who has degrees from Oregon State University and the University of Washington, began his teaching career at the University of Puget Sound and Seattle Pacific University. He said he is looking forward to teaching at a liberal arts college again.

“Teaching good students about business at a liberal arts college allows them to integrate, focus and apply what they have learned in their other curriculum to a business organization,” he said. “They can look at the organization as a whole, understand it and see where they might fit in.”

Merk and his wife Kathy have four children and six grandchildren.

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Knickerbocker published in College Literature

English assistant professor Scott Knickerbocker recently published an article “’Bodied Forth in Words’: Sylvia Plath’s Ecopoetics,” in the summer 2009 issue of College Literature.

The abstract reads in part: “Plath demonstrates a combined interest in the texture of the natural world and the texture of language, which in her poems enacts and does not merely represent that world. Her unfortunate categorization as a ‘confessional’ poet as well as critics’ obsession with her biography have resulted in, on one hand, an underestimation of Plath’s engagement with the ‘real world’ beyond her subjectivity, and on the other hand, an insufficient consideration of the craft and formal properties of her poems.”

To read the article, click here.

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Hunter publishes article through New Zealand university

Kerry Hunter, professor of political economy, published an article through Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand this week.

The article is called “American Constitutionalism an Impediment to the Pursuit of Fairness? Lessons from New Zealand Political Culture,” and is available through the university’s Institute of Policy Studies website.

Hunter spent his sabbatical leave in New Zealand last year studying the country’s political culture and constitutional law.

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Johnson featured on Wisconsin Public Radio

Rochelle Johnson, associate professor of English and environmental studies at The College of Idaho and immediate past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, was interviewed Wednesday, Aug. 19 on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders,” show.

The topic was “Into the Wild: International Nature Writing,” and focused on international environmental writing and a recent online magazine devoted to some writings in that genre.To hear the interview, click here.

Johnson also gave a lecture called “Developing a Sense of Place” last month as part of the Sawtooth Forum and Lecture Series sponsored by The Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association.

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Staff News

Alumna named Boone Fund coordinator

Tara Wensel (‘09) has joined The College of Idaho’s development office as the Boone Fund coordinator.

“We are extremely pleased that Tara will be assuming such an important role at the College,” said Michael Vandervelden, vice president for advancement. “She has direct ties to recent alumni as well as a deep understanding of what a special place this institution is. She possesses the professionalism, enthusiasm and work ethic that will take the Boone Fund to a new level.”

Wensel, a native of Nampa, graduated from the College with a bachelor’s in business administration and a minor in Spanish. She played four years of intercollegiate women’s tennis and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She also participated in concert band, the student investment club, was an intern in the admission office and a student ambassador.

“There are so many good things happening at the College right now, including the increasing enrollment and the quality of our students,” Wensel said. “I feel the recent surge in alumni giving and contributions to the Boone Fund reflect the pride our alumni have in the College. Now that I’m a graduate too, I can’t wait to help make this an even more special place.”

The Boone Fund is the unrestricted giving program which supports the College’s ongoing scholarship and operating needs. This past year, gifts to the Boone Fund rose almost 13 percent to more than $530,000. Overall giving at The C of I increased from $3.5 million to $4.6 million between fiscal years 2008 and 2009, a rise of nearly 32 percent.

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Upcoming Events:

Berger concludes Sun Valley lecture series

The final lecture of a series sponsored by The Community School and The College of Idaho is Monday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at The Community School, 181 Dollar Road, in Sun Valley. History professor Howard Berger will discuss “The Individual and the Community; Comparing Israeli and American attitudes and customs.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

This unique partnership between The Community School and The C of I is a new initiative intended to enrich the intellectual life of the Wood River Valley through a series of lectures and discussions.

Berger came to The College of Idaho by chance but fell in love with the College. He attributes his tenure at The C of I to pure luck. While at the University of Washington in the early 1980s, he was asked by a colleague to consider filling in for a year. He describes his career at The C of I as “so immensely satisfying, I’ve so loved every year that I’ve been here for the past 25 years.”

It is clear that Berger has developed a deep passion for the college and students and alumni have reciprocated by developing a deep passion for him.

“I could come up with many moments throughout my career where it just reinforced the affection that I had for this place and the fact that I was lucky enough to wind up here,” says Berger.

Berger is passionate about Judaic Studies and teaches several courses on the Holocaust and Jewish history that have had an enormous impact on the students at the college. He has also taught several community mini-courses about Judaism. He led his first student trip to Israel in 1985 and has led several since then, including one earlier this summer.

For more information about the lecture series, contact Mary Hall at The Community School, (208) 622-3960 ext 101.

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Bug Day is Saturday at the Idaho Botanical Gardens

The Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History and the Idaho Botanical Garden are sponsoring Bug Day on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road (off Warm Springs Avenue). Cost is $4 for botanical garden members and children, and $6 for adults.

The museum will have two booths – an insect exhibit with experts available to help with information on insects and provide general information, and the museum gift shop with insect- and museum-related items for sale.

“The museum has been co-sponsor since the first Bug Day because we are the only group of entomologists in the area and have THE insect collection for this area,” said museum director Bill Clark (‘67).

Other activities at the annual Bug Day event include playing insect bingo, going on an insect safari, participating in the insect Olympics, making crafts and getting a tattoo. There will be live bugs, edible bugs, and bring-your-own bug for identification.

For more information, contact the Idaho Botanical Garden at 343-8649 or click here.

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

Keep in touch with The C of I by sharing your news with the Alumni Office.

Rich Hatch (’09) is working for MyEdu.com, which is a company that helps high school seniors choose a college to attend, and helps college students complete their degree in four years. He describes it as an online registrar for every school in the nation.

Rachel Moore (’96) married Jason Murphy on Aug. 8, at Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, Calif. Rachel works as a copy editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Jason is a systems administrator at General Atomics. They reside in San Diego.

James Spirup (‘76) is director of music ministries/organist for First Presbyterian Church of Texarkana, Ark.

Andy Young (‘00) is working as a librarian with the Department of the Treasury at its Washington, D.C. headquarters.

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Alumni Events

For more information about the events listed below, call the Alumni Office (208) 459-5770 or email. The C of I Alumni calendar is also available online.

Aug. 21 – Idaho Falls area alumni event at Vino Rosso, 439 A St., at 6 p.m. in Idaho Falls to introduce the 12th president of The College of Idaho, Dr. Marvin Henberg and his wife Laurie Henberg.

Aug. 22 – Salt Lake City area alumni event at The Utah Brewers Cooperative, 1763 S. 300 W, Salt Lake City, at 4:30 p.m. to introduce the 12th president of The College of Idaho, Dr. Marvin Henberg and his wife Laurie Henberg.

Aug. 27 – College of Idaho Alumni Night at PGE Park, Portland Beavers vs. Tacoma Rainiers at 7:05 p.m. (gates open at 6 p.m.). The Portland Beavers welcome The College of Idaho Alumni to a fun-filled night at PGE Park. C of I alumni can purchase discounted tickets for the game, saving up to $3.50 per ticket. Click here to order tickets online – special offer code: IDAHO. You can also order your tickets by calling Katie Hoffner at (503) 553-5404 or [email protected]. Offer not valid at the PGE Park Box Office. Deadline to order tickets is Wednesday, August 26 at 5 p.m.

Sept. 3 – Volunteer Corps C of I Campus Clean Up, 9 a.m. - noon, free BBQ following. Please RSVP 459-5770 or email.

Sept. 9 – Ada County Luncheon, Bardenay in Boise, noon. Attendees cover their own meals. Guest speakers: Brian Smith (’06) and Niki Taylor, Yote soccer coaches.

Sept. 16 – NYC area alumni and friends event from 7-9 p.m., to introduce the 12th president of The College of Idaho, Dr. Marvin Henberg and his wife Laurie Henberg. Location to be announced. For more information, call the Alumni Office at (208) 459-5770.

Sept. 17 – Washington, DC area alumni and friends event at the home of David Miller (‘64), 2034 16th St NW, Washington, DC, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., to introduce the 12th president of The College of Idaho, Dr. Marvin Henberg and his wife Laurie Henberg. Light appetizers and beverages will be provided by the Alumni Office.

Sept. 24-27 – Homecoming 2009, which includes a history majors reunion. For more information and to register, click here.

Nov. 8 – San Francisco Bay Area alumni event. Special tailgate hosted by San Francisco 49er Hall of Famer RC Owens, followed by game against the Tennessee Titans. More info to come.

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The College of Idaho Alumni Association introduces C of I Alumni Connections, a Facebook application. Alumni Connections allows you to:

  • Update your alumni profile info when you move, get a new job, get married, etc.

  • Search for classmates

  • View and post class notes

Alumni must have a College of Idaho Alumni Association Online Community account to participate. To get an account, click here. Facebook accounts can be linked to The College of Idaho Alumni Association Online Community account by clicking here.

Roaring Springs & Wahooz ticket discounts available

The C of I faculty, staff, alumni, students and their families and friends can get discounted tickets to Roaring Springs and Wahooz (formerly Boondocks).

A Roaring Springs full day ticket or Wahooz adult unlimited fun pass is $22.25 per person ($6 savings). Wahooz junior unlimited fun pass (under 60”) is $16.42 per ticket ($3.50 savings). A Twice the Fun Combo Ticket is $38.15 per ticket ($4 savings). Children 3 years old and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.roaringsprings.com or www.wahoozfunzone.com.

  1. Click Online Store, then Discount Club
  2. Enter User Name: COFI
  3. Enter Password: wahooz
  4. Print out confirmation sheet & take it to the Roaring Springs turnstile or the Wahooz Family Fun Zone ticket counter

For more information, please contact Nancy Svoboda (208) 884-8842 ext. 3010 or [email protected].

Alumni merchandise available from C of I online bookstore

Alumni merchandise including sweatshirts, license plate frames and school spirit house flags can now be ordered online. Alumni receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases made at the store, online or over the phone. To receive the discount when ordering online or by phone, please contact the bookstore at 459-5407. The license plate frames and house flags pictured must be ordered directly from the bookstore by phone or email.

Donations to honor Boyd Henry go to mathematics scholarship

Those who would like to honor professor emeritus Boyd Henry, who died in February can make gifts to the College’s Mathematics Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student who has financial need and is majoring in math. Contributions to the scholarship can be made online and should be designated for the Mathematics Scholarship.

C of I license plates available

Idaho license plates with The College of Idaho name and logo are sold for $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.

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