C of I Newsletter

2010. 07. 30

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The College of Idaho sets new giving records despite tough economy

Alumni and friends of The College of Idaho continue to show their support in the face of tough economic conditions. Even as giving to education nationwide declined for the second consecutive year – by an estimated $40 billion, according to the Giving USA Foundation – C of I set records for total Boone Fund dollars, alumni giving percentage and senior class giving.


Over 2,200 alumni – including 97 percent of the Class of 2010 – helped raise nearly $590,000 for the Boone Fund, the unrestricted giving program that supports the needs of C of I and its students. The College, which has seen its alumni giving percentage grow from 19 percent to 33 percent over the past five years, received nearly $5.1 million in total donations this fiscal year, up from $4.6 million in 2009.


“It’s a measure of how much our alumni believe in us,” said Boone Fund coordinator Tara Wensel. “Our alumni, parents and friends have a lot of pride in this institution. Their gifts help the College improve, and it’s also a way for them to stay connected to the College.”


Gifts were more important than ever this year as the College broke ground on its Boone Hall science building renovation and launched plans for an endowed chair in Judaic studies with the Howard Berger Lecture Series. Both projects continue into the coming school year, when C of I also unveils its new PEAK curriculum program.


“People like to give to success,” said Marv Henberg, who counts rising donations during his first year as President as an important step toward increasing the College’s endowment. “These generous donations demonstrate that people’s investments pay off here at The College of Idaho.”

Howard Berger Lecture Series continues in Sun Valley

Akiva Tor, the Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest region, is coming to Idaho as part of The College of Idaho’s Judaic studies program, the Howard Berger Lecture Series. Tor, who is headquartered in San Francisco, speaks at 7 p.m. August 10 at the Community School theatre in Sun Valley. His lecture, entitled Middle East Peacemaking: The Iranian Nuclear Crisis and U.S.-Israel Relations, will be followed by a reception.

Tor has served as World Jewish Affairs Adviser to the President of Israel, as Director of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, as Deputy Director for Palestinian Affairs in the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and has written and lectured extensively on Jewish values in the foreign policy of Israel.

“It is important for people to hear from an Israeli,” said Dr. Howard Berger, the longtime C of I history professor after whom the lecture series is named. “From Akiva, they will hear about Jewish values and Jewish history not in a unique way, but in a Jewish way. That is what this (program) is all about.”

The Howard Berger Lecture Series is the public face of the Judaic studies program at C of I. The lectureship is designed to promote greater understanding of Jewish traditions, culture, and philosophy in Idaho and the West. It is also the College’s first step toward establishing an endowed chair in Judaic studies, which would be the first of its kind in the Intermountain West.

The series launched in May, when internationally renowned Judaic scholar and historian Rabbi Dr. Richard Freund visited the C of I campus and lectured about his research on ancient archeology sites throughout the Middle East. Freund also spoke in Boise and Sun Valley during his visit.

“Having a lectureship in Judaic Studies is an important step toward establishing a chair,” C of I President Marv Henberg said. “One of the responsibilities of the chair will be to bring in speakers and make this not just an internal educational piece, but also an external service to the larger community.”

College of Idaho professor chosen for Boise Art Museum's Triennial Exhibition

For the fourth time in his distinguished career, College of Idaho art professor Garth Claassen will have his work displayed during the Triennial Exhibition at the Boise Art Museum. Claassen had two oil paintings – “Two Floaters and a Large Fence” and “Snorkels with Floating Prison” – chosen for the 2010 exhibition, which runs from September 4 to December 5 and includes an opening reception on September 17.

“These paintings are significant to me because I feel like they are some of the strongest paintings I’ve done,” Claassen said. “Painting is an adventure for me because I wasn’t really trained as a painter. I learned to draw and make sculpture, but I have really come into painting over the past 9 years or so.”

Claassen had drawings and sculptures featured in the Triennial Exhibition in 1994 and 1998, including a ceramic sculpture BAM purchased in 1998. He also had a solo show of drawings at BAM in 2008. This year, he is one of 46 Idaho artists featured in the Triennial Exhibition, which is themed “Expand and Sustain.” The two paintings selected are from a series of dozens of satirical oil paintings depicting large male figures and fencelike structures on top of dark, colorful backgrounds.

“I try to make paintings that are accessible, where one can sense the tension between the figures and their environment,” Claassen said. “These paintings allude to sustaining borders and trying to keep people in or out. People like to build barriers, and the paintings suggest the absurdity of the lengths to which people will go to barricade themselves in or keep others out.”

The barrier theme reflects Claassen’s experience in his native South Africa during the Apartheid period. He came to America in the 1980s to finish his graduate studies and returned to the States for good in 1993; the following year he was hired by The College of Idaho. Claassen teaches classes in art history, figure drawing and – starting this fall – painting.

Claassen isn’t the only C of I connection to the Triennial Exhibition. Alumnus Kevan Smith ’81 and former professor Charles Gill also have art on display and alumna Beth Sellars ’60 served as a juror, selecting which artwork to include in the exhibit.

Coyotes rack up 13 NAIA Scholar-Teams

For the second consecutive year, The College of Idaho led all Cascade Conference schools in NAIA Scholar Teams. A total of 13 Coyote teams registered a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00, joining 41 other Cascade Conference teams and 824 teams nationwide as 2009-2010 honorees named by the NAIA national office in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Our student athletes are a reflection of our entire student body,” C of I athletic director Marty Holly said. “We have many outstanding academic students, and that includes those involved in sports. I really give them a lot of credit, because it’s not easy to achieve high grades here.”

Leading the way for the Yotes was the women’s cross country team, which won the CCC title and finished seventh at the NAIA National Championships. The team posted a cumulative GPA of 3.66 – the highest among all CCC teams and the 22nd-best GPA in the nation.

All nine C of I women’s teams that compete in the NAIA were Scholar Teams, while four Coyote men’s programs earned the distinction. The C of I honorees were: women’s cross country (3.66), women’s track & field (3.44), women’s basketball (3.40), women’s golf (3.38), women’s swimming (3.32), women’s soccer (3.30), softball (3.19), volleyball (3.17), women’s tennis (3.16), men’s tennis (3.15), men’s golf (3.13), baseball (3.02) and men’s basketball (3.00).

Only seven schools nationally had more than 13 sports honored. Biola (California) and Hastings (Nebraska) each had 16, Concordia (Nebraska) had 15 and Taylor (Indiana), Savannah A&D (Georgia), St. Ambrose (Iowa) and Indiana Wesleyan each had 14. Last year, The College of Idaho set a NAIA record with 19 Scholar Teams.


Summer 2010

Upcoming Alumni Events

Summer 2010

Upcoming Athletic Events

July 29-31; August 4-7

C of I alum Ben Verschoor ('09) directs David Mamet's 'Oleanna' at the Alpine Playhouse in McCall, 8 p.m.

July 31

GOLD alumni Boise River float (from Barber Park to Ann Morrison), 1 p.m. Please email [email protected] to RSVP.

August 6

C of I English professor Scott Knickerbocker performs with his old-time string band, the Hokum Hi-Flyers, at the Linen Building in Boise, 6 p.m.

August 6-8

Lambda Zeta 2010 Riders of the Night Reunion, begins at 3 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday morning. Features events on campus and throughout Caldwell

August 10

Howard Berger Lecture Series, Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor speaks at the Community School Theater in Sun Valley, 7 p.m.

August 18

GOLD Caldwell Night Rodeo (all alumni invited), 8 p.m., Caldwell Rodeo Grounds


College of Idaho sports information director and Boise Hawks radio broadcaster Mike Safford was featured by the Idaho Statesman in an article you can read here: www.idahostatesman.com/2010/07/23/1277235/lasting-voice.html

College of Idaho alumna Marcy Neher '70 was profiled in Sandpoint magazine. Neher and her husband, Richard '71, own a horse farm in Northern Idaho. Read the article here: www.sandpointonline.com/sandpointmag/sms10/saddleup.html