C of I launches Henberg Lectureship in Env. Studies

The College of Idaho is pleased to launch its new Marv and Laurie Henberg Lectureship in Environmental Studies. The lectureship’s inaugural event is set for March 31 as critically acclaimed author David Quammen will visit the C of I’s Caldwell campus for a 7 p.m. lecture in the Langroise Center titled “Ebola, Virus X, and the Ecology of Emerging Disease.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Growing up in the wilds of Wyoming, C of I President Marv Henberg has always been active in the outdoors and shares that passion with his wife. And as with so many conservationists Henberg admires, his passion for the outdoors has led to an interest in sustainable environmental practice.

With this new endowed lecture series, Henberg expects to extend learning at the C of I beyond the classroom.

“I hope the environmental studies faculty will be able to bring in outside voices that will enrich the education of all C of I students, for environmental issues range across the disciplines, from science to history to the humanities,” Henberg said.

Henberg is set to retire in June, but his namesake lectureship is one of three endowed lecture series established during his presidency. He also helped establish the Carter-Chalker Lectureship Series on Faith and Contemporary Issues and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Lectureship in Judaic Studies.

“The Henberg lecture series will showcase to the community what we value as an institution of higher education, which is informed understanding of pressing environmental challenge,” said Dr. Rochelle Johnson, professor of English and environmental studies.

There is no one better to kick off the series than Quammen, who is a personal friend of Henberg, the two having met at Oxford University when they were both Rhodes Scholars in the early 1970s. Quammen is an award-winning author of 15 books, including his latest, Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus. His 2012 book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, was the first-year book for incoming C of I freshmen.

“The next big and murderous human pandemic, the one that kills us in millions, will be caused by a new disease—new to humans, anyway,” Quammen says. “The bug that's responsible will be strange, unfamiliar, but it won't come from outer space. Odds are that the killer pathogen—most likely a virus—will spill over into humans from a nonhuman animal.”

In addition to the public lecture, Quammen’s March 31 visit will include classroom visits and lunch with students.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. The C of I has a legacy of academic excellence, a winning athletics tradition and a history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars and 14 Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College’s beautiful, residential campus is located in Caldwell. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. For more information, visit