Whittenberger Foundation, C of I continue partnership

Longtime Idaho elementary school teacher Ethel Bales Whittenberger dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for children and young people. Today, the Whittenberger Foundation, established upon Mrs. Whittenberger’s death in 1970, continues to embody that same spirit of giving back. 

This year at the annual Whittenberger Foundation awards luncheon on Dec. 5, a total of $273,000 was distributed to 65 nonprofit organizations. Included was a $35,000 grant to The College of Idaho for the Whittenberger Scholars program. Caldwell Fine Arts, which is housed in the C of I’s renowned Jewett Auditorium, also received an $8,000 grant.

“The College of Idaho was very near and dear to Mrs. Whittenberger and was singled out as one of the organizations to be awarded a grant each year,” foundation board chairman Scott Gipson said.

Since the foundation’s first distribution in December 1973, it has awarded more than $9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Idaho. The foundation also has played an important role on the C of I campus. Since 2000, there have been 411 Whittenberger Scholars supported by the foundation. In addition, the College’s Whittenberger Planetarium inside Boone Science Hall has served as a key public outreach facility, providing programs to schools, home-school groups, scouts and the public.

“The Whittenberger Foundation and The College of Idaho share a common goal in empowering young people to experience life-changing educational and cultural opportunities,” said C of I President Charlotte Borst. “We’re grateful for the continued support of this storied foundation and its remarkable founder.”

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit