The C of I joins Idaho in remembering J.R. Simplot
2008. 05. 26.
CALDWELL The College of Idaho President Bob Hoover joins the rest of the state in honoring and remembering J.R. Simplot, who served on the College's Board of Trustees for more than 60 years, spoke at commencement for more than 50 years, and kept the College financially stable during hard times.
J.R. Simplot was a significant force on our campus for several generations of students, Hoover said. Without his business acumen, his incredible generosity and his love of the College, we would not have the rich, 117-year heritage that we do today.
There are wonderful stories about board meetings where Jack would pull out his checkbook to cover a debt for the College and he would challenge the other trustees to do the same.
J.R. was more than just a generous benefactor. He enjoyed interacting with the students and spoke at 51 commencements. He always had a signature line that was his advice to graduates, Get a piece of land and hold onto it.'
Simplot was named an emeritus trustee in the 1990s, after serving on the board continuously since the 1940s. The College of Idaho has two buildings named for Simplot Simplot Residence Hall, which is currently being remodeled and will reopen next year, and Simplot Dining Hall.
Several of Simplot's children and grandchildren graduated from the College. His daughter Gay graduated in 1968 and is a current member of the College's Board of Trustees. His son Don is a 1958 graduate. Grandchildren Michael Simplot, Ted Simplot, Anne Simplot, and Laurie Careen Braun are also alumni.