Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

Former student presidents elected as Idaho State Senate leaders

2010. 12. 21.

Two College of Idaho alumni who began their political careers at C of I are achieving continued success as elected state officials. Chuck Winder '68 and John McGee '95 have been elected to the No. 3 and No. 4 leadership positions, respectively, in the Idaho State Senate. Winder, serving his second term, is the Assistant Majority Leader and McGee, serving his fourth term, is the Majority Caucus Chair. Both men were re-elected by the public in November and elected to their positions by the caucus this month.

“There is no doubt student government prepares you for public service,” said McGee, who served as student president during his junior year. “Learning how to negotiate and work together are skills you learn in student government that you definitely use in state government, as well as in life in general.”

Winder, who previously served as Ada County Highway District Commissioner and Chairman of the Idaho State Transportation Board, said his experience in student government provided a solid foundation for his career. He served as a class senator at C of I and was student president as a senior.

“My whole experience at The College of Idaho was a positive one,” Winder said. “I received great instruction and had opportunities to participate in a lot of different things. The College encourages you to be engaged and participate in public service, and I think that helped prepare me for a career in business and government.”

Both McGee and Winder have remained active leaders at the College over the years. Winder served on the Board of Trustees for 12 years, while McGee is currently serving as Chairman of the Board.

“The College of Idaho had such a positive effect on my life, I just feel a great sense of wanting to give back however I can,” McGee said. “When you look around the state government and see Governor Otter ('67) and state representative Pat Takasugi ('71) and the success Chuck and I are having in the senate, I think it says a lot about the College and the ethos for public service it instills in its students.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state's oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three undergraduate minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit