The College of Idaho celebrates graduating Class of 2011
2011. 05. 25.
Renowned artist Matthew Barney, whose work is rooted in his experiences growing up in the Treasure Valley, noted the importance of each person's roots in addressing The College of Idaho's Class of 2011 during commencement ceremonies May 21.
“You absorb the environment where you were raised and your experiences and observations there become your primary instincts,” Barney told more than 200 C of I graduates and hundreds of family members, faculty, staff and classmates.
Barney recalled going to a New York exhibition in which German artist Joseph Beuys spent a week in a cage with a coyote, allowing Beuys and the coyote to share their meals and learn from one another.
“Beuys felt like the coyote well represented the American spirit, and I would agree,” Barney said. “I respect the independence of the coyote and its adaptability.”
Senior class speaker Alexandra Grande, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in history and political economy, echoed Barney's comments, noting how the College's liberal arts education challenged her and her classmates to push their boundaries and explore new things.
Grande also recalled the changes she and her classmates have experienced together, including the inauguration of a new president and renovation of Hayman Hall, yet noted that the Class of 2011 will forever be connected to past and future graduates.
“As much as some things may have changed, for a college to endure, its students, past, present and future, must feel like there is something at the core of all of their experiences which remains the same,” Grande said. “Whether you graduated 50 years ago, or five, or will walk across the Boone steps today…I think all of us can recognize what it is that makes The College of Idaho what it is. And that is the community we have here.”
Photographs of graduating students, department groups and the commencement ceremonies taken by a professional photographer are available for purchase online at www.collegeofidaho2011.info.