Before he became one of the pioneers of Boise’s commercial real estate world, Winston Moore built memories in the Sierra Nevada mountain region of California. As a four-year-old, Moore traveled down the mountain paths on horseback for hours, eventually coming across a fishing camp where he would later develop his lifetime love for fly fishing.
Since then, Moore has traveled all around the western hemisphere, hiking and rafting his way to new experiences in the outdoors – the place he felt most at ease.
“I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors, and to me, it’s spiritual,” Moore said. “My cathedral is the outdoors. If I can meditate outside for a moment and hear the birds chirping and the coyotes howl, I know I’m at peace with the world. I feel much closer to God with the sky over my head instead of the roof of a church.”
Moore’s love of the outdoors is just one of the reasons why he chose to make a $1 million gift to The College of Idaho last summer. His generosity not only established the Winston Moore Scholars program, but also provided funding to the C of I Outdoor Program, providing funding for five years of high impact outdoor programs for students as well as the salary and benefits of the Outdoor Program Director position over the next five years.
On Nov. 13, Moore visited the C of I campus to partake in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Outdoor Program Center which now bears his and his late wife’s names: the Winston and Diane Moore Outdoor Program Center. The 94-year-old Moore was all smiles as he spoke with the students who assembled for the event, taking time to learn their names before the event began.
“It is an absolute pleasure and honor to be here with you young folks today,” Moore said. “It thrills me to know that people of your quality want to learn more in the outdoors. I know that the more time you spend out there, the happier you’ll be.”
C of I Co-President Jim Everett became emotional as he introduced Moore to the crowd, calling him one of his heroes for the positive impact Moore has been able to make on the community.
“If you look up ‘mentor’ and ‘wisdom’ in the dictionary, you’ll see Winston Moore’s face there both times,” Everett said. “For him to make this kind of gift just shows you the kind of man Winston is.”
A couple of students who have benefitted from the Outdoor Program were invited to speak before Moore cut the ribbon to the renamed center. C of I sophomore Yassir Mushir, an international student from Iraq, shared how he had never imagined traveling to some of the spaces he visited on trips with the Outdoor Program.
“When I read about the Colorado River in high school, I never expected that I would be spending a week sleeping right next to it,” Mushir said. “This was a dream come true for me, and I like that the outdoors can bring people together and allow people to share stories like this.”
Freshman Marharyta Horokhova, an international student from Ukraine, said upon her arrival to the United States, she was determined to explore the American country and culture through further travel. She said the Outdoor Program is what has given her that opportunity, including seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time on a student-led trip to California.
“The outdoors offers so many possibilities to develop, grow, take risks and build confidence,” Horokhova said. “I’m really grateful to everyone involved, and it’s a big pleasure to thank Winston for how he’s helped make this happen.”
Moore thanked the students who had come and wished them well after the ribbon was cut, reminding them to take pride in where they’ve come to study.
“I hope you realize how fortunate you are to be students here,” Moore said. “This is one of, if not the best learning institution in the United States.”
For more information about the C of I’s Outdoor Program, click here.
The College of Idaho has a 127-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, 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 www.collegeofidaho.edu.