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College of Idaho readies for 2012 commencement

May 1, 2012

The College of Idaho will celebrate the graduating Class of 2012 during its annual commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12, in Morrison Quadrangle at the heart of campus. Writer and editor Joan Houston Hall will deliver a commencement address entitled “Words along the Way,” capping a weekend of celebration at Idaho’s oldest liberal arts college.

“I congratulate each of our graduates for their outstanding achievement in completing their College of Idaho education,” C of I President Marv Henberg said. “The Class of 2012 is notable for its skill in both writing and speaking, so I am honored and excited to host as commencement speaker our distinguished alumna Dr. Joan Houston Hall, the world’s foremost expert on American regional English.”

Hall, a 1968 C of I graduate, is the chief editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English (widely known as DARE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also is an accomplished writer, lecturer and scholar who has served as the principal investigator on grants totaling more than $10 million. The fifth volume of DARE, which completes the English alphabet, will be published this year. The dictionary catalogues the wide variety of words, usages and dialects spoken throughout different regions of the United States.

Commencement also will include remarks by Henberg and a graduating C of I senior. Hall will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and The College of Idaho President’s Medallion will be awarded to Caldwell physician Patrick Stowell as well as to Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History director William Clark ’68 and his wife, Mary Clark ’67.

The commencement ceremony will be preceded by a baccalaureate service at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, inside Jewett Auditorium. Class reunions, meetings for the College’s Board of Trustees and other campus events also are scheduled throughout the week. Highlights include the Class of 2012 Senior Banquet and Roast (Wednesday, Langroise Center), the Franklin Specht Scholarship Pasta Feed (Thursday, Bitner Vineyards), the Golden Jubilee Awards Luncheon for the Class of 1962 (Friday, Simplot Dining Hall) and the Class of 1972 40-year reunion BBQ (Friday, home of Chuck and Jan Knox). For a full schedule of events, visit the C of I online calendar. Commencement will be streamed live online at

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 11 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 minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit