Duane and Lori Stueckle are well known in the Boise valley for their support of higher education. The couple has added to that legacy with the establishment of the Stueckle Scholarship at The College of Idaho, a $150,000 gift to fund scholarships for three students for three years, as well as research.
When Duane sat down with a group of science students for lunch on Monday, he came away from the meeting with high praise.
“They’re all very impressive. I wouldn’t know how to choose who gets the scholarship. I’d have given it to all of them,” Stueckle said. “If we can continue to pump out that kind of person, the world is going to be all right.”
The Stueckle Scholarships were awarded to three sophomore students who are pursuing science degrees. They’re also members of the College’s Gipson Honors program. Each of the three initial scholarship recipients, Kaiden Lee, Elliott McCloskey, and Thandiswa Mdluli, were among the students to meet with Stueckle and also came away impressed.
“He’s not just writing a check. He actually knows some aspect of us, which is nice,” Mdluli, a biomedical science major, said. “That he knows us and it’s not just, ‘oh, I’ve got the money, here you go.’ It’s very impressive.”
The ability to support research was vital to Stueckle. As was the ability to talk about it publicly after seeing first-hand what undergraduate students were working on in the College’s research labs.
“The depth of research and the quality of the research,” Stueckle said. “I don’t think anyone in the valley knows about it.”
That’s a common misconception about The College of Idaho. As a small, private, liberal arts college, many are surprised to hear that students are able to get involved in research at such a young age. But the College is active in research circles, with students regularly presenting at large conferences. It is a talking point for McCloskey among his friends, many of whom are pursuing similar degrees at larger institutions.
“When I tell them (his friends) I have the privilege of doing research, they’re blown away. They don’t even believe me,” said McCloskey, a math-physics major. “Having this experience this early on is invaluable and it’s something that sets the school apart.”
For Lee, like many students at the College, the contributions from supporters like the Stueckles are pivotal to higher education, which leads to a strong sense of gratitude.
“Just thank you, is there anything else really to say?” asked the biochemistry major. “Personally, I’m depending on them (scholarships) to help fund my college education, so I wouldn’t be here (without scholarships).”
To see and hear a video from Monday’s announcement, click here.
The College of Idaho has a 128-year-old legacy of excellence. The College 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.