The Friday Letter Archive

A collection of the president's weekly messages to the Vandal family


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Friday Letter 2015-02-06

Please note: this is an archived email message and may not display as originally intended. Some images, links, and functionality may be broken or out of date.

Dear Friends,
This weekend my wife, Mary Beth, and I enjoyed skiing at Sun Valley. Standing on Mt. Baldy, gazing over the snow-capped mountains of Idaho reminded me that it has been nearly a year since we moved to Idaho. One of the joys of finding a new home has been discovering the amazing places and meeting the wonderful people in this great state.
Over the past year I’ve made it a point to travel to every corner of the state and see the full spectrum of University of Idaho activity across Idaho. From our statewide Extension network to special places such as Taylor Ranch in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, to our many Research and Extension Centers, the Vandal impact spreads far and wide in our state. During my bicycle tour of southern Idaho last summer, watching close-up mile after mile of agriculture and industry and visiting facilities, I realized that I’d be hard-pressed to point to an Idaho community not in some way impacted by the success of UI programs, students, alumni and research.
It really does bear repeating: As the Gem State’s land-grant institution, Idaho is our 83,000 square mile campus.
The University of Idaho is a launching pad for eye-opening life experiences. For instance, students wishing to explore our state, learn new skills and meet new people can take advantage of the Outdoor Program.  Program staff put together clinics and workshops, offer cooperative and instructional trips, and run the Climbing Center on campus. Additionally, UI has a convenient rental center with everything from camping gear to skis and snowboards to kayaks and canoes. They also tune and repair equipment.
Mary Beth and I have found the Outdoor Program the perfect place to assist our Idaho adventures. The abundance of the affordable and enriching opportunities led Outside magazine to name UI one of the top 25 outdoor universities in the country, and it’s no wonder why.
Of course, there are also plenty of recreation options for Vandals inclined to stay close to home. Campus Recreation runs intramural sports, a wellness program, sports clubs and a number of other activities that provide exercise, personal growth and opportunities for camaraderie. There are top-notch facilities, including the Student Recreation Center, that add to the experience for our entire campus community.  
Idaho is a special place. The home campus in Moscow is situated in one of the country’s most uniquely beautiful spots, with rivers and mountains that offer something to do and see in every season. I hope students and staff alike will get out there and explore our landscape. Wherever you are in this remarkable state, an Idaho adventure is waiting.

Chuck Staben portrait

Go Vandals!
Chuck Staben
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Here's the Latest News from the University of Idaho

College of Law Class of 1964 Supports Memorial Fund
In 1984, members of the College of Law Class of 1964 established a special memorial fund to honor three of their classmates: Richard Minas, who was killed in a plane crash in 1970; Larry Hansen, who passed away shortly after his law school graduation; and Daniel Slavin, who passed away in 1987. The Minas-Hansen-Slavin Memorial Fund is used by the Dean of the College of Law to support programs and projects at the college. The class met this past September to celebrate their 50-year class reunion where members of the group renewed their support for the memorial fund, adding much-needed discretionary funds for use by the College of Law dean. College of Law Dean Mark Adams remarked, “The reunion dinner was a great success, and I applaud the Class of 1964 for supporting this important fund.” For more information on giving to the College of Law, contact Terri Muse, assistant dean for external relations, at 208-364-4044 or   
UI Named Top 50 Underrated Colleges in America
Business Insider recently named the University of Idaho No. 26 among “The 50 Most Underrated Colleges in America.” The publication cited the breadth of the land-grant university’s academic offerings and research that “benefits the greater community as well as its students.” Business Insider also considered the average mid-career salary for UI graduates — as determined by PayScale — which at $82,700 is the highest among Idaho public institutions of higher education.
UI Recognized as National Leader in Community Service
The University of Idaho’s outreach and engagement efforts were recognized recently by the White House. The UI was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the eighth consecutive year. UI has been on the list since it began in 2006. A total of 766 higher higher education institutions were named to the 2014 honor roll, which recognized recipients for one or more of four areas of service: general community service, interfaith community service, economic community service and education community service. UI earned this distinction in the education category.

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