The Friday Letter Archive

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


Collections A-Z

Friday Letter 2016-04-01:
Why the Place Where You Attend College Matters

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 Some images, links, and functionality may be broken or out of date.

April 1, 2016

Dear Friends,
The place where you attend college matters. Sounds obvious, right? Just find the right school. But I want to concentrate on more expansive definitions of place and “matters.” Where you attend school is not just about the name of the institution on your sweatshirt, but about the community you discover, the setting for your growth as a person in these important years.

Where you attend college is where you’ll grow as a person, work toward your professional future and forge lifelong friendships. Students won’t find any place quite like Moscow. This town is not just the backdrop to a university experience, it’s a special setting in which to learn and live. It’s a vibrant community, filled with opportunities for entertainment, recreation and culture; it’s also an unrivaled gateway to outdoor adventure (link) . No surprise that Moscow has been named one of America’s top college towns. (link)

This weekend admitted students have a chance to experience that for themselves during our UIdaho Bound weekend (link) . (link) Tonight is “Moscow Friday,” a downtown celebration with music and food. Mary Beth and I will join our city and community leaders in welcoming students to the lively downtown. With new restaurants and businesses, and more on the way, it’s an exciting time for our town. I can’t wait to show that off to our prospective students, and hope as many Moscow people as possible come out and join the fun.

On Saturday, UIdaho Bound participants get an extended opportunity to picture themselves as Vandals. They’ll take tours of our historic campus, where new facilities are coming to life. They’ll learn more about the hundreds of student activities and organizations on campus, see our residence halls and fraternity and sorority living options. Sessions on the logistics of college are critical, too, in everything from money management to registering for classes. We have late-night activities planned at our nationally recognized Student Recreation Center, as well.

We’ve changed how we approach this weekend. Previously, we asked students to come up for “Moscow Thursday” and take their campus tours on a Friday. That schedule represents a significant difficulty for parents and guardians to take off work. We wanted to improve access and minimize time off, so we moved the events to Friday and Saturday. Many students and families are taking advantage of the change to join us this weekend, and we have another great UIdaho Bound weekend on April 22-23, for which admitted students can still register (link) .

I’m grateful to our faculty and staff, who are working to make Saturday a special day for prospective students. The close connections our students make with supportive staff and with faculty on the leading edge of their disciplines separates UI from other institutions. At UI, students aren’t just faces in the crowd — they’re engaged in hands-on learning opportunities with outstanding educators who are invested in student success.

Weekends like this help students still deciding on a school really understand what we mean when we say that UI — and our town of Moscow — are big enough to matter, and small enough to care.

Go Vandals!

Chuck Staben


College of Law Advisory Council Honors Don Burnett

The College of Law Advisory Council recently created an endowed scholarship to honor Don Burnett, former dean of the College of Law, for his service to the college and the council. This perpetual fund will provide scholarships to students with high financial need, giving them access to an education, while at the same time helping the college in its student recruitment efforts. “Don’s service to the university and to the College of Law, in particular, is well known,” said Mark L. Adams, dean of the College of Law. “This scholarship fund is a wonderful way to honor that legacy.” Burnett will retire from the University of Idaho at the end of this spring semester after working for 14 years at UI. For more information about giving to the College of Law or the Burnett Scholarship fund, contact Terri Muse, assistant dean for external relations at 208-364-4044 or (link) .

Grant Creates STEM Program for Nez Perce Students

University of Idaho researchers are teaming up with the Nez Perce Tribe to inspire the tribe’s next generation of scientists (link) . UI received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to start a program designed to help Nez Perce high school students form an identity as scientists while learning to use cutting-edge remote sensing technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles. Thirty students at Lapwai High School will attend a camp in summer 2017 at UI’s McCall Outdoor Science School, or MOSS. In the year following, a Lapwai teacher will lead a class where students further develop their science skills, study local problems that could be addressed with remote-sensing technology and work in collaboration with the tribe’s natural resources departments. Meanwhile, the research team will work collaboratively with the community to develop research and evaluation questions to understand how using advanced technologies and addressing meaningful problems help the students not only learn principals of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), but also form a “STEM identity” connected to their cultural identity.

Clean Snowmobile Team Wins Awards at National Competition

For the second year in a row the University of Idaho engineering Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) (link) team returned from its annual competition at Michigan Tech University’s Keweenaw Research Center winner of the coveted Founder’s Trophy.The award recipient is selected by their peers for the most sportsmanlike conduct. In an event where teams have to be prepared for anything to go wrong, the UI team has built helping other teams into their engineering culture, even when their own sled is not performing optimally. The Vandal team also brought home awards for Most Likely to be Manufactured, Enovation E-Controls and the Most Innovative Emissions Design. In addition, UI’s “Voodoo” sled completed the 100-mile endurance run with the best overall gas mileage of 19.3 mpg, winning the team the Best Fuel Economy Award. More than 20 teams from the U.S., Canada and Finland competed in this year’s weeklong event. The intent of the competition is to develop snowmobiles that are more suitable for use in environmentally sensitive areas such as national parks.
Facebook (link)
Twitter (link)
Website (link)
LinkedIn (link)
Instagram (link)
YouTube (link)
Click here to update your UI email subscription preferences. (link)
Office of the President | 875 Perimeter Drive MS 3151 | Moscow ID 83844-3151

Copyright © 2016 University of Idaho, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your affiliation with the University of Idaho.