U of I Launches Historic Campaign for Students With $15.2M in Philanthropic Gifts
Marisa Lloyd

U of I Launches Historic Campaign for Students With $15.2M in Philanthropic Gifts

University of Idaho

MOSCOW — Today, the University of Idaho launches the public phase of a philanthropic campaign specifically in support of students with $15.2 million in gifts from four families.

The campaign, called “Brave. Bold. A Promise to Idaho’s Students,” focuses on funding three key priorities: scholarships, experiential and hands-on learning opportunities, and programming that supports job placement and career success.

“There is a clear and urgent need to ensure more students in Idaho go to, and succeed in college and beyond,” said U of I President Scott Green. “This campaign will focus on factors that drive student success, including reducing financial barriers and providing the skills and experiences our students need when they step into their jobs.”

The state of Idaho has the second-fastest-growing population and ranks No. 1 for economic growth in the nation, but in 2020, only 38% of Idaho’s high school graduates continued their education compared with 56.5% nationally. For Green, that’s a missed opportunity for Idaho’s youth, considering Idahoans with a college education earn on average $1.2 million more over their lifetimes and live nine years longer than those who do not.

“In 2020, U of I had a 59.4% graduation rate and while this is the highest among colleges and universities in Idaho, it is, to us, extraordinarily unacceptable,” he said. “We must do better. Our economy requires it. Our students deserve it.”

Green said that industry and business leaders from throughout Idaho have told him that the need for an educated, skilled workforce is rapidly growing in the region. While scholarships are a cornerstone of the campaign’s vision, funding experiential learning opportunities will prepare students for rewarding careers and bolster U of I’s ability to meet the workforce demands of Idaho’s growing economy.

“A college education is life-changing. It can change an entire family tree and bolster a community,” said Clint Marshall, one of the lead donors and volunteer chair of the campaign. “These donations can provide scholarships for those wanting to go to college.”

Marshall and his wife, Kim, Gary Michael, and Mel and Charlotte Van Dyke’s gifts announced today total $3.2 million in support of scholarships, which will help U of I’s hardworking students succeed and finish their degrees, said Green. Additionally, gifts totaling $12 million from the Huckabay family have established the university’s largest single endowment, which will provide scholarships to Idaho WWAMI medical students for years to come.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of these donors and all of our supporters, who expand our ability to meet our mission of making a positive impact on Idaho, our region, and the world today and for generations to come,” Green said.

Fundraising campaigns have become increasingly common among public universities as other sources of funding have stagnated or decreased. Most launch fundraising campaigns in support of comprehensive research goals and follow these multi-year efforts with smaller, student-focused campaigns. U of I is flipping this script.

“There is no contesting that the need for student support in Idaho is great,” Green said. “So, we did what Vandals do and we threw out the rulebook in favor of putting our students — and the people of Idaho — first with this campaign.”

The launch of “Brave. Bold. A Promise to Idaho’s Students.” will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at the new ICCU Arena in Moscow and livestreamed. Green, Gov. Brad Little, and many alumni and students will participate in the program.  

While fundraising does not replace the need for state funding, the campaign’s priorities reflect areas for which state funding cannot keep pace with growing demand. For more information, including campaign priorities, student and donor stories, visit uidaho.edu/brave-bold.

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