Brightest and Best

Dr. Blaine Nisson

Bachelor of Arts in marketing, Idaho State University, 1973
Masters in Education, Idaho State University, 1977
Doctorate in Education Oregon State University, 2003

Retired as President of Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon. Currently serves on ISU Alumni Board of Directors.

Golf, camera club, computer club, hiking club, pickle ball, competitive shuffleboard. Recently completed nine classes through the University of Arizona's Lifelong Learning Program.

Latest Accomplishment:
Earlier this year, Umpqua Community College named their wine library in honor of Dr. Nisson. His visionary leadership was instrumental in helping to develop the local wine industry. The genesis for developing local wines began when local winemakers approached him and outlined how the local economy would benefit from a source of highly-trained workers and a place for continuing education in the craft of wine making. Dr. Nisson immediately realized what an economic boon this could be to southwestern Oregon and agreed to support the initiative on one condition: he got the winemakers to agree to support the project as equal partners. And so the Southwestern Wine Institute was born.

Dr. Nisson believed that by establishing such a program, broad-based business and economic vitality would result in the growth of a hospitality industry, complete with four-star hotels and restaurants. He had seen similar economic gains occur in southeastern Washington when a similar program was launched. Dr. Nisson commissioned an economic impact study, which supported his belief that the Umpqua wine region could produce thousands of new jobs and millions in new earnings given the ripple effect of the winemaking program at the college. On January 20, 2012, the first event of the opening of the building was held for college faculty, staff and administration.

Why I do what I do:
"I was a first-generation college student. There were many people in my life, my parents, teachers, etc. who provided the support and encouragement I needed to fulfill my education. In the process, I realized I could make the same type of difference in a student's life and in so doing, build a stronger community. In retrospect I look back at the nearly four decades at the programs and services we were able to institute in the places I served and take great satisfaction from the difference it made in so many lives."

Isu Recollection:
"I look back with great fondness and appreciation for the encouragement and help provided by ISU's faculty and staff. They provided the guidance which allowed me to be successful and helped to form my beliefs. I fondly remember people such as Earl Pond, Dean Kelley, Art Lloyd, Tom Edger, Bill Bartz and Bud Davis, to name but a few."

ISU Experience:
"I served as ASISU president from 1972-73. That experience expanded my vision of what could and should be. As the first in my family to graduate from college, I can't express how truly fortunate I was to start my career at Idaho State University."

Words of Wisdom:
"Never let anyone determine your goals and your future or let the lack of resources deter you."



921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209