ISU Headlines

Gov. Otter greets 1,932 ISU graduates, guests at commencement

Posted May 16, 2007

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, accompanied by First Lady Lori Otter, greeted Idaho State University’s graduates during ISU’s 103rd spring commencement ceremonies on May 12 at Holt Arena.

“From the State of Idaho, congratulations,” Otter said to the assembled graduates and the approximately 7,000 guests. “You carry with you our best wishes and fondest hopes.”

Otter briefly recounted his educational experiences and stressed the importance of higher education to the graduates individually and to the state as a whole.

“I’m honored today, to be among such happy and accomplished individuals,” Otter said.

The 1,932 graduates gathered received 2,010 degrees and certificates. Seventy-six students received multiple certificates and/or degrees. ISU President Arthur C. Vailas, PhD, conferred the degrees.

The breakdown of graduates included 19 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, four Doctor of Education degrees, nine Doctor of Arts degrees, 24 Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees, seven Educational Specialist degrees, one Education Specialist sixth-year certificate, 66 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, one post-master’s certificate in nursing, three post-baccalaureate certificates in geotechnology, one certificate in applied nuclear energy, 339 master’s degrees, 1,076 bachelor’s degrees, 224 associate degrees and 236 certificates from the College of Technology.

In addition to the presentation of these degrees and certificates, an honorary Doctor of Science and Humane Letters degree was awarded to L.S. “Sam” Skaggs, who is often credited as the father of the modern super drug-store chain.

Skaggs’ honorary Doctor of Science and Humane Letters degree was accepted by his daughter, Claudia Luttrell, of Salt Lake City, Utah. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Skaggs, who has roots in southeast Idaho, is known for his national and international contributions to education in pharmacy, health sciences and biomedical research through the ALSAM Foundation. The foundation is named after Skaggs and his wife, Aline. Several pharmacy schools in the western United States have benefited from his philanthropy, including Idaho State University’s College of Pharmacy, which recently received $5 million to acquire teaching and research space in the Treasure Valley. The foundation also provided an additional $250,000 in scholarships for minority students.

Three distinguished faculty members were acknowledged, nine alumni were recognized for their professional achievement and 11 outstanding students were recognized.

Faculty members recognized for distinguished service were Kandi Jo Turley-Ames, PhD, psychology, 2007 Distinguished Teacher; Nancy Huntly, PhD, ecology and biology, 2007 Distinguished Researcher; and Habib Sadid, PhD, engineering, 2007 Distinguished Public Service Award.

Nine alumni were honored with professional achievement awards from their respective colleges and the ISU Alumni Association. They are Roger Akers, Fair Oaks, Calif., College of Business; W. Jeffrey Allard, PhD, Harleysville, Penn., College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences; Earl Bowen, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Los Angeles, Calif., College of Arts and Sciences – Arts and Humanities; Janet C. Burdick, Twin Falls, College of Education; Ray Furstenau, Idaho Falls, College of Engineering; Thomas Harris, Eagle, College of Technology; Lisa K. Higbee, Pocatello, Kasiska College of Health Professions; Norman L. Jones, PhD, Logan, Utah, College of Arts and Sciences – Social Sciences; and Gary Tauscher, PhD, Hilton Head Island, S.C., College of Pharmacy.

Outstanding Student Achievement Award winners honored were: Christian Batcheller, Stuart, Va., Graduate School, Master’s Degree; Evan S. Frasure, III, Pocatello, College of Pharmacy; Deborah Gillard, Pocatello and Sacramento, Calif., College of Technology; Jeffrey J. Grieve, College of Arts and Sciences – Social Sciences; Edwin A. Guerra, Mexico City, Mexico, College of Engineering; Michael J. Lance, Inkom, College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Torey L. Portrie-Bethke, Rochester, N.H., Graduate School – Doctoral; R. Tal Sampson, Pocatello, College of Arts and Sciences – Fine Arts and Humanities; Kristal Searle, Pocatello, College of Business; Melanie Williams, Riggins, College of Education; and Angela Young, Pocatello and Placenta, Calif., Kasiska College of Health Professions.

The 2007 graduates include those who completed their degree work by Dec. 15, 2006, and May 11.