October 13, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
Recently, I had the privilege of welcoming old friends and new to Homecoming 2010.
One of the highlights of the week was the Founder's Luncheon, where Babe Caccia, an ardent supporter of the University, was posthumously awarded entrance into the State of Idaho Hall of Fame for his support of athletics in the state. Cassia was a great man and a great friend to Idaho State University.
I'm also pleased to congratulate this year's Homecoming Award winners. All of these men and women have dedicated their time and talents to Idaho State University, and have achieved success at the national and international level.
Dr. Joy Plein, a pharmacy alumna, was awarded the ISU Distinguished Alumnus Award. Plein has dedicated her career as a professor at the University of Washington to geriatrics. She has earned national and international recognition for her work.
Dr. Corey Schou, University professor and professor of informatics and computer information systems was awarded the Idaho State University Achievement Award. Schou directs the Idaho State University Informatics Research Institute, which works closely with researchers around the world, and hosts the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center and the Simplot Decision Support Center.
Distinguished Service Award winner and head track coach Dave Nielsen has coached Idaho State University athletes for more than 25 years. Along with coaching Olympic athlete Stacy Dragila, Nielsen is an accomplished athlete in his own right. He is well-respected in the field — he has been an active writer for professional magazines and served on numerous national committees. He also chaired the USATF Women's Pole Vault Development Committee from 1998 to 2006. His athletes at Idaho State University have earned All-American status 20 times, including 11 in the last four years.
Clarence J. Byrne was awarded the William J. Bartz award for his dedication to Idaho State University. Clarence and his wife, Velma, have been great community leaders, and have passed their community-minded spirit on to their children. Four of the five Byrne children graduated from Idaho State University and they, along with their spouses and children, continue to provide support for Idaho State.
President's Medallions were awarded to Bruce Bistline, Robert Geddes and Bill Kobus.
Bruce Bistline, an attorney with Gordon Law Offices in Boise, is a long-time supporter of ISU and has been an Idaho State University Foundation Board member since 2007. He is the chair of both the Foundation's Development Committee and the Stephens Performing Arts Center sub-committee.
Idaho Senator Robert Geddes has been a staunch supporter of the institution, and his support was instrumental in the creation of the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center. Geddes is President Pro Tempore of the Idaho Senate.
Bill Kobus, a retired senior executive with the U.S. Postal Service and an Idaho State University alumnus, has tirelessly supported the university. Most recently, he served four years as interim director of the Alumni Association.
We were also excited to welcome Dave Kragthorpe as parade marshal. Kragthorpe coached the Idaho State University football team from 1980-1982 and led his team to a national championship, as our parade marshal.
It was a wonderful week, and I was happy to see Idaho State University alumni and friends, celebrating both Idaho State University's past, and its bright future.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University