News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

August 30, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 28

'Extreme Makeover' Family Receives Scholarships

President Arthur C. and Dr. Laura Vailas present scholarships to the Spreier children.

A new residence wasn't the only surprise Jane Marshall-Spreier and her children received on Aug. 24 when they arrived back to their new home, built courtesy of efforts by ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and the Pocatello community.

At the house unveiling celebration, Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas announced that the University would provide scholarship support to the eight Spreier children.

"Many of those volunteering this week are your friends, neighbors, students, faculty and staff from Idaho State University," ISU President Vailas said. "And your neighbors at Idaho State University are pleased to inform you that we will provide eight scholarships which will cover the full amount of base tuition for your children."

The scholarship packaged is valued at about $225,000. The Spreier children will receive scholarships from Idaho State University. The presentation by ISU President Arthur C. Vailas and Dr. Laura Vailas sent a tsunami of applause and surprise throughout the several thousand spectators gathered for the unveiling of the home to the family.

The award of these scholarships was just one of many ways Idaho State University participated in or supported "Extreme Makeover." ISU students, faculty and staff were involved in a number of different activities related to the program. Thanks to the unprecedented sign-up of volunteers, with more than 1,000 from Idaho State University, this was one of the largest volunteer turnouts in the eight-year history of the show.

In addition to volunteering at the construction site, ISU students, faculty and staff were busy raising additional funds for the Marshall-Spreier family by selling "Extreme Makeover" shirts and wristbands. The ISU Cheerleaders, ISU Bengal Dancers and Benny the Bengal lent their talents at a number of events, including the Pocatello Community Rally.

Idaho State University also offered the use of the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center for "Extreme Makeover" to hold an auction that raised thousands of dollars for the family. The event filled the concert hall and more than 500 people had to be turned away.

In addition, the Idaho State University Dental Hygiene Program donated a basket of oral health care products and the gift of preventive dental hygiene services for one year for the entire family.

Even after the official filming of the show was over and the finished house had been revealed to its new owners, Idaho State University was still involved with the project: the ISU Football team helped with the cleanup of the building site and the neighborhood where "Extreme Makeover" occurred.