June 12, 2008
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
Cheryl Huntsman Jensen and her husband, ISU alumnus Joe Jensen, exemplify the power of higher education and philanthropy to transform lives.
Yet we lost Cheryl June 3 to breast cancer.
As the entire University community extends condolences to her family, we could not be more honored by the legacy that she and Joe gave to the University, and to all of Idaho.
The most prominent component of that legacy, the one thousands of people see each day, is the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall. It is the largest venue in the University's L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, a centerpiece of Idaho's cultural life.
At the same time that we mourn Cheryl's passing, we are heartened by the recent $50,000 gift to the Stephens Performing Arts Center from alumnus Dr. Bill Brydon and his wife, alumna Doris Brydon. The gift will help pay off some $5 million in remaining construction costs for the Stephens Center.
This latest contribution is in addition to the Brydon's previous donation of $1.5 million to the center, where the mezzanine is named in their honor. Thank you again, Bill and Doris!
The Brydons' latest gift is in response to ISU benefactor Beverly B. Bistline's recent fundraising challenge. She has committed to matching gifts made before July 1 that are directed toward the Stephens Center's remaining cost.
The spirit of giving here is manifest as well in the compassion we see for victims of the earthquake in China on May 12. Our Chinese Student Association reported that their call for aid donations had generated nearly $4,000. The funds will be forwarded to victims through the Red Cross Society of China.
We are honored that so many who benefit from the opportunities available at Idaho State University make giving a part of their lives. They give back in ways that matter, ways that endure, ways that make the world a better place.
There is a way for each of us. Let me know if Idaho State University can help you find yours.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University