October 24, 2008
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
Each year, I have the opportunity to present the University's highest accolades to its most accomplished alumni and most generous friends.
I had the pleasure of doing so again on Friday, Oct. 17, at the President's Alumni Recognition Dinner during the annual ISU Homecoming celebration.
The recipients this year are:
Joseph C. Jensen: A retired president at Pfizer, Inc., the Pocatello native received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Many know him for the philanthropic and leadership roles that he and his late wife, Cheryl, provided for the L. E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center. The center's grand concert hall, its largest venue, bears their names. Joe is a former president and the current chairman of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors.
Norman and Beth Hill: The William J. Bartz Award went to these longtime Pocatello residents with strong ties to ISU. The award recognizes continued support and development of ISU through personal actions, participation in University affairs and financial support. Norman is a graduate the College of Technology's electronics program, as are the couple's two sons, Darrel and Galen. Norman retired from Idaho Power in 1996 after 27 years there. Beth worked at Idaho Power for 35 years, and took evening classes at ISU during that time. Norman is a member of the Bengal Foundation; Beth is on the Portneuf Medical Center Governing Board. Their grandson, Russel Hill, is a student at ISU.
Retired Army Col. Garth H. Holmes: Idaho State University continues to recognize its debt of gratitude to this College of Pharmacy graduate, whose late wife, Dianne, received a Master of Arts degree in elementary education here. He received the President's Medallion, which honors friends and alumni whose outstanding accomplishments and exemplary service and support bring distinction to the University and advance higher education. When Dianne died, Garth established the Dianne W. Holmes Scholarship Endowment at the College of Education. He also established a College of Pharmacy endowment that funds an annual scholarship for a first-year student from Idaho who shows financial need. He previously received the ISU Professional Achievement Award and the College of Pharmacy Professional Achievement Award.
Sylvia Papenberg: Last January, this ISU alumna made the first donation to the Bengal Village athletics project, a proposed major expansion and upgrade of our athletics facilities. Sylvia's gift of 40 acres of land—valued at approximately $1.5 million—in eastern Idaho's Teton Valley is the largest single gift in ISU Athletics' history. It will help fund a new home for ISU women's softball, Miller Ranch Stadium, a complex named for her parents' former ranch. Her gift also will help fund Papenberg Field, a new synthetic-turf football practice field. She received the President's Medallion.
Sylvia is the widow of the late ISU alumnus and Sports Hall of Fame honoree Don "Pappy" Papenberg. She was an athlete as well, playing softball, volleyball and basketball before the advent of women's intercollegiate athletics.
Bessie Katsilometes: The Distinguished Service Award is presented to employees who show exceptional loyalty to the University, and Bessie more than qualifies. Currently dean of academic programs at ISU-Boise, her ties to ISU go back to 1970, when she came to ISU as a student from South Dakota. She earned a B.A. in sociology and social work with high honors, then went on to a Master of Public Administration degree. She has worked at the University for more than 20 years in a number of important administrative positions.
I.J. "Babe" and Tracy Caccia: Babe and Tracy were chosen to be our Homecoming Parade Marshals. Babe has a long and distinguished history with Idaho State University. He was the most successful coach in the University's history in both football and baseball. He also is a former athletics director. During the 1930s, he was a multisport star at Pocatello High School. He is in the ISU Sports Hall of Fame, and the Idaho Hall of Fame. Tracy, a native of Ireland, built a career in the British Army. She and Babe met in Canada, and were married in 1974.
These eight made the spotlight last week. Yet we are proud of, and grateful to, all who've done what they can—in large ways and small—to represent and support Idaho State University.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University