September 16, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
When a community pulls together, amazing things can happen.
Last month, the Pocatello community was able to witness this first-hand when more than 3,000 volunteers, including members of our ISU community, came together, with the assistance of the television show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," to build a new house for the Marshall-Spreier family, who had lost their home in a fire.
The event brought an amazing display of community support, one of the biggest in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's history. I'm proud to say that more than 1,000 of those volunteers came from Idaho State University. Students, faculty and staff did work from helping to construct the home to raising money for the family and cleaning up the neighborhood after the show left.
One of my favorite moments during the weeklong event was when Laura and I were able to present eight of the Spreier children with scholarships to Idaho State University. The family was grateful, and we received a heartwarming feeling knowing that Idaho State University was able to relieve some stress in their family and share the great educational opportunity we can provide.
Idaho State University is a part of both the local and global community, and our students, faculty and staff show it each day. Whether it's in Peru, where students and faculty work with the Idaho Condor Humanitarian Project to bring medical necessities to the country's poorest residents, or at home, where student groups raise money for various local organizations, we do our best to help others.
Last year, students from the College of Pharmacy used proceeds from a spaghetti fundraiser dinner to fulfill the wish of a teen suffering from cystic fibrosis through the Make A Wish Foundation. The Idaho State University Department of Dental Hygiene and ISU Department of Dental Sciences participate annually in "Give Kids a Smile" Day, where they, along with others, provide dental care to children who otherwise wouldn't receive services. Dental hygiene students also offered free services at the 2009 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Boise.
We care about our community and our world, and our students, faculty and staff are making it a better place. This week, you can also make a difference in the lives of students when a volunteer from the I Love ISU campaign calls. On September 20-23, volunteers will be calling members of the community and asking for support for scholarships. It is a wonderful way to help the future business leaders, teachers, health care workers, artists and scientists along their educational journey.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University