University of Idaho President Tim White started off his budget pitch to JFAC this morning by paying tribute to some famous alumni, including Burton French, who was elected to the Idaho Legislature during his sophomore year at the university in 1898, became House Republican floor leader his senior year, and was elected to Congress the year after he graduated, going on to serve 13 terms. He also pointed to Ezra Taft Benson, who started at the university as a county extension agent in southeastern Idaho, became the founding chairman of the university’s Department of Agricultural Economics, served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower, and late in life became president of the LDS Church.
Then, he noted that among current Idaho legislators, nearly one in four attended the University of Idaho. Their numbers, White said, include the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, assistant majority leader and majority and minority Senate caucus chairs, plus seven of 24 current legislative committee chairs.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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