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2018 February - First Friday Letter

Dear friends, 

On Jan. 27, in front of a gathering of faculty, staff, students, friends, and alumni, Lewis-Clark State College raised a flag above Reid Centennial Hall for the first time in 100 years. There was no rain. It wasn’t too cold. The only weather to speak of was a modest breeze just strong enough to set the newly raised flag to flight. It truly was a wonderful moment and it truly is a wonderful and inspiring time to be at Lewis-Clark State College. 2018 is a year to celebrate, to remember, and to aspire. With 125 years under our belt and a strong foundation from which to build, LCSC is on the rise and the winds seem to be blowing in our favor.

Flag atop Reid Centennial HallLCSC’s “Raise the Flag” event on Jan. 27, the date Idaho Gov. William J. McConnell officially authorized the establishment of the college in 1893, marked the beginning of our yearlong 125th anniversary celebration. Hosted in the Silverthorne Theatre, historic in its own right, the afternoon began with a tremendous performance by the LCSC Jazz Band, and we were blessed to have a number special guests among us including Frances Hasenoehrl, constituent service representative for Senator Jim Risch; and Idaho State Representatives Mike Kingsley and Thyra Stevenson. Idaho State Senator Dan Johnson was also in attendance and he presented, alongside Kingsley and Stevenson, the college with a printed copy of the 125th anniversary resolution he introduced to the Idaho legislature earlier in the week. It was a wonderful gesture of goodwill and we thank our local legislators for their attendance and strong support of our institution.

The program continued with the debut of the documentary “Defined by Perseverance.” The half-hour video, which was produced by our Communications & Marketing department, is very well done and was very well received. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, it will air locally on KLEW CBS channel 3 on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. and also on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. I’m told it will also soon be available on the anniversary website at The playing of the documentary was followed by a wonderful keynote address by local historian and LCSC alumnus Steve Branting. I thank Steve for his tireless efforts to tell the college’s incredible story and especially for his support of this year’s celebration. After the festivities inside the theatre we went outside for the raising of the flag. It was my honor and privilege to be the one to actually hoist the flag up the flagpole – which proved to be a little harder than it looked. After some strain, a couple snags, and palpable worries from the crowd, the flag finally reached the top. The moment symbolized a number of things: LCSC’s ambitious founding vision, the start of what will be a great year of celebration, and the ever-present need for perseverance – even at a flag raising ceremony. I thank all those who had a hand in bringing the day and its events to fruition.

The celebration continued on the following Monday as the Student Union Building was utilized to host an informal birthday party, with many students and friends stopping by to join in the fun. I encourage you to keep an eye on the anniversary website ( for more great events coming up including Warrior4Life Night at the Activity Center on Feb. 8, a celebration of LCSC’s longstanding partnership with the tribal community on March 14, and our Lewiston commencement ceremony on May 11.  

Of course, during a year of celebration such as this, we are careful not to neglect our 125-year-old theme of serving students and serving them well. As a matter of fact, this milestone instilled a renewed sense of pride and purpose all across campus and among our alumni and friends. We know from our history that LCSC has an important job to do, and we’re up to the task. (However, if any more flags need raising … I may need some help.)


J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College