Teralene Foxx Of Los Alamos Honored With 2019 Alumni Service Award From The College Of Idaho

Teralene Foxx of Los Alamos with College of Idaho alumnus Justin King. Courtesy/College of Idaho

Teralene Foxx, center, speaking with College of Idaho Co-President Jim Everet together with her best friend from high school Shanan Hoppe, an acclaimed wildlife artist in the Boise, Idaho area. Courtesy/College of Idaho


Every year at the time of homecoming at The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho, alumni awards are given.

This year, Teralene (Terry) Foxx was selected for her service to the College and her community. As part of the award ceremony, she gave a TED-Y talk entitled “Out of the Ashes” about perception and wildfire. These 10-minute talks focused on the participant’s career and work.

There are four different awards given each year:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award;
  • Alumni Service Award;
  • Young Alumni Award; and
  • Family Heritage Award.

The Alumni Service Award is given to a member of the National Alumni Association who has given unselfishly of his/her time in any field of community service. The contribution may consist of having religious, social or educational value and need not necessarily be one in which public acclaim is emphasized.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s first private liberal arts college. It is ranked in the top 120 best national liberal arts Colleges (number 1 in Idaho) by U.S. News & World Report. It is No. 1 in Idaho for graduation rate, freshman retention rate, alumni giving percentage and highest percentage of freshmen in the top-10 percent of their high school class.

College of Idaho graduates include:

  • Seven Rhodes Scholars;
  • Fourteen Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholars;
  • Three governors;
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian;
  • An Academy Award-winning composer;
  • Four NFL players;
  • The co-discoverer of Vitamin B12; and
  • The co-founder of Patagonia Outerwear.

The College has a host of other alumni who have contributed to their communities.

Teralene Foxx accepting her award. Courtesy/College of Idaho

Foxx graduated in 1962 from The College of Idaho.

“I appreciated getting the award from my undergraduate school. Although my graduate work, at Kansas State University, taught me how to do research, The College of Idaho had the biggest influence on my career,” Foxx said. “Dr. Lyle Stanford and Pat Packard were my valued biology professors. Dr. Stanford was a dynamic professor who had polio in the epidemic of the 1950s, walked with canes, and had an indomitable spirit. He took 22 biology students on a field trip to Mexico in 1959. For seven weeks, we camped all the way from Caldwell, Idaho to south of Mexico City and back again.

“It was on that trip, I studied the flora and fauna of the Southwestern United States and Mexico, being totally immersed in nature. I learned how to observe, study under adverse conditions, interact with people of a different culture, and because of Dr. Stanford, realize disabilities don’t need to stop you. That trip was the basis for my career of teaching at UNM-LA, working at the Laboratory, doing Fire Ecology, and writing technical and children’s books. That trip, and that College opportunity, changed my life and my career.

“But the best thing about getting the award, was not the award itself, but that I was surrounded by my three daughters, my husband, my sister, my best friend in high school, my husband’s family members, and a young man who grew up next door right here in Los Alamos and became a wildlife biologist. In addition, so many of my friends and colleagues helped me get ready for that TED talk! That was the best gift of all!”

Foxx is a 2014 Los Alamos Living Treasure.