NIC supporter contributes painting to college

Longtime North Idaho College supporter Marie Whitesel, 90, recently gave NIC a gift more tangible than her time and talents, of which she gives generously. Whitesel contributed to the college a watercolor painting of the NIC Meyer Health and Sciences Building, depicted from the southeast view of the building.
“This work of art took a lot of love, time and creativity to create,” said NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson.
“What a gift, in so many ways,” said NIC Foundation Board of Directors Past President Sue Thilo.
|photo1|A native North Idahoan, Whitesel is the widow of a longtime family practice doctor, which developed her passion for supporting health care professions. She has been active for decades in the Kootenai-Benewah Medical Alliance, a group of spouses of physicians that support health care professions and education in Kootenai and Benewah Counties. The group fundraises and contributes five $500 scholarships to second-year nursing students at NIC each year.
“The first scholarship we ever gave was $75 in 1948,” Whitesel said. “And back then that was a lot of money.”
When the NIC Foundation announced the plan to kick off a multimillion dollar community campaign to raise funds to equip the new state-funded Health and Sciences Building with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, Whitesel jumped on board. As the honorary chair for the campaign, Whitesel was more than just a cheerleader for the project, according to Anderson, “she rolled up her sleeves and got to work.”
 “Marie has a long history of supporting nursing and nursing education and we are blessed that she chose NIC to be a part of her heart and her giving,” Anderson said.
Whitesel promised other campaign leaders that when the campaign reached its $2 million goal, she would create a painting to commemorate the milestone. The campaign total now stands at more than $3.5 million for technology and equipment for the new building and the endowment of new student scholarships.
“This painting is historic too, because someday all those little trees in the painting will be big and we’ll have something to remember when this building first opened,” Whitesel said.
The painting will be displayed in the hallway of the lower level of the Meyer Health and Sciences Building near the main entrance.
Whitesel, who holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Idaho in 1938, is also supportive of the University of Idaho Foundation and recently played an integral role in promoting the reinstated College of Art and Architecture.
Other examples of Whitesel’s original paintings will be on display at the Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship Exhibition June 9 through Aug. 4 at the Prichard Art Gallery in Moscow.

For More Information
NIC Development Office Administrative Assistant Ana Burton, (208) 769-5978

Posted: Tuesday, May 9, 2006

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