Idaho Humanities Council to honor former Basque studies director David Lachiondo

portrait of David Lachiondo

The Idaho Humanities Council (IHC) will present David Lachiondo with the council’s highest honor, the Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities Award, at a reception and award ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Basque Center in downtown Boise.

Lachiondo is being honored with the award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium, for his devotion to educating Idahoans of all ages, his promotion of Basque studies and for fostering greater public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the humanities in Idaho.

Lachiondo is a promoter of all things Basque as a teacher, scholar and cultural mentor. He is the former director of the Basque studies program at Boise State University. Prior to his time at Boise State, he completed a 41-year career in secondary education serving as a teacher, counselor and administrator in both public and private schools.

Lachiondo also is a scholar of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), who also has taught classes through Boise State’s Osher Institute.

“We are delighted to present David with the Idaho Humanities Council’s award for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities,” said IHC executive director David Pettyjohn. “He is an Idaho treasure who has dedicated his life to promoting the Basque culture and has inspired countless people with his enthusiasm and passion for the humanities.”

Lachiondo received a Bachelor of Arts in government from Saint Mary’s College of California, a Master of Education in guidance and counseling from Idaho State University, and a doctorate from the University of Idaho with a dissertation focused on education law.

Anyone interested in attending the dessert reception and award ceremony for Lachiondo should RSVP to the Idaho Humanities Council by Feb. 13 by calling (208) 345-5346 or emailing debra@idahohumanities.org. Doors at the Basque Center will open at 6:30 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The Idaho Humanities Council is the statewide, nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities dedicated to promoting greater public understanding of literature, history, ethics, law and other humanities disciplines. The council has presented its award for outstanding achievement in the humanities annually since 1986.

Previous recipients of the award include independent historian Keith Petersen, Twin Falls anthropologist James Woods, former Idaho Governor Robert E. Smylie, College of Idaho professor Louie Attebery, state historian Merle Wells, constitutional scholar David Adler, Idaho historian Arthur Hart, Moscow writer Mary Clearman Blew, Idaho poet William Studebaker, Nez Perce elder Horace Axtell, Idaho State University history professor Ron Hatzenbuehler, Basque Museum and Cultural Center director Patty Miller, Boise Independent School District administrator and history teacher Russ Heller, Lewis-Clark State College anthropologist Alan Marshall, Idaho Public Television’s Peter Morrill, College of Idaho archivist and photographer Jan Boles, Idaho State Historical Society publications editor Judy Austin, Idaho State University English professor Susan Swetnam, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones, Idaho State Historical Society executive director Janet Gallimore and others.