TWIN FALLS — For 53 years, Bob Alexander has been the only attorney for the College of Southern Idaho’s board of trustees.
Alexander, 78, was hired shortly after the college opened in the mid-1960s.
After more than half a century at the helm, Alexander is retiring from the CSI board later this month. He plans to continue working at the Benoit, Alexander & Mollerup law firm in downtown Twin Falls.
CSI is planning a retirement celebration for him — which is open to the public — at 5 p.m. Oct. 22 in the lobby of the CSI Fine Arts Building.
When asked by the Times-News Wednesday why he’s retiring, Alexander replied: “Well, it was just time.”
Alexander was hired as CSI’s board attorney on Jan. 23, 1965. His first board meeting was March 22, 1965.
He drafted and hand-delivered a presidential contract for James “Doc” Taylor, the college’s first president.
“Then we went about finding a campus and negotiating to purchase all of the property around us,” Alexander said. He and Taylor worked out a deal with six or seven private Twin Falls landowners to purchase their parcels.
“Then, the campus began to be built,” he said. “It was wonderful to see it go together.”
The Taylor Building — where the CSI board meets — was the first building on campus. The second was the Fine Arts Building — the culmination of effort from many people, Alexander said.
“I can’t remember what went next,” he said, “but the campus as it is now was put together and built.”
Over the years, Alexander has worked with all four CSI presidents: Taylor, Gerald Meyerhoeffer, Gerald “Jerry” Beck and Jeff Fox.
Taylor used to come home from trips representing CSI and told Alexander about what he’d done. He’d say, “Make it legal, Bob. That’s your job,” Alexander recalls. “He was quite a character.”
In the college’s early days, Alexander represented CSI in tort claims. About 20 years ago, the switch was made to handling those by the college’s insurance company, Idaho Counties Risk Management Program.
“It’s been a real help to me,” Alexander said.
When Alexander isn’t at the CSI campus, he’s at his law firm. He joined in October 1964, and has seen many partners come and go over the years. Alexander has received many accolades over the years, including the Idaho State Bar’s “Distinguished Lawyer Award” in 2009.
Alexander spent his early childhood years in Newburgh, N.Y., before his family moved to Boise when he was about 6 years old. He completed his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Idaho.
Alexander moved to the Magic Valley after graduating from law school. His wife, Sonia, grew up in Twin Falls. The couple has four children.
Looking to the future of CSI, the board is well organized like it always has been, Alexander said.
He said he greatly enjoys interacting with Fox. “I’ll miss meeting with the board and with him.”
Alexander doesn’t have any plans to slow down at his law practice and there certainly isn’t a retirement date on the horizon.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” he said, “and it is a real pleasure for me to serve the public and to work as a lawyer.”