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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. Butch Otter has announced that the 2018 Idaho Medal of Achievement, the state’s highest award, is being given to late Marilyn Shuler, the longtime chair of the Idaho Human Rights Commission and champion for improving human rights.

Otter said Monday he delayed the announcement to announce the honor “on this particular day, a day that our nation sets aside to remember Martin Luther King, and the work, self-sacrifice and dedication of those who have gone above and beyond in the name of human rights.”

Shuler died last year at the age of 77.

Shuler led the Idaho Human Rights Commission for two decades and served on numerous boards, including the Boise School Board and the City Club of Boise. She was part of the YWCA non-tuition kindergarten program for low-income children and also volunteered for several years as a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Judicial Court.

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Shuler served on the advisory board of the College of Public Affairs at the Boise State and on the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy and was a community representative on the Idaho Statesman’s editorial board. Shuler held degrees from the University of Utah and Boise State University and received honorary doctorates from Boise State University and the University of Idaho.