I love when friends and alumni display their Boise State spirit, especially somewhere unexpected. A Broncos cap in an airport on the other side of the country, photos of a blue and orange bedecked work cubicle thousands of miles from campus, or accounts of the Boise State gnome and his travels – they all make me smile with my own Boise State pride.
Each and every display of Bronco spirit, no matter how small, means a lot to this university. By flying the Boise State flag around the world, our friends and alumni remind those who come in contact with them just how special this university is. Every time someone witnesses the passionate character of a Boise State fan, the growing reputation of our university benefits.
There’s a particularly fervent group of alumni – our Bronco Contacts – who are particularly effective Boise State ambassadors. For them, ordinary displays of blue and orange just aren’t enough, so each year these special Broncos work closely with our Office of Alumni Relations to host one or two events for other Boise State alumni and friends in their area. The events can be anything from Bronco football viewing parties, to new student barbeques, to representing Boise State at new student recruitment events, to putting together community service teams.
Less formal than traditional alumni chapters with officers, by-laws and event requirements, and responsive to today’s alumni and how they want to engage with the university, our Bronco Contact model allows alumni volunteers a flexible way to determine their personal level of involvement, find a fit for the local demand, and decide what type of activities they want to plan. All we ask is that each Bronco Contact is a dues-paying alumni association member and they coordinate at least one event in their area each year. Alumni chapters are still an important part of Bronco Nation, but Bronco Contacts allow more ways for more people to get involved.
Last year, our Bronco Contacts and official alumni chapters hosted almost 200 events for Boise State alumni and friends in 29 cities across the nation. These events are often the main connection between Broncos in a particular area and the university. As alumni ambassadors, each Bronco Contact is armed with the tools needed to stay abreast of what’s happening on campus, find and connect with other Broncos in their area, and contribute to Boise State’s progress – all while doing what they love and inviting other Broncos to join them in their hometown.
Through the leadership of our Bronco Contacts, communities of Boise State supporters are growing and thriving all over the country. And, as a result, one day those random displays of Boise State pride in far-flung places won’t be nearly as unexpected.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.