The opportunities for Boise State students to grow as tomorrow’s thinkers, innovators and citizens of the world – to expand their awareness of themselves, their abilities and how they might contribute to society’s improvement – continue to build.
Last week’s news about the university’s computer science program relocating to an exciting new location in downtown Boise is the newest example of Boise State’s strategic focus on making our graduates powerful agents of success for themselves and their future employers. This move not only gives the university greater visibility in the city’s newest talked-about address, it is a partnership with local industry that will meet the community’s needs with students ready for the challenge of the modern workplace – in this case, our local economy’s huge demand for more computer science professionals. Our students and faculty will work and study amid Boise’s greatest concentration of tech companies, creating extraordinary opportunities for creative collaborations, research and student internships, which often bloom into full-time job offers upon graduation.
But this is just one recent example of how Boise State students are given unique opportunities to broaden their horizons. For example, this rooftop garden experiment in sustainability is morphing into an extraordinary lesson in product development for students who may use that experience for their own entrepreneurial venture some day. And, of course, our partnerships with NASA continue to make the dreams of aspiring astronauts and scientists a reality.
Kem Gardner, chairman of the company developing our new downtown location, understands that providing students with opportunity is often much more fundamental than creating academic programs, internships and undergraduate research initiatives. That’s why he and his wife, Carolyn, recently made a very generous $1 million gift to Boise State’s greatest need and top philanthropic priority – student scholarships. He knows from his own experience as a student that scholarships are the best, most direct way to impact the lives of Boise State students – two-thirds of whom rely on financial aid to pay for school. Because of donors like Mr. and Mrs. Gardner, students who otherwise would be unable to afford college are able take advantage of all this university has to offer and earn their college degree.
Building opportunity for students is our everyday focus at Boise State. We listen to what they want their Boise State experience to be. We work with their future employers to ensure they are prepared to be successful contributors to our society and economy. And with our donors, we are building scholarship support for them to ensure they have the chance to make their mark as a Bronco.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.