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From the Vice President

Make Extraordinary Happen

This past Tuesday, in Boise State’s Student Union, more than 500 people caught a glimpse of something extraordinary—the power of philanthropy coming to life through Boise State students. It was an extraordinary moment for donors, students, faculty and friends gathered around the tables at the annual scholarship dinner. Let me tell you why I love celebrating our students and their biggest supporters.

For those of us who are committed to building relationships and support for student success, a night like this is incredibly affirming. We get to see how what we do matters—for the university, the students and the donors. But what I love most is the one moment when everyone in the room realizes the profundity of our collective impact

Together, we’ve made the extraordinary possible. Boise State students are living their passion and solving real problems. While gaining their education, they’re conducting research in space, leading biomedical research, working in public service and teaching music to young children. From their stories, we can see that the return on investment in an education is exponential. We can’t possibly count the number of people who are touched, taught, helped or healed.

The actual impact is bigger than all of us, and it continues to grow in so many ways. We’re succeeding at making extraordinary opportunities—the theme of our scholarship fundraising campaign—and to help us answer an urgent need to support worthy students, we’ve set a goal to raise $25 million dollars in scholarships. Right now, we’re more than half way to goal having raised more than $14 million dollars.

As president Kustra praised the evening’s student speakers, he also spoke for the many students who were not present to tell their stories. “But if they were, they’d tell you they were struggling,” he said. 

Four ways you can help us grow giving to support our scholarships.

  1. Share the urgency for funding scholarships.
  2. Increase your gift.
  3. Set up Employer Gift Matching.
  4. Start your own gift now.
    1. Learn how.
    2. Give online.

See student stories from this year’s scholarship dinner.


Maddie Scholarship student profile


Riley Hunt, Engineering student for Scholar Donor, John Kelly photo


Edgar Scholarship student profile



The growing cost of an education is an impediment. Seventy-five percent of students at Boise State require financial aid. To keep students engaged in their studies and to attract the brightest students from all backgrounds, we have made scholarships our most urgent philanthropic priority.

The average scholarship covers about one quarter of the cost of tuition and most awards are only for the first two years. Students who are already receiving financial aid need more help from us.

“The right people are here in this room,” said president Kustra. “You’re making a big difference in the lives of these students. Now we need to push to get people we know to join in our cause.”

Nothing really speaks to what’s possible in the same spirit as our students—they are the evidence that donor gifts are making a very real difference in the world. I’d like to say “thank you” to the students for sharing their personal stories, and to the faculty and donors who joined us for a special evening.

The campaign for scholarships will continue through June 2017, which means we will continue to talk with you about the ways we can “Make Extraordinary Opportunities” happen together.

Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.

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