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From the Vice President

2016: A Year of Growth for On-Campus Engagement

For many of us, this time of year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and lessons learned.  Here at Boise State, we reached several objectives to meet the needs of our students, expand opportunities for faculty research and enterprise, and engage our communities in mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Boise State’s more than decade-long evolution to a metropolitan research university of distinction reached a pinnacle milestone earlier this year when the University was classified as a doctoral research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education — the nation’s premier college classification system.

And we kicked off the fall semester welcoming 400 more first-year students into residence halls than the previous year. This record number of students living on campus came after years of work to expand the “Living Learning Communities” initiative and to make the on-campus living experience more positive and focused on learning. Boise State’s ongoing efforts to boost support and resources for on-campus residents resulted in rising average GPAs for on-campus residents over the last two years and increased retention rates.

Also, we continue to expand our campus footprint with the opening of the Alumni and Friends Center Building, as well as planning for future construction projects that will enhance our student’s learning experiences. The Micron Center for Materials Research Building and Fine Arts Building projects are moving forward, with the Idaho State Board of Education’s recent bond approval on the latter development and continued fundraising for both projects.

Another initiative that’s seen impressive expansion, and has unlimited potential to affect our students’ experience, is our Bronco Parent & Family Association.

The Bronco Parent & Family Association was formed to create an opportunity for parents and family members to collaborate with other Bronco families in support of student learning, development and success. Open to all family members of students, the association will periodically send news to keep members informed of upcoming events and important dates, changes at the university, advice for families, and personal stories from students and families. Serving as the voice for the association with university leadership and others, the Parent and Family Council is comprised of current association members from diverse backgrounds, geographic locations and interests.

A collaborative effort between the Division of Student Affairs and University Advancement, the association focuses on the continued development of the Bronco Family experience including cultivating opportunities for family members to learn about campus resources and build community through networking opportunities. Members also promote the idea of lifelong engagement to our future alumni.

This campus-wide effort focuses on four key strategies:

  • Participation

Boise State offers parent and family members a variety of events and activities to help them stay involved and connected with the campus.

  • Sharing

Parent and family members are invited to share their Boise State story and the experience of their student. The university shares resources and information needed to help families stay informed about campus.

  • Advocating

Parent and family members are encouraged to have a voice on behalf of their student as well as shape the Bronco family experience.

  • Giving

Giving takes place in multiple forms including giving time, expertise or financial contributions to support students’ success.

We’re excited to see more growth of the Bronco Parent & Family Association as an important partner in our collective success, and we look forward to expanded Bronco Day and Parent & Family Weekend. If you are a parent or family member of a current or future Bronco student, consider joining the Bronco Parent & Family Association today.

Thank you for your generosity towards the values and mission that guide Boise State. You — our dedicated alumni, friends, and partners — play a key role in our achievements of the past and those of the future.

For those who are considering year-end gifts, there are several possible benefits of contributing appreciated assets and other gifts now rather than in 2017. Given the uncertainty of a possible deduction cap and other changes to the tax code that may be proposed by the new Washington administration, many financial advisors are telling their clients to give now while the tax-related effects of charitable gifts are certain.

Please consult with your financial or tax consultant for information pertaining to your particular situation.  University Advancement and Foundation staff will be on duty over the holiday break to assist with year-end gifts.

Best wishes for a very happy holiday season and prosperous new year!



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

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