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From the Vice President

Extraordinary Impact Creates Extraordinary Opportunities

As we enter the final days of the Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Opportunities scholarship campaign, we’re seeing every day how your gifts toward student scholarships are making a significant impact in the lives of so many here at Boise State. We’ll be tallying up final numbers soon, and will share with you more details once the campaign has concluded on June 30. Know that you’ve helped our student’s academic dreams become a reality.

Scholarships, whether merit- or need-based, allow students to explore future opportunities to their fullest potential, often unhindered by financial uncertainty. Your support closes the gap for those students who may otherwise not be able to attend college and ensures that great potential is not left unrealized because of an inability to bear the cost of a university education.

Photo of Scholarship Recipient Riley Hunt

Scholarship Recipient Riley Hunt. Click the photo to learn more about how scholarships have impacted Riley.

Take, for example, scholarship recipient and recent graduate Riley Hunt. Riley, who was recognized as a Top Ten Scholar this spring, graduated with a bachelor of science in material science degree. Scholarship support provided Riley with the opportunities on campus to pursue activities well beyond the classroom, benefiting her college experience.

“The academic, professional, and personal opportunities I have been able to participate in due to the generosity of others has pushed me to give back to others,” she said. “With the knowledge and experience I have gained at Boise State, I intend to pursue a career in textile engineering where my goal is to create sustainable fabrics for use in all aspects of daily life. I hope that through this work, I can be a support for people around the world and aid in conservation efforts.”

Riley plans to continue her education, pursuing a master of science in textile engineering to with hopes to work in the sportswear industry creating sustainable athletic and outdoor clothing. She was the recipient of the Thelma and Dean Brown Honor Scholarship as well as the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation Scholarship.

Many of our scholarships draw the nation’s best and brightest students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Top student scholars, including our student-athletes, are attracted to Boise State by scholarships and research opportunities.

Scholarship Recipient Benjamin Dudek

Benjamin Dudek, a third-year graduate student studying raptor biology, is the recipient of the Richard Olendor Idaho Chapter of Wildlife Society Scholarship. Benjamin, who comes to Boise State from Sharon, Conn., says his research here while earning his degree provides him the opportunity to study how disease and ectoparasites affect golden eagle nestling survival in southwestern Idaho.

“My research will provide data for land managers in southern Idaho to help successfully monitor and manage golden eagle populations,” Benjamin said. “I hope my work will contribute to monitoring and management plans used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the Bureau of Land Management. After graduation, I plan to use the skills I acquired at Boise State to work for a federal agency monitoring wildlife populations.”

Riley and Benjamin are just a few of the top-flight students who have been impacted by your support of the Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Opportunities scholarship campaign. Today at Boise State, 78 percent of full-time undergraduate students from in-state receive some form of financial aid, while 87 percent of out-of-state students receive financial aid. Scholarships from philanthropic gifts have made it possible for us to provide additional resources to help these deserving students succeed.

Scholarships will remain an important need even after this campaign is over. There’s still time left to be part of this extraordinary moment in Boise State history when alumni and donors surpassed expectations to ensure the next generations of Broncos will be able to pursue their academic dreams.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

One Big Bronco Family

As nearly 4,000 Boise State students cross the academic threshold this year to join the ranks of 84,000 Bronco alumni, we welcome them to the next stage of their Boise State journey. And leading this journey to ensure our alumni and friends remain connected to their alma mater is the Boise State University Alumni Association.

The alumni association unites us, as fans, friends, parents and grandparents, and graduates. Our association keeps us connected to the people and places that changed our lives forever. And today, we applaud our most recent graduates, and remind them that they are now part of something big, special, bold — a passionate and collaborative group of peers that cheered for your success as a student and continues to support you as a professional.

As members of this strong group of bold thinkers, fervent fans and engaged community leaders, we know how together we can make a difference through our support of our alma mater in the communities where we live, and the greater world.

For 50 years, Boise State Alumni Association members have supported the growth of Boise State, from a two-year junior college to the metropolitan doctoral research university we’ve become today. It’s the advocacy, engagement and generosity of our alumni, volunteer members of the Boise State Alumni Association board of directors, chapter leaders and general members, who are our strongest allies in helping us accomplish our strategic mission.

In recent years, we’ve been ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a doctoral research university. Boise State has more than doubled its graduate offerings in a decade, expanded Ph.D. programs and research strengths and attracted high-quality students from around Idaho, every state in the nation and 60 different countries.

The first step all graduates can take to ensure Boise State continues on the trajectory of success is to join the Boise State Alumni Association. Membership provides our alumni and friends the link to keep engaged with and influence the university’s direction.  The Boise State Alumni Association is our graduate’s number one source for keeping informed about Boise State and finding opportunities to engage in multiple ways whether locally or through one of our regional chapters or clubs.

Joining the Boise State Alumni Association not only helps to strengthen the university, but allows you to take advantage of a host of benefits, including career development programs, networking opportunities, cultural experiences, chances to travel several discounts and special deals on products and services for members. Membership dues are annual or lifetime and may qualify for a charitable contribution and Idaho Education Tax Credit.

The most rewarding benefit is clearly the social engagement and networking opportunities provided through the association. There are several regional and affinity chapters across the country that hold special events such as the recent golf tournament hosted by the Fiesta Chapter in the greater Phoenix area. Other events include athletic watch parties, alumni wine tours, career development programs, and family events such as the Easter Egg Hunt on The Blue.

Designed specifically for our recent graduates, the Broncos of the Last Decade, BOLD, is a group of alumni who graduated within the last 10 years. BOLD members meet regularly for social events, have access to online webinars and other career services as well as discounts on continuing education programs, the Boise State Outdoor Program, and campus recreation membership. BOLD members also have access to career counseling including resume review, job search strategies, networking and interview preparation. We want to make sure our graduates are successful in their job search, so Boise State Alumni Association membership provides access to extensive job boards as well as career-changing assistance our service partners provide.

There is a multitude of opportunities provided for our graduates, and the association is here to help Broncos make these critical connections and provide engagement opportunities that will assist the new graduate in reaching their professional goals. New alumni receive a significant discount of 70 percent off annual membership the first six months following graduation, and membership also makes a great graduation gift.

We truly are one big Bronco family, and the association ensures we remain connected as we celebrate the lifelong relationships after our time on campus.

Welcome new alumni. Go Broncos!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Graduation is Milestone on the Bronco Journey of a Lifetime

On May 6, we will engage in the special ritual that marks the achievement of the university’s primary purpose — to educate students. Nearly 2,000 students from all academic fields of study will cross the threshold and join the Bronco family of 84,000 graduates when bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are conferred during spring commencement ceremonies.

Graduation with a degree is the culmination of much hard work and is achieved by only about 40% of American adults. It’s a significant accomplishment, supported by families, faculty members, donors and others, that results in higher earnings and, according to the College Board report Education Pays, better success in life. In addition to precipitating higher incomes, going to college changes behavior, choices, social interaction, civic engagement and other indicators of personal well-being for the better.

Some consider commencement an ending. An ending to the academic year, to late-night study sessions, to juggling class schedules with part-time jobs, to dealing with roommates, to paying tuition. The list goes on and is articulately, often humorously, recounted by our student commencement speakers with relief and sometimes nostalgia, but never regret. Others, including those of us in University Advancement, take the meaning of the word quite literally and see commencement as a great beginning.

The passage of Boise State students to alumni is a significant milestone early in our graduates’ relationship with Boise State. Our students’ daily focus on their studies and immersion in classrooms, labs and campus organizations is relatively short. The post-graduation benefits and impact of affiliation with Boise State are expansive and lifelong. As we take the time to celebrate the success of the class of 2017, we also remind its members that the increasing value of their degrees, the ongoing growth of the university, and the success of subsequent generations of students — and the intellectual, cultural, economic and societal prosperity the university and its graduates generate —  depend on their participation.

Participation can take many forms and changes over our graduates’ lifelong journey. At minimum, we ask our graduates to keep in touch, let us know where they are and what they are doing, by joining the Boise State University Alumni Association. When the time is right, they also may participate in an alumni service event, join a college advisory board, lead a regional alumni chapter, guest-teach a class, hire Boise State interns or mentor current students. The list of possibilities is endless and is supported by university and Boise State Alumni Association programs and services to assist and benefit our former students in return.

We know our graduates will go on to be leaders in their families, communities and professions. We see their capacity to do great things long before they leave campus. That’s why we honor the top graduating seniors each year for exceptional academic achievement. A program of the Boise State Alumni Association, the Top Ten Scholars prestigious awards ceremony provides a bridge between student and alumni life.

Top Ten Scholars are nominated by their academic deans and are subject to rigorous review by a selection committee. To qualify for consideration, a student must have a 3.8 or higher grade point average. Nominees are reviewed based on criteria including breadth of academic coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations at professional meetings or conferences, and extracurricular community and campus service.

For example, take Jennifer Domanowski who is graduating with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering and a certificate in elementary Korean. A member of the Boise State Honors College, Jennifer came to Boise State to join the women’s swimming and diving team. She has been named a Division I Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. Jennifer began her relationship with NASA in 2014, holding internships at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Glenn Research Center. In 2015, she became a Pathways Intern at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, continuing her work in materials science. Jennifer has returned to the Goddard Center each summer since and will work there full-time post-graduation.

We’re particularly proud that a member of our University Advancement family, Cynthia England, daughter of Director of Regional Alumni Programs and graduate Teresa Harder, Ed.D. ’06, also was named a Top Ten Scholar. Cynthia will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and entrepreneurship management and a minor in Native American studies. Cynthia’s Boise State career is characterized by altruistic service. She traveled to Belize through the Honors College’s Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility class to teach school and improve school facilities. She’s served Habitat for Humanity, the Ronald McDonald House, the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, and Tunnel of Oppression. Cynthia has worked with Boise State’s department of anthropology and multicultural student services, and is director of the Eagle Saturday Market. Her work experience and research projects in business, anthropology and Native American studies have provided opportunities to apply her education in real-world practice.

The Top Ten Scholars event also honors the particular faculty members who have assisted and inspired these outstanding students. We celebrate the students’ past success and share that, as they have accomplished great things as undergraduates, we expect great things from them as alumni as well.

You can read more about all of our Top Ten Scholars and honored faculty members here.

Like Jennifer, Cynthia and the other Top Ten Scholars, all of our class of 2017 graduates have bright futures ahead.  We look forward to their active engagement with the university to ensure the success of future students, just as current alumni and those long gone have helped to ensure theirs.  It’s true — once a Bronco, always a Bronco!   Congratulations graduates. Welcome new alumni. Go Broncos!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Boise State Alumni Engagement Continues Nationwide Growth

For 50 years, the Boise State University Alumni Association has been connecting, celebrating and engaging alumni from around the globe. The growth of our alumni base to more than 140,000 coincides with increased alumni engagement through one of our regional chapters. Boise State Alumni Association chapters support student recruitment efforts, scholarships and advocacy of the university’s mission.

In the last year alone, through the efforts of outstanding volunteer chapter leaders and the regional alumni programs staff, the alumni association chartered four new chapters, each with plans underway for social, service and scholarship fundraising activities.

The new Fiesta Alumni Chapter that serves alumni and friends in the greater Phoenix area recently held events in Scottsdale including a spring training baseball game gathering, a golf tournament, and dinner and auction at the Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club. The chapter members and attendees raised more than $6,000 for a new scholarship to assist Arizona students attending Boise State. Chapter leaders also are collaborating with Boise State Admissions staff to enhance recruitment efforts in this region.

Members of the Fiesta Chapter meet each other on the links and at the ballpark for the annual spring golf tournament and spring training game.

Another new chapter recently added to the association’s roster is the Honors College Alumni Chapter, serving alumni who graduated from the Honors College at Boise State. Plans for the chapter include establishing a robust mentoring program, fundraising for a legacy project at the new Honors College building, and engaging alumni nationwide.

Honors College Alumni Chapter Photo

In February, the local members of the Honors College Alumni Chapter board wrote cards welcoming 60 incoming Honors students to Boise State.

The new Latino Alumni Chapter’s mission includes the recruitment and retention of Latino students at Boise State University. Planning sessions have begun for a mentoring program and professional networking opportunities. The chapter recently participated in the celebration of the opening of the new Latino space on campus, Casita Nepantla. In addition to serving our Latino alumni, the chapter will provide opportunities for Latino students, staff and faculty at Boise State, as well as anyone else interested in learning more about the Latino culture.

The College of Business and Economics (COBE) Alumni Chapter also was granted a charter recently.  Its mission is to connect COBE alumni across the country and provide professional opportunities for the current students of COBE. Members will partner with the COBE career advisors in designing a mentoring program to prepare new graduates for employment by facilitating interaction with chapter members who can share their work experience, enhance networking opportunities, and provide internships for students.

We’re excited these new chapters are already engaging alumni, and providing services for our students — soon to become alumni themselves — in support of the university and alumni association. By volunteering and sharing their talents, chapter members and volunteer leaders cement the lifelong relationships with that the alumni association cultivates, nurtures and celebrates for the benefit of our alumni and the university.

If you’d like to be involved with the alumni association or one of its chapters, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information by visiting alumni.boisestate.edu or contacting Teresa Harder, director of regional alumni programs at teresaharder@boisestate.edu. As President Kustra once said, our strength of a university is measured by the engagement and accomplishments of our alumni.  We value our alumni and their role in Boise State’s growth and success.

Go Broncos!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Creating Legacies for 50 Years: Boise State Alumni Association

“Legacy is not what’s left tomorrow when you’re gone. It’s what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you’re here that then happens to live on.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

When one considers the word “legacy” many definitions come to mind. Here at Boise State, we often think of legacy in terms of the students, faculty, staff and alumni who’ve studied in our classrooms and labs, educated the leaders of tomorrow, and graduated to go on to fulfilling careers where they have a lasting impact on our greater society.  And donors who’ve included Boise State in their estate plans leaving a philanthropic legacy.

Our legacies — all members of our Bronco family — contribute to and cultivate the synergy that solidifies us as a metropolitan research university of distinction in the Northwest.

From its early beginning as a small junior college to a research university today, preparing nearly 24,000 students with the problem-solving, communication, innovation and teamwork skills to be leaders and life-long learners, Boise State University and its family have created a positive legacy of academic excellence and citizenship.

And as we continue on our path of excellence, we occasionally pause and celebrate our milestones of success. Today we celebrate the legacies of our alumni, and foremost, the founding of our Boise State University Alumni Association.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Boise State Alumni Association. It was initiated by two graduates of the class of 1967, our first class to receive bachelor’s degrees, who led the student body as student government officers. (More on this 50th reunion class later.) Through the dedication and constant engagement of many, the Boise State Alumni Association has grown from a 12-founding member alumni association to nearly 4,400 active members engaged in regional, professional and social chapters globally.

While much has changed since the establishment of Boise State Alumni Association in 1967 — a new identity as Boise State University, an Alumni and Friends Center which opened in 2016, and a burgeoning membership roster — the objectives remain the same: To connect, celebrate and engage alumni and friends of the university to build lifelong relationships that support the future of Boise State

In celebration of this university milestone, we’ve dug deep in the archives, dusted off some photos, and spoke to several of our legacy alumni and friends who share their stories of the 50 years of our Alumni Association’s success. Please take a moment and enjoy our Alumni Association 50th Anniversary webpages, filled with photos, interviews, fun facts and more. And we look forward to sharing more with you as we honor and celebrate our legacies throughout this landmark year!

Go Broncos!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy Through Student Engagement

Outside of the classrooms, labs and study halls at Boise State, students are engaged in athletics, clubs, internships, service-learning and other programs that broaden their ability to adapt quickly to the collaborative and changing environment of their chosen professions.   In fact, in a survey of our 2016 graduates these young alumni identified hands-on experiences as critical to their current success.

Take, for example, those who are engaged in the recently reorganized Boise State Student Impact Board. Comprised of students earning a diverse array of degrees, the student-led organization focuses on developing leadership, celebrating the university’s history and traditions, and fostering school pride, all in the context of learning about and promoting philanthropy. The students, guided by members of our University Advancement staff, selected the name of their group, highlighting the “impact” they are dedicated to achieving. The Boise State Student Impact Board emphasizes involvement, motivation, philanthropy, advancement, community and tradition as their objectives — hence the “impact” they make as student leaders.

The Student Impact Board members help with University Advancement’s alumni and donor events such as the annual Scholarship Dinner, and Easter Egg Hunt on the Blue, as well as university-wide activities like Bronco Day and Commencement. As you join us for our spring events, look for these student advancement leaders promoting Bronco pride, and fostering our culture of philanthropy.

Members of the Student Impact Board

Several student members of the group understand the positive impact philanthropy makes in the lives of others. Their academic careers have been significantly impacted by your generosity, as many are beneficiaries of your scholarship gifts and the Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Opportunities scholarship campaign.

Our student scholarship recipients joined us last evening for our annual Scholarship Dinner celebration, where we honored our donors who generously support our student’s education. More than 500 donors and students gathered together so they could meet one another, mingle and hear student stories of the impact scholarships have had on their lives and donor testimonials of the values and motivation that sparks their giving. As many of you have experienced, it’s an inspiring evening of fellowship and gratitude, including a special appearance by the Keith Stein Blue Marching Band.

Playing to a room of extraordinary individuals

I’d like to leave you with my favorite quote (that some of you will recognize) from a former university president that sums up why we do what we do: Scholarship and philanthropy are each, separately, among the most powerful forces at work shaping the future of our society. In combination, they may be unsurpassed in their capacity to improve the human condition.  Thank you for your role in achieving this lofty goal.

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Like Family, We Celebrate the Lives and Impact of Broncos

Our engagement with alumni, donors and friends often grows into special relationships with common bonds.  The important partners have a profound impact on Boise State in many ways. We cherish these relationships, and consider them members of our extended family. Like members of our birth family, we share life’s celebrations such as reaching personal goals, including the new job following graduation, to the marriage and births of children, to other countless successes of personal and career achievements. We also are here, just like a family, to share in the more difficult times including the loss of our Bronco sisters and brothers. Recently, we shared in the mourning and certainly the fond remembrances and celebration of the lives of two of our Bronco family members who passed; Marilyn Shuler and Margaret “Marge” McDonagh.

Marilyn, as many of our family can attest, was a dedicated public servant who spent years advocating for human rights in Idaho. She led the Idaho Human Rights Commission for 20 years, co-founded a book club for human rights, and served on the charter board for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State.

Her dedication to helping uplift the lives of others includes volunteer service on numerous Boise State boards, as well as the Boise State Public Radio advisory board, and the School of Public Service board. A member of the Barnwell Society for donors at Boise State, she also is a silver medallion and distinguished alumni honoree. Marilyn was conferred with honorary doctorate in 2014. Her long list of career accomplishments is notable, and the impact she made in her community, and here at Boise State will endure for generations.

While speaking to graduates during commencement ceremonies in 2014, she imparted them with advice to think of others as they go forward following graduation. Quoting author Robert Fulghum, Marilyn said, “Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours…” Like these words, Marilyn’s life reflected the simple, yet powerful message of inclusion, equality and kindness toward all.

I met Marilyn in late 2012 at one of our President’s Club events.  Then I would run into her regularly at activities of the Osher Institute, Boise State Public Radio, the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation— everywhere there were people dong good things.  I came to appreciate her steadfast support of causes and organizations in which she believed.  I learned that Marilyn didn’t just show up ¾ Marilyn was invested. It wasn’t until the post-commencement luncheon celebrating her Boise State honorary doctorate that I realized the enormity of her investment and the profound impact she had on so many.  I’d read her bio and articles written about her, and they were very, very impressive.  But hearing her sons and her closest friends and colleagues stand up at lunch and give personal testimony about her personal and professional accomplishments was awe-inspiring.  I feel privileged to have known her and am certain — and grateful — that her legacy will continue to have a tremendous lasting impact.

Services for Marilyn will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. in the Jordan Ballroom Student Union Building at Boise State University.

We also celebrate the life of our friend and Bronco family member Marge McDonagh. Marge, also known among family and friends as Maggie, and Bob or “Old Coot” as he prefers to be called, are longtime supporters of Boise State. Maggie and Old Coot were two of the very first Boise State donors I met when I moved here in 2012.  They have a special place in my heart because they went out of their way to make me feel welcome in my new home.  Maggie would reach out with special touches — a box of chocolates at Christmas time, an inquiry about my canine child — just to let me know she cared.  Nurturing seemed to come naturally to her and, perhaps, that’s what led her to a career in nursing.  Maggie was a registered nurse who worked for several physicians at the Caldwell Memorial Hospital and she shared her career experience as a member of the Friends of Nursing advisory board for the College of Health Sciences.

Once, when I still didn’t know many people here, I invited Old Coot and Maggie to join me at a basketball game in Taco Bell Arena.  Maggie was so kind and humble in declining my invitation saying that I should invite someone else who might not otherwise attend the game; she and Old Coot didn’t need any special treatment.  When I arrived at the game, I understood why, in addition to what she’d told me, she’d declined my invitation.  There were Old Coot and Maggie sitting in their court-side seats!  I then always looked forward to seeing and waving to them across the court.  If Old Coot and Maggie were there, all was right with the world.

Maggie’s impact on Boise State came in very personal ways, reflecting her values and humility, through the quiet support of many, many students through scholarships, facilities and programs for student-athletes, future nurses, students showing innovative approaches to their education, and lifelong learners.  With Old Coot by her side, she was changing the world one life at a time.

In the loss of such giants as Marilyn and Maggie, I take comfort in seeing their impact and legacy live on in the lives and communities they’ve enriched.  God speed, dear friends.  And thank you.

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

At Boise State University, we strive to provide our undergraduate and graduate students academic excellence that prepares them to become leaders in their communities, lifelong learners, and engaged colleagues inspired by innovation and creativity in their respective fields. We know that providing access to high-quality education provides personal and professional growth that engages students to focus on their success. And to ensure our students are receiving the best possible education to enter today’s challenging workforce, we’ve made it a priority to increase access to graduate education as well.

This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of doctoral education at Boise State.  Boise State has seen significant growth in its graduate programs in recent years, particularly with the addition of doctoral programs in biomolecular sciences, materials science and engineering, education technology, ecology and public policy and administration. The growth of these programs offered through the Graduate College contributes to more than 75 distinct offerings leading to master’s and doctoral degrees.

Graduate students at Boise State are mentored and collaborate with top-flight faculty to solve today’s critical problems, while gaining insights to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators. The successful growth of graduate programs certainly contributed to Boise State’s 2016 designation as a doctoral research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

In addition, the university has seen an increase in graduates in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math — awarding more Ph.Ds. in 2015 than any other Idaho university.

While the Carnegie classification helps researchers secure additional funding from agencies like the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, other opportunities for collaboration and support have emerged. For example, Micron Foundation, a longtime supporter of Boise State, helped establish and grow the materials science and engineering bachelor’s degree and electrical engineering Ph.D. programs. The foundation also has supported teacher education, science and engineering outreach programs for K-12 students, scholarships, buildings and research activities. This long relationship culminated in the largest philanthropic donation in the university’s more than 80-year history: a $25 million gift that will help build a new Micron Center for Materials Research on campus. Partnerships with leading industry such as Micron, Boeing and the Idaho National Laboratory provide opportunities that prepare our graduates to be sought after colleagues in their respective fields.

Preparing the nearly 2,500 graduate students to be tomorrow’s leaders is one of our top priorities at Boise State. We also want to ensure students enter the workforce without significant financial restraints due to pursuing graduate education.

Funding for scholarships, fellowships and other support allows students to explore future opportunities to their fullest potential. Due to reductions in federal financial aid, and the increases in student loan debt, we continue to look to the private sector to help support the education, research and other expenses needed to earn an advanced degree.

Take for example the Stephen R. Kustra Fellowship for the Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing. Established by President Bob Kustra and his wife Kathy in honor of their late son, the fellowship provides assistance for tuition, fees, books and more for students pursuing an MFA degree in creative writing.

Support of graduate education comes in many forms such as the Alfred M. Dufty, Jr. Award. Created to honor the memory of Dr. Al Dufty, a much-loved friend and mentor to many at Boise State, funds from this award are used to pay the travel expenses of one or two outstanding graduate students each year, enabling them to present their research results at a professional meeting.

The Wendy and Alan Pesky Fellowship supports graduate students earning a master’s in teaching in special education through the College of Education by providing funding for supervised teaching opportunities with the Lee Pesky Learning Center.

These are just a few examples of how donor support enhances the lives and academic careers of Boise State students engaged in graduate education. It is through these donor and industry partnerships that we can ensure that the great potential of our students is not left unrealized due to the inability to bear the cost of graduate education.

Your support of our graduate programs over the past 20 years and into the future is deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Grant Funding Exemplifies Community Engagement

Some of you know University Advancement as the university’s fundraising team.  Others of you know us from alumni programs, and still others of you know us as donor services and appreciation.  All of those roles center around engaging you — our alumni, friends, donors and community partners — in advancing the mission of the university through your support in many forms.  We also support our university colleagues, programs and departments in their own community engagement efforts and work to ensure that our metropolitan environment thrives. Take for example a recent $240,000 grant awarded to Boise State Public Radio (BSPR) from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. These funds will be used to provide upgrades to key technology and equipment for BSPR’s transmission network, and network operations center.

The project will enhance BSPR’s mission of service and education.  It will allow BSPR to maintain ongoing reliability, mitigate power outages, more efficiently address emergencies and ensure the network operations center is operated by the latest in broadcast and transmission technology. Key components include installation of three new transmitters, upgrades to main and auxiliary transmission technology.

Annual community support of BSPR from listeners in the broadcast region shows us how committed you are to its valued programming. And this grant will help ensure that BSPR can reach every community across the current coverage map, ensuring that people throughout the state can connect to the issues and ideas that affect our communities, our nation, and our world.

Improving service to remote areas and working to expand the coverage footprint is an important issue of funding. BSPR’s goal is to eventually expand our coverage area with the installation of additional technology so new listeners can continue to enjoy the best in broadcast journalism, as well as classical music and smart entertainment programming. And also enjoy unique and original programs like President Kustra’s Reader’s Corner.

BSPR and the university’s growth and improvement are collective.  What we do is a team sport, and we need and appreciate your role — and that of partners like the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust — on the team.  Go Broncos!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

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, as well as planning for future construction projects that will enhance our student’s learning experiences. The Micron Center for Materials Research 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!

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Growth and Distinction Through Collaborative Partnerships

Boise State University continues to establish itself as a metropolitan research university of distinction, providing graduate and undergraduate students access to some of the world’s top-flight faculty leaders in their respective fields. Doctoral graduates have more than doubled in the last eight years — Boise State is now Idaho’s largest graduate school —  and earlier this year, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education classified Boise State as a doctoral research institution.

Research expenditures and opportunities have more than doubled over the past decade, and we’ve seen significant growth of the campus footprint with more than $300 million in capital improvements which now provides several facilities designed to ensure students achieve their academic goals in the classrooms and laboratories.

These are only a few examples of the collective efforts that donor, community, and industry partners have accomplished in building the research and academic programs that economies such as that of the city of Boise and the region require.

And thanks to a $25 million gift from the Micron Foundation — the largest philanthropic gift in the university’s history — we’ll continue to serve our doctoral research mission with the construction of the Micron Center for Materials Research building, slated to break ground in 2018.

Housed within the university’s College of Engineering, the Micron Center for Materials Research will create 85,000 to 100,000 square-feet of space for the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering to expand the materials science program – attracting innovative minds to its laboratories. This needed space will provide materials science researchers from several academic disciplines and students with laboratory and associated facilities to continue building expertise in the manufacture of technologies using nanomaterials on an industrial scale.

Take for example Riley Hunt, a materials science and engineering major currently performing research with Dr. Claire Xiong in the Electrochemical Energy Lab. Riley helps prepare materials in coin cells that will eventually be used to improve lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery technology. The ultimate goal of her research is to create batteries that last longer and are more cost effective.

Materials Science, Lab, Photo by Allison Corona

Riley Hunt, Materials Science Lab, Photo by Allison Corona

Riley said that the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering has given her the opportunity to be involved in undergraduate research for the past three years, increasing her knowledge and experience within the field.

In addition to providing undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. candidates with hands-on learning opportunities, investment in the building is certain to help secure further funding in research from national funding agencies like the National Science Foundation as well as other private donors.

Our college programs, through increased collaboration of high-tech industry and academics in the Treasure Valley, have a lasting impact on the economic development in Idaho and the region far beyond the state.

This building and what it will do for materials science research at Boise State and in the region is dependent upon philanthropy and generous leaders stepping forward. Boise State will depend on valued partners who wish to join the university to have a broad and deep impact on advancing materials research. We invite you to discuss the many opportunities to partner in support of our continued effort to enhance our community and region.

Sincerely,

Laura-Signature

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

Grateful Reflections of Our Collective Impact

For many Boise State alumni and friends, the fall season provides us an opportunity to review the year’s accomplishments and take stock in our success and lessons learned as we enter the holiday season. Together, we’ve had tremendous success in creating impact for our students, faculty, researchers, and the growth of Idaho’s metropolitan research university of distinction.

While contemplating this year’s activities, I’m grateful for the shared values we here at Boise State collectively use to guide our efforts – respect, responsibility, citizenship, trustworthiness, care, fairness and academic excellence. Using these values as our bedrock for achievement, we can address local problems from a global perspective, learn from our past to inform our future, and educate students for engaged citizenship.

I also smile with prolific gratitude knowing many of our successes are achieved thanks to the generous contributions of your time and talents, as well as your financial commitment. Your loyalty empowers us to enhance our educational programs, maintain a strong and distinguished faculty, and increase our students’ opportunities through education, research and outreach.

Today, Boise State programs rank among the nation’s best, discoveries in research advance the intellectual capital of the region, and a growing campus attracts student and faculty from across the nation.

It’s through your commitment to our success that our Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Opportunities scholarship campaign has created a lasting impact towards the merit- and needs-based scholarships so many of our students rely on for an accessible and affordable university education.

We know there is more to be accomplished to ensure our continued growth and success. In fact, we are pleased about current discussions, most recently in the Boise Weekly, about ways for the Idaho Legislature to increase investment in higher education, update state allocation formulas and equalize per-student funding to benefit all Idahoans. Your advocacy on behalf of Boise State and all of Idaho’s public higher education institutions is appreciated, as well.

Thank you for your role in our collective success, and best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.

With gratitude,

Laura-Signature

Laura Simic

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

 

 

 

Making Memories – 2017 Trips are Planned and Taking Reservations

No matter where in the world our alumni members go, our greatest journey is always the one we take together. I recently returned from an amazing and memorable alumni campus abroad trip to Spain with AHI, our Alumni Travel Program partner. This particular trip was designed especially for alumni to travel together to new places, learn about history and culture, get inspired, make new connections and bring our unique stories home to share.

My mother accompanied me and we traveled with a few more adventurous people from Marquette University, Douglass College and the National Trust. (It takes a minimum of 15 travelers from Boise State Alumni Association to have an exclusive Boise State trip.) We shared many “small world” moments with common connections and interests. And did we have fun!

Picture of Laura and Erdine Simic

San Sebastian: La Concha Beach Promenade, with my mom, Erdine.

Boise State alumni traveling together abroad is not only about discounts and convenience, though these are certainly added benefits for members. Our trips are planned to include incredible learning experiences including exclusive access to sites and experts with unique tours and engaging lectures. An exciting exchange takes place when we visit new places and participate in unfamiliar customs and cultures. We think differently, make new connections and grow new ideas and understanding.

Our group marveled at the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona, tasted wonderful wine in the vineyards of the Penedes region, explored the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, walked the route run by the bulls in Pamplona (no bulls this time), and enjoyed the beautiful beaches, promenades and public art in San Sebastian. We also learned, from local university professors, about the history and politics of Catalonia and the Basque Country, the inspiration and techniques of Antoni Gaudi, and Ernest Hemingway’s experience in and influence on Spain. We shared a meal with local residents who answered our questions about local life and customs. Of course, there was plenty of good wine, great food and delightful company.

Representing! From Barcelona, Port Olympic, fish sculpture "Peix" by Frank Gehry

Representing! From Barcelona, Port Olympic, fish sculpture “Peix” by Frank Gehry

Traveling on alumni association trips with AHI provides the perfect balance between optional group activities and free time to explore on one’s own. The best part is that everything is first class, yet affordable, and every detail is anticipated. For example, I asked our travel director, a young man who grew up in San Sabastian and attended college in Barcelona, where I might buy some camera batteries and he reached into his bag an handed me four fresh batteries. He recommended off-the-beaten-path places to eat fantastic local food and, when my mom and I were departing for home at the very early hour of 5 a.m., he met us in the hotel lobby with breakfast packed to go. Since all guides and lecturers are local, the experience is brought even closer – and it doesn’t hurt to have a multi-lingual translator close by.

The Boise State Alumni Association makes unforgettable journeys possible for members and their friends and families. Connect to the world and each other through our Alumni Travel Program. Join us on this delightful adventure in discovery!

Laura-Signature

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

2017 Trips

  • Chile and Argentina: March 18-30
  • Switzerland: June 7-17
  • Canada and New England: Oct. 3-13

For details visit our website or call 800-323-7373.

 

It’s Cancer Awareness Month. How Boise State is Helping The Cause

It’s a fitting time to celebrate the great work of someone who is making great strides in cancer research—Dr. Julia Oxford, a Boise State University professor of biology and director of the Biomolecular Research Center. October is Cancer Awareness month at Boise State; its purpose is to educate and raise support in several forms. Perhaps many of us are thinking of someone dear to us at this time. Surely, those who work in research at Boise State are thinking of everyone in need of advances in the field of cancer treatment and prevention.

Our alumni, donors and friends are stepping up in support of research not only now, but year-round. For example,  Duane and Lori Stueckle  made a $1.5 million gift to endow a chair in the department of biology. The Stueckles learned about Oxford’s research in 2005 and began investing in her work and faculty position, ensuring Oxford’s research would stay at Boise State. Their gift provides annual support for an existing faculty member involved in research and teaching with biomedical applications.

The impact of the Stueckle’s support begins with Dr. Oxford, and is amplified through the work of her team. Her program recently received a $10 million research grant to establish a prestigious Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Matrix Biology at Boise State. Oxford’s program is one of several COBRE projects being conducted at the university. You can read about how Dr. Oxford’s work is addressing and solving major health issues in EXPLORE magazine.

We are incredibly grateful to the Stueckles for their support of cancer research at Boise State and for supporting athletics—the Stueckle Sky Center bares their name — in which they have invested and is now part of an enduring legacy.

Earlier this month, a panel of Boise State cancer researchers discussed their research at a free presentation at the Bronco Zone. Panel presenters were Cheryl Jorcyk, Daniel Fologea and Julia Oxford. You can listen online to the panel here.

We all can help cure cancer by turning sparks of exploration into burning flames of discovery through our gifts.  With great minds, like Julie Oxford’s and her colleagues’ at work, it’s only a matter of time.

Laura-Signature

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

Freshman Class Brings Excellence Home to Boise State

Homecoming is an exciting time for everyone—from new students just beginning their journey—to the most passionate, long-standing alumni. It’s a time to celebrate our accomplishments, welcome alumni back to campus and share traditions with our current students. And, with a record number of students living on campus this year, it may be the biggest Homecoming celebration to date.

Homecoming is visible evidence of lifelong relationships with Boise State. Our students are on campus for a relatively short time, but our alumni are part of the Bronco family for life. As our student body grows both in size and diversity more and more Broncos are carrying Boise State’s traditions and reputation farther and farther.  Our new freshmen are joining the ranks of distinguished alumni and supporters of Boise State across the nation and around the world.

Boise State has welcomed an outstanding freshman class portraying a rich and diverse profile:

3.45 – Average GPA of freshmen entering directly from high school.

3.5 to 4.0 – Unweighted high school GPAs of our Honors College students.

23.26 – Average composite ACT score of freshmen. Combined SAT is 1030.29.

2,800 – Number of students living on campus or in nearby university-controlled housing.

1,292 – New freshmen who are Idaho residents; 4 out of 5 are from the Treasure Valley.

919 New freshmen who are from other states or countries.

18 – Average age of this year’s freshmen.

Homecoming week this year has special significance, because we’re literally coming home to the new donor-funded Alumni and Friends Center. This addition to campus is among our most cherished spaces welcoming all Broncos—from the current freshman class, to alumni of decades past. Check out this schedule of Homecoming events including the ribbon cutting event on Oct. 15. We hope to see you there.

Thank you for your continued support to Boise State.

Go Broncos!

Laura-Signature

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

Boise State’s Message to the Business Community: You Need Us, And We Need You.

Boise State University was founded by a group of forward-thinking community members who understood the critical partnership between education and well-being, and that great cities have great universities. Today, Boise State can look back on a successful history characterized by a long and strong partnership with the local business community — a partnership propelling us into the future as well.

“Boise’s research university can work hand-in-hand with the business community to grow a vibrant economy into the future.” This was the key message at President Kustra’s State of the University Address to the business community last week, focusing on partnerships that connect Boise State to what matters to business leaders.

Our business community tells us that talent is in demand — they need skilled workers, thinkers, and leaders. President Kustra presented recent highlights with particular meaning to a business community interested and invested in the kind of talent that’s emerging from Boise State.

Boise State students are investing in their own futures, and taking their education seriously. Now, more students are choosing to live on campus — 400 more on-campus residents than last year. The vast majority of students are enrolled full-time. Boise State is a source of “brain gain” for Idaho. Among both in-state and out-of-state students, a majority stay in Idaho after graduation. Approximately 44 percent of students who come to Boise State from out-of-state remain here five years after graduation — as do a full 83 percent of Idaho students.

President Kustra shared several new ways that Boise State is preparing students for work and offering relevant and valuable continued learning after college. For example, Boise State is the first public university to collaborate with Harvard Business School, offering online instruction from Harvard faculty to Boise State students who will earn a credential of readiness from Harvard Business School. We’re also growing our online programs — currently offering 24 degrees and certifications, and in the process of adding 15 more.

The new College of Innovation and Design offers courses to provide basic business knowledge to non-business majors to support the transition between college and career. Programs like Bridge 2 Career and Work U Co-op will help students gain valuable experience to prepare for their future careers. President Kustra described Gen Z — the generation following the Millennials and the next to enter the workforce — a generation determined (and expected) to “show their credentials” and validate what they’ve accomplished as an undergrad. That is, to show what they know as they compete for jobs.

The president praised the new metro-centric location for Boise State’s computer science program now located in the Clearwater building downtown amidst Boise’s active and growing tech companies. The School of Public Service is establishing the Idaho Policy Institute, which will also operate from a new centrally-located hub.

Donors and alumni are incredibly important partners helping to build a vibrant economy — from providing scholarships and supporting programs, to sponsoring and hosting internship and networking opportunities, to hiring our graduates. One way to think about our investment in students preparing to enter the workplace is as an investment in wellbeing — a reinforcement of businesses and organizations striving to serve our communities.

There are many ways to partner with Boise State. From getting help to launch your idea or business, to sponsoring and collaborating on research. This Business and Industry Partnership portal helps guide partners through the types of opportunities that are out there for everyone.

If you were able to attend the State of the University Address this year, thank you for your presence and interest in Boise State. The presentation to Boise State faculty, staff and the community was recorded, and can be viewed here.

Laura-Signature

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

Bronze Seal Welcomes All to Boise State University’s New Alumni and Friends Center

Boise State alumni and friends are counting down to the grand opening of the new Alumni and Friends Center! Nearly two years ago, we broke ground at the site of a former ophthalmologist’s office turned alumni center on University Drive. Today, you’ll see a stunning, 40,000 square-foot brick and glass building providing cherished space that Broncos of all generations can call home.

We’re very excited to open the doors to this new donor-funded facility designed by LCA Architects, and built by Jordan-Wilcomb Construction Inc. Many aspects of this new eastern gateway to our growing campus reflect the Boise State spirit. A striking clock tower marks time across from the stadium. Engraved bricks line the courtyard to honor and celebrate supporters and Bronco fans. Attractive meeting rooms provide places for alumni and friends to gather and connect.  Gorgeous artwork of several esteemed current and emeriti faculty grace our walls and common areas, including a stunning bronze of our university seal created by a team of Boise State artisans along with our professor of the practice, renowned sculptor, Ben Victor, and made possible by a gift from alumna Diana Luoma. You can see Ben, student Madeline Fluharty and art professor Francis Fox and other and Boise State craftsmen and artists working together here in this brief video.

More than a decade of planning and work preceded the Alumni and Friends Center’s completion.  We are grateful to those who visualized a place that would welcome alumni back to campus, honor our donors and assist the university in building lifetime relationships and generating philanthropic support. Dedicated university staff, Boise State Alumni Association board members and Foundation board members shaped the facility from concept to reality inspired by the vision and impetus of Allen and Dixie Dykman.

The building will house all of the departments in the Division of University Advancement, the Boise State University Foundation, the Alumni Association, and the offices of Communications and Marketing and Trademark and Licensing.

We will have a brief celebratory program and open the doors to alumni and friends following the Homecoming parade on Saturday, Oct. 15.

When the lights go on and we welcome all inside, it will be a defining moment for Boise State.  This welcoming space is an emblematic addition to campus, signifying that we deeply value our alumni and friends and their dedication to the growth and success of this university.

I hope to see you there! Go Broncos!

Laura-Signature

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

Philanthropy’s Impact on High Tech and Business

Boise State students arriving (or returning) this fall will notice some changes to campus.

One that we are particularly excited about, is the new location for our computer science department in the Clearwater Building on The Grove in downtown Boise. Students and faculty  now have the opportunity to learn and work in the heart of Boise’s technology ecosystem among dozens of companies that are clamoring to collaborate with researchers and hire skilled and innovative students.

Our home in this unique facility is enabled by very favorable terms from Gardner Company and gifts to the university including a $250,000 donation from Eileen Barber, a member of the Boise State University Foundation Board of Directors. Barber’s gift established the Kount Tutoring Center that provides students with state-of-the-art technology and academic support.

Barber is co-founder of Kount’s parent company, Keynetics. Barber also has established a number of scholarship opportunities for women in computer science, including the Keynetics Inc. Computer Science Scholarship for Women, a Presidential (full tuition) endowed scholarship, and the Ada Lovelace Computer Science Scholarship for Women to provide recognition of the world’s first computer scientist. Additionally, Barber supports the E-Girls summer engineering program for high school students.

Eight local tech companies funded nearly $275,000 in new computer science scholarships which leveraged a $1 million grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to double the number of Boise State computer science graduates.  This increase is helping to meet demand for human capital in this rapidly growing industry sector.

In 2014, TIME Magazine described Boise as “A Techy Boomtown”. Since then, Boise State has played a pivotal role in the high-tech community with initiatives involving state agencies, private companies and other institutions such as the Technology Council’s Software Alliance.  Forming a coalition of private and public interests is key to nurturing the economic vitality of the state, growing the number of skilled professionals and connecting them to the available opportunities.

The impact of philanthropy also is evident in the Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), a program of our College of Business and Economics (COBE). Wells Fargo has provided funding and thought leadership over the last three years to develop and run the initiative. The outcomes of Wells Fargo’s support have taken many forms through education, research and community collaboration.

The partnership has allowed COBE students and faculty to embark on a mission to catalyze leaders to solve “wicked business problems.” The RBI aims to build the commitment and capacity of our students, faculty and community to understand and manage business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, corporate governance and diversity.

Two ways that the RBI already is making persistent impact is in helping businesses create inclusive workplaces. Wells Fargo is a local, national and global leader in growing and leveraging diversity in business practices with women comprising more than 40 percent of its board of directors and people of color comprising more than 30 percent. Through this partnership Boise State students and future corporate leaders learn and develop best practices in business.

In November, Boise State is hosting the second diversity summit with Wells Fargo and extending the collaboration to include the City of Boise and Boise Valley Economic Partners as well as others, to create a bridge between campus, businesses and the community.

The support that Eileen Barber, Wells Fargo and corporate leaders provide is exemplary of the many ways individuals and organizations partner with Boise State to provide valuable experiences for students and strengthen the impact on our community.

Laura-Signature

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

New Partnerships Forming with Basque Community Worldwide at Boise State

This July’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. featured “Basques: Innovation by Culture.” It was a great backdrop for making connections and starting conversations on how we can build on Boise State’s Basque-centered programs and grow our relationship with the Basque community worldwide.  Several Boise State colleagues and Boise government representatives joined Basque government officials for an exchange between the university and the Basque community here and worldwide.

Boise is home to the second largest population of Basque people outside of the Basque Country and we have a well-connected Basque mayor. So, our participation in education and economic development with the Basque community is incredibly fruitful. Boise State University is recognized for its role in the preservation of Basque culture. Boise State’s Basque Studies Program is a multi-disciplinary program of advanced study of the Basque people offering a minor and courses in Basque language, cinema and history. For students of engineering, the Basque government endows scholarships for graduate and Ph. D. students from the Basque Country who will study engineering at Boise State, providing a cultural and educational exchange.

I was at the festival to perform with Boise’s Biotzetik Basque Choir and was able to join the Boise delegation for a couple of the scheduled events. At one, we had the fortunate opportunity to meet U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (ID), U.S. Senator John Garmendi (CA), and prominent Basque American from Boise, David Jayo, senior advisor to the Director of the Interior. We also met several corporate leaders from around the world who do business with the Basque Country, the world-renowned painter Jesus Mari Lazkano (his work is featured on his website, jesusmarilazkano.com), and Chef Jose Andres, who is internationally recognized for his culinary innovation, humanitarian work, books and television appearances.

Photo From left to right: Nic Miller, John Bieter, Corey Cook, Andrew Finstuen, Laura C. Simic and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

From left to right: Nic Miller, John Bieter, Corey Cook, Andrew Finstuen, Laura C. Simic and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

The conversations are leading to partnerships that will build bridges overseas and provide opportunities for students on many fronts, such as international internships, exposure to global business, educational exchange programs, language immersion and preserving the Basque culture.  These and other partnerships are sparking new ideas for things that bridge human and intellectual capital between Basque and Idaho communities and companies.

The worldly opportunities that Boise State provides are incredibly unique. I’m not Basque, but I am enriched by this cultural phenomenon in our region, one with a prominent presence shaping Boise alongside Micron, HP, Albertsons, Simplot and other important influences. Boise State University is honored to be at the center of the exchange of ideas and activities that bring new innovations alongside enduring traditions.

Laura-Signature

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

A Frequency of Generosity Connects Public Radio Supporters to The University

If you’re an Idaho resident and a long-time fan of NPR programming, you may recall that Boise — even as a growing city and the only major market in Idaho — didn’t have a clear signal until 1988. Today, Boise State Public Radio (BSPR) is our regional connection to the world of broadcast radio media organizations and syndicators including NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, BPR and the BBC, as well as locally produced news and information programming.

Boise State Public Radio, as part of Boise State University, is one of our most effective public services and ways to reach areas well outside of the Treasure Valley. A listener-supported NPR member station, BSPR began as an amateur radio club at Boise Junior College. In the 1970s and 1980s the station evolved from a student-run college station into a professionally-operated public radio station. Today, BSPR’s KBSX and KBSU broadcast from 18 locations, with staff headquarters at Boise State’s Yanke Family Research Park, and with the goal of building effective service that deepens the relationship between BSPR and its listeners.

Deepening the relationship with alumni and friends of Boise State also is primary to the mission of University Advancement. The university and BSPR help each other extend our reach. BSPR member contributions are the lifeline that enables the operation of the broadcast organization’s highly-valued cultural and educational service. Each gift to BSPR is important and appreciated, as are gifts to other university programs from all of our donors. Donors to all of our programs are recognized university-wide through membership in the President’s Club and related gift recognition groups. Events and communications extended to donors enable our community to hear about and participate in the wide variety of learning opportunities, cultural activities, athletic competitions and entertainment experiences the university has to offer. There’s something for every interest.

Regardless of which door you enter to become engaged with Boise State – whether through arts performances, classes, football games or BSPR – your participation and support is appreciated. Our donors enable these things to happen — things that enhance the community in which we live and work. It’s no wonder that Boise continues to appear on many “best places” lists. We are proud of our collective partnership. Thank you.

Laura-Signature

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