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Building a Springboard for Physics Students

chrissmall2Chris Honcik (BS Chemistry, 1983) is changing the lives of Boise State Physics students.

He and his wife, Thy, have established the half-tuition Honcik Physics Scholarship, an endowed fund that grew from the first gift Chris made when he graduated from Boise State in 1983. After graduation, as his income grew, Chris challenged himself to give a little more than the year before. Chris calls Boise State “a springboard to his career.” The first person to hire him was one of his former classmates. In Chris’ mind, “you’ve had so many people help you along the way, you have to give back to others.” And that is just what Chris and Thy are doing.

Much of the reason Chris began giving was due to a strong community of Bronco science students that was established by former Physics faculty, Dick Reimann. Professor Reimann would get current and former students together for basketball games or Christmas gatherings at his home. One day, Reimann mentioned the importance of philanthropy to Chris and the idea stuck.

Over the years, the pool of funds that Chris had donated to the Physics program grew and grew, and eventually Reimann suggested that he endow the fund. Then, just this year, the Honciks learned of the Presidential Match, a pool of funds set aside by Dr. Kustra to award scholarships while their endowments are being built up. This cemented the decision for Chris and Thy: they would bump up their scholarship endowment to the Dean’s Level, which would provide a renewable half-tuition scholarship for deserving Physics students.

For Chris and Thy, the timing was just right and the incentive match made too much sense to turn down. And Physics students at Boise State can now hope to receive the same springboard Chris did.