Boise State University Administration Building Built 1940
"What a wonderful place to call home"
The Bret & Kristi Vaterlaus family
Boise and Boise State
Have been a blessing to many
Across the Boise River from Julia Davis Park and linked to it by Friendship Bridge is Boise State University. Its roots go back to St. Margaret's Academy, where Tom and Julia Davis’ daughters, Etta and Hazel, received their education. Founded in 1892 by the Episcopal Church, it became an independent junior college in 1934, and in 1940 moved to its present location on the south bank of the river between Capitol Blvd. and Broadway Ave.
(This gravel bed had been Booth Field, Boise’s first municipal airport and the home of Varney Airlines. Walter Varney started the nation’s first commercial airmail flights here on April 26, 1926; later, his company would merge with others to become United Airlines. On Sept. 4, 1927, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis touched down on the airfield during his historic around-the-world flight.)
The school gained four-year status as Boise College in 1965 and began awarding baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Four years later, it joined the state higher education system and was renamed Boise State College, then became Idaho’s third university in 1974.
By 2017, the primary campus covered 175 acres and had more than 170 buildings. Many are named after local donors such as Velma V. Morrison (performing arts center) and her husband, Harry Morrison (civil engineering building), Joe Albertson (library and stadium), Steve Appleton (tennis center), Larry Arguinchona (basketball complex), Duane and Lori Stueckle (the Sky Center overlooking the famous blue AstroTurf at Bronco stadium), Ron and Linda Yanke (research center), Allen Noble (stadium Hall of Fame gallery) and Larry and Marianne Williams and Jerry and Muriel Caven (sports complex and plaza), or companies with local connections: Norco, Micron, Simplot, Skaggs, U.S. Bank and Hewlett Packard, among others.
The BSU Broncos have participated in NCAA Division I athletics since 1996 (Mountain West Conference). The football program is 11-6 in bowl games since 1999, including a 3-0 record in the Fiesta Bowl.
While athletics often come to mind when BSU is mentioned, academics play an increasing role in the university’s stated intent to be a “metropolitan research university of distinction.” BSU confers more undergraduate degrees than any public university in Idaho and offers more than 100 graduate programs, including MBA and MA programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the School of Public Service. From 2007-2017, BSU spent more than $200 million on academic, residential and other student-centered facilities, plus $70 million to expand athletics facilities. As of 2017, less than half of BSU revenue was taxpayer-funded.
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