It is a time of new beginnings at Boise State University and the optimism for the future that accompanies a new academic year means more than usual this fall. As our students settle into the promising routines of a new semester, Boise State celebrates the conclusion of the most successful higher education fundraising campaign in Idaho history and the awarding of a new prestigious grant that marks our university’s path forward as an emerging metropolitan research university.
I am very pleased to tell you that we have exceeded our ambitious goals for Destination Distinction, our recently completed comprehensive fundraising campaign, by raising $185.4 million for the people, places and programs of Boise State. This remarkably successful endeavor was Boise State’s first comprehensive campaign, and in typical Boise State fashion, we set and surpassed the very high standard we established for ourselves.
At its official end on June 30, the seven-year campaign engaged more than 23,000 donors and included gifts as small as a few dollars up to a very generous $13 million gift from the Micron Technology Foundation. It provided funding across campus in the form of new and refurbished buildings, new doctoral programs, graduate assistantships and fellowships, faculty support, including nine new faculty endowments, and 376 student scholarships.
The forward momentum that drove our successful campaign is leading to other successes across campus, including the news that Boise State researchers have received the university’s first grant from the prestigious W.M. Keck Foundation.
The highly competitive $1 million grant will support the development of an inexpensive and portable device that can detect up to 250 diseases through the real-time analysis of blood, saliva and other body fluids – similar to the way a home pregnancy test works. The new system could fundamentally change early-stage disease diagnosis and treatment worldwide, especially where medical equipment and resources are scarce.
Will Hughes, assistant professor of materials science, leads the interdisciplinary team of professors in chemistry, biology and engineering as well as a wide range of local and national collaborators in this cutting-edge research effort. This recognition by the Keck Foundation, known for funding high-risk, high-return research, is a testament to pioneering work among our faculty that could have a profound global impact.
Successes like these assure me that bright days and brilliant discoveries are ahead at Boise State and I cannot wait to see the results.
As usual, thank you for all that you do for Boise State University. Go Broncos!
Here are a few recent or upcoming items of interest from Boise State University.
Alzheimer’s research conducted at Boise State University has led to the development of an antibody that will help researchers who are trying to determine triggers for a number of degenerative diseases. Biology professor Troy Rohn formulated the antibody, known as caspase-cleaved beclin-1, as part of his research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, and Boise State has signed a licensing agreement to make the antibody available to biomedical researchers around the globe. It is the first antibody developed at Boise State to be licensed.
The Boise State University Alumni Association will present its Distinguished Alumni awards at the fourth annual Presidential Gala at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Stueckle Sky Center. Honorees include Steve Decker (Elementary education, ’81), a recently retired 34-year Boise School District teacher; Michael Knopp (Business administration, ’79), president of Remotec/Northrop Grumman; Deb Riedel (Music, ’77, ’99), first vice president and wealth management portfolio manager at Smith Barney; and Ronald Wilper (Communication, ’77), Ada County district judge. Tickets are $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers by calling (208) 426-1698. A portion of the proceeds generated from this event will support Alumni Legacy Scholarships.
In early October, two of Boise State’s major campus lecture series will present national experts. Both events are free and open to the public, and will be located in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom. Free parking is available in the Lincoln Avenue Garage. On Oct. 3, the Brandt Foundation Lectures presents public policy and legal expert Robert A. Levy at 7 p.m. The lecture is co-sponsored by Boise State’s College of Business and Economics and the John and Orah Brandt Foundation. And on Oct. 6, the Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series presents Raj Patel, the author of “Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System,” at 7 p.m.
Students returning to classes this fall were once again met with a changed landscape as the university opened the five story, 97,000-square-foot Environmental Research Building (ERB) across from Bronco Stadium along University Drive. With modern laboratories and study space, the building enhances research aimed at the pressing issues of the West, including the environment, energy, transportation, water, land use and community planning. Boise State’s first building dedicated solely to research, the ERB is home to the departments of Geosciences, Civil Engineering, Public Policy and Administration and Political Science, as well as a community and regional planning program, the Environmental Finance Office, the Public Policy Center and the Frank Church Institute.
Boise State will offer a new online doctorate in educational technology, building on the College of Education’s successful thesis-based and professional online master’s programs. With the approval of the Idaho State Board of Education last month, the new program will examine the use of current and emerging technologies for effective and efficient teaching and learning in a dynamic, global society. The first full cohort of doctoral candidates is expected to start their studies in fall 2012.