We often think of graduation ceremonies as the culmination of one’s academic career. Yet, the definition of Commencement is just the opposite – it is “a beginning or start.”
On May 12, Boise State celebrates new beginnings for a record number of graduates – more than 2,400 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as 11 with doctoral degrees – at its 90th Commencement ceremony.
These newest graduates join nearly 45,000 degree-holding graduates in Idaho – by far, Boise State’s most important measure of success. They are prepared to excel at the demanding and rewarding jobs of the future and, if past trends hold true, more than 70 percent of them will remain in Idaho – living, working and paying taxes. Boise State plays its most powerful role in driving Idaho’s economy by serving as a proving ground for young minds seeking a path to tomorrow’s success.
Allen Dykman, an alumnus, donor and dear friend to our university for years, is a living testament to that kind of success. His work as a member of the community and as a Bronco will be celebrated with an honorary doctorate at our Commencement ceremony. A more suitable honoree would be difficult to find.
Allen came to Boise State on a football scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1974. His work in the family business led to the founding of his own successful company, Dykman Electric Inc., in 1981 with his wife, Dixie. He is one of only two people in Boise State history to serve as president of the Bronco Athletic Association, the Alumni Association and the Boise State Foundation. He also co-chaired our first comprehensive fundraising campaign and currently is helping to lead the effort to build a new Alumni and Friends Center on campus.
George M. Fenton, a Post Falls native graduating with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average, is the featured student speaker. Earning a bachelor of arts in economics with a minor in mathematics, Fenton has had a brilliant academic career at Boise State. He has been accepted to Oxford University and plans to pursue graduate school after serving two years at the Federal Reserve.
I hope you will join me in congratulating all of our newest graduates on the beginning of a new and exciting phase of their lives.
As usual, thank you for all that you do for Boise State University. Go Broncos!
Here are a few recent and upcoming items of interest from Boise State University:
Boise State and the Micron Foundation have teamed up to entice Idaho’s brightest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students into the state’s classrooms as a new generation of teachers who excel in technical subjects. The new program, called IDoTeach, is designed to meet a desperate need for Idaho science and math teachers in coming years by attracting a largely untapped pool of talented college students majoring in STEM subjects into secondary education careers. With $300,000 in initial funding from the Micron Foundation, IDoTeach will replicate an innovative and highly successful teacher preparation program created at the University of Texas at Austin that has been duplicated at 29 universities around the country, including University of California, Berkeley, Louisiana State University, University of Houston and Florida State University. IDoTeach is the only replica of the University of Texas program in the eight-state Pacific Northwest and Northern Rocky Mountain region of the country.
A record 2,300 participants helped raise $40,000 for the Boise State general scholarship fund by racing Boise State football coach Chris Petersen in the fifth annual Beat Coach Pete Scholarship Run/Walk on Saturday, April 14. Presented by Boise State University Health and Recreation, Bronco Athletics and the United Dairymen of Idaho, the race benefited the general student scholarship fund at Boise State while challenging participants to “Beat Pete.” Coach Petersen donated an additional $5 to the scholarship fund for each participant who crossed the finish line in front of him. Exactly 1,062 racers topped Pete’s 28-minute and 50-second run, generating a $5,310 payout toward the total.
Boise State recently honored faculty members Peter Müllner, engineering, and Marion Scheepers, mathematics, as the university’s newest Distinguished Professors. The title is one of the highest honors given to faculty members at Boise State and is reserved for a small number who have made major contributions to their academic disciplines. Müllner is among the leading researchers in the field of magnetic shape memory alloys, with research funding in excess of $5 million. Scheepers’ research has greatly influenced the field of set theory and he is the founder of the mathematical discipline of selection principles. In addition to recognition, the Boise State University Distinguished Professorship includes a stipend to support scholarly activities.
Boise State’s Model United Nations Club was awarded the Distinguished Delegation Award at the National Model United Nations conference in New York City on April 5. The prestigious and competitive conference is attended by more than 5,100 students from around the world. The delegation spent three months preparing for the conference, where they debated real issues that confront the international community, such as human trafficking, an arms trade treaty, disaster relief and emergency preparedness, and the upcoming Rio+20 Conference.
Boise State took another step in continuing to build its nationally ranked football program when it broke ground April 12 on a new $22 million football complex. The 68,000-square foot facility will be located in a grass area at the north end of Bronco Stadium. The target date for completion is June 30, 2013. This state-of-the-art, two story building will include coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, recruiting and players’ lounges, an academic center, weight room, athletic training room, equipment room, and a locker room for the Bronco team.