On May 2, we broke ground for the new Center for Fine Arts and in the same week, broke records for participation and attendance at our 100th graduation ceremony. That night, we held the 18th Auction Gala raising funds for scholarships that will put us over the top of our fundraising goal. The campaign continues through June and in July we will announce total dollars raised.
In the fall of 2019, we’ll open the doors to the new Center for Fine Arts, which will be a nationally recognized center for arts education and a landmark within the largest cultural thoroughfare in the state of Idaho. Our partners and donors joined in the breaking of ground at the future site of a center that will serve our students, faculty and staff, but it will also serve the entire community with the high-tech World Museum. This future space speaks of a proud commitment to the visual arts in higher learning, and is especially remarkable given how challenging it is to raise money for the arts and humanities.
The progress and promise of this center reflects the commitment of a community that truly values art and the role art plays in all of our lives. We are incredibly grateful to donors and our partners who have shared this vision and made it a reality. We will welcome everyone again when we celebrate the center’s opening.
Our 100th graduation ceremony was our first held on the famous blue turf. The last time we held graduation on a football field was in 1981, and—can you imagine—that turf was green! We moved the ceremony indoors when the Pavilion, now the Taco Bell Arena, was built. But we have seen such an increase in graduates and proud family members who want to attend that we moved to the much larger venue of Albertsons Stadium to allow all family members and friends of our graduates to attend.
For the first time, our student speaker—a tradition at commencement—was an international student. Océane Pelloille came to Boise State from her small hometown of Caen, France, with a four-year scholarship to play on the women’s golf team. Her family traveled all the way from France for Océane’s graduation, but they were not aware that she was selected to be the student speaker. What a pleasant surprise for her family to see her at the podium addressing her fellow graduates. Océane’s message to her fellow graduates and to everyone in the stadium was insightful and encouraging. You can see Océane’s speech and more about commencement here.
More than 1,750 students received their degrees at the ceremony this year. In total, 2,369 students received 2,682 degrees and certificates. A record 23 doctoral degrees were also awarded, bringing the total number of Boise State graduates to more than 4,000 this academic year. For those in attendance and for those of us on stage presiding over graduation, it was a memorable blue celebration I’m sure our graduates will not forget. They will always be able to say they were the first to graduate on the Blue!
It’s been quite a year—breaking ground, breaking records and celebrating scholarship and service. As always, thank you for all that you do for Boise State and its students.