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Boise State University
BoiseStateLogo II.gif
Motto Splendor Sine Occasu
Motto in English Splendor Without End
Established 1932 - Episcopal College
1974 - State University
Type public university
Endowment $53 million [1]
President Dr. Robert W. Kustra
Faculty 611
Staff 1,967 full-time, 802 part-time
Students 18,936 (2009)
Location Boise, Idaho, United States
Campus Urban, 175 acres (0.71 km²)
Athletics Broncos
Colors Blue & Orange
Mascot Buster Bronco
Affiliations Western Athletic Conference

Boise State University is a public university located along the south bank of the Boise River near downtown Boise, Idaho. Originally founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, the university became an independent institution in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master degrees since 1965. As of 2009, the university has over 70,000 living alumni.

Ranked among the top 100 Masters Universities in the Western United States by the U.S. News & World Report,[1] Boise State offers 201 degrees in 190 fields of study, ranging from technical certifications to doctoral programs. With nearly 19,000 students, Boise State University is also the largest institution of higher education in the state of Idaho.



Boise State was founded in 1932 as Boise Junior College by the Episcopal Church. After two years the school became independent, and in 1940 it moved from St. Margaret's Hall to its present site, along the south bank of the Boise River between Capitol Boulevard and Broadway Avenue.[2]

In 1965 it gained four-year status as Boise College and began awarding baccalaureate degrees. Four years later, the school joined the Idaho state system of higher education and was renamed Boise State College. In 1974, Boise State gained university status to become Idaho's third university.

  • 1932 - founded as Boise Junior College by the Episcopal Church.
  • 1933 - first season of football
  • 1934 - Episcopal Church ends its affiliation and board of directors after assumes leadership.
  • 1940 - campus moved from its original location at St. Margaret’s Hall to present site on south bank of Boise River
  • 1947 - after a year as an assistant, Lyle Smith is elevated to head coach of the football team. Will accumulate a record of 156-26-8 (.848) with five undefeated seasons, 16 conference titles, and a national JC championship; steps down after 1967 season to become athletic director
  • 1958 - football team wins the NJCAA national championship
  • 1965 - baccalaureate degrees introduced; becomes Boise College
    • Alumni Association is formed
    • Enrollment reaches 5,000
  • 1967 - final football season as a two-year school
  • 1968 - football team begins competition as a four-year school, competing as an independent in Division II (then the "college division"); new athletic director Lyle Smith hires Tony Knap to replace himself as head coach
  • 1969 - state system of higher education assumes control
    • name is changed to Boise State College
  • 1970 - BSC joins the Big Sky Conference for men's athletics
  • 1974 - university status granted, becomes Boise State University
  • 1975 - Bronco Stadium adds upper deck to east side: 20,000 capacity
  • 1976 - Jim Criner is named head football coach after Tony Knap moved south to UNLV
  • 1978 - Big Sky (& BSU) moves up to newly formed Division I-AA
  • 1979 - enrollment reaches 10,000
  • 1980 - construction of BSU Pavilion begins in February
    • baseball is dropped as a varsity sport in June.
    • football field at Bronco Stadium dedicated as "Lyle Smith Field" on November 8.
    • football team wins the I-AA national championship on December 20
  • 1981 - Lyle Smith retires after 35 years at BSU, last 13 as AD.
  • 1982 - BSU Pavilion (multi-purpose arena) opens in late May
  • 1984 - Velma V. Morrison Center opens on April 7
  • 1986 - Blue Astroturf field installed at Bronco Stadium, the first—and only—turf of its kind
  • 1992 - first doctoral degree approved: Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction
    • enrollment reaches 15,000; the state's largest
  • 1994 - football team reaches the I-AA national championship game
  • 1996 - athletic program moves to Big West Conference and NCAA Division I-A
  • 1997 - Bronco Stadium expansion increases seating capacity to 30,000
  • 1999 - football team wins first Big West title and the Humanitarian Bowl against Louisville
  • 2000 - football team wins second Big West title and Humanitarian Bowl against UTEP
  • 2001 - athletics moves to the Western Athletic Conference
    • wrestling remains in the Pac-10
  • 2002 - football team wins first WAC title and Humanitarian Bowl against Iowa State
  • 2003 - football team wins second WAC title and Fort Worth Bowl against TCU
  • 2004 - enrollment reaches 18,456
    • BSU Pavilion renamed Taco Bell Arena in June ($4 million for 15 years)
    • football team goes undefeated in regular season for the first time as a four-year school, wins its third straight WAC title and finishing 9th in the nation in the BCS rankings, but loses its bowl game vs. Louisville. It was considered a match up of two of the best non-BCS Conference teams that year.
  • 2005 - football team wins fourth straight WAC title, but loses MPC Computers Bowl to Boston College.
  • 2006 - BSU wins the WAC Commissioner's Cup for the 2005-06 academic year.
    • senior Ben Cherrington wins NCAA national championship in wrestling - 157 pounds
    • Ben Cherrington and Tyler Sherfey are named the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Wrestler of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, respectively.
    • football team goes undefeated for the second time in three years, wins its fifth straight WAC title, and earns their first BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners in January 2007.
  • 2007 - football team wins the January Fiesta Bowl 43-42 in a thrilling overtime finish. BSU finished the 2006 season as the only undefeated team in the nation (after Ohio State lost to Florida in the National Championship game), and placed #5 in the final AP poll, with one first place vote, BSU's highest ranking ever.
    • State of Idaho approves funding for a $35.9 million addition to Bronco Stadium. Expansion will replace the aging press box (1970) and add luxury suites, club seats and loge boxes in time for the 2008 season. The new capacity is expected to be 32,000.
    • BSU sells the film rights of the 2006 football season to Michael Hoffman and Iron Circle Pictures, who will produce a documentary and later a feature film based on the story of the football program.
    • 2006 football team wins two ESPY Awards in the categories of "Best Game" (2007 Fiesta Bowl) and "Best Play" (Game-winning Statue of Liberty play).
    • senior QB and Fiesta Bowl MVP Jared Zabransky appears as the cover athlete of the popular EA Sports video game NCAA Football 08.
    • junior Luke Shields is one of four male tennis players representing the United States at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    • Boise State celebrates its 75th anniversary and announces "Destination Distinction," a campaign to raise $175 million.
  • 2008 - Broncos join the "10-20-20" club (10 football wins, 20 men's basketball wins, 20 women's basketball wins) for the 2007-08 season, only the 20th school since 1980 to achieve the feat.
    • BSU announces NASA Teacher in Space Barbara Morgan will start her full-time position as a Distinguished Educator in Residence
    • The Boise State Broncos clinch the 2008 WAC Championship and played Texas Christian University in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, which they lost 16-17.
  • 2009 - Boise State retained the WAC football title and played Texas Christian University in the postseason 2010 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona. The Boise State Broncos won 17-10.


. The campus is nestled along the south bank of the Boise River, directly across from Julia Davis Park and Downtown Boise. The primary campus covers 175 acres (708,000 m²), and includes more than 170 buildings. As Boise State evolves into a Metropolitan Research Institution of Distinction, students and alumni are becoming increasingly involved in the University community and 'BroncoNation'. [2] The campus sits at an elevation of 2700 feet (823 m) above sea level.

Bronco Stadium

Bronco Stadium is home to BSU football and track and field. It has hosted the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in 1994 & 1999, and is home to the Humanitarian Bowl, held every December since 1997.

Bronco Stadium is best known for its blue playing surface, the only non-green football field in Division I college football. Originally nicknamed the slightly derogatory "Smurf Turf", "The Blue" as it is commonly known to fans, was originally a bright blue AstroTurf installed in 1986 (and replaced in 1995). In 2002, BSU installed AstroPlay, similar to FieldTurf, a new generation of infilled synthetic turf that mimics the appearance, feel, and texture of grass (other than the color, which is a deeper shade of blue). In 2008, the field was replaced again, this time with FieldTurf, the fourth edition of blue turf.

Ground was broken for the concrete stadium in 1969, and it opened in September 1970 with a capacity of 14,500. Subsequent expansions were completed in time for the 1975 and 1997 football seasons. The original playing surface in 1970 was green AstroTurf, replaced in 1978 with the same. The playing field runs in the traditional north-south direction, surrounded by the running track.

Taco Bell Arena

. Originally the "Boise State Pavilion", the Taco Bell Arena (TBA) is home to BSU basketball, wrestling, women's gymnastics, community events and several concerts each year. Opened in May 1982, the arena seats 12,380 people on three levels. The TBA has played host to rounds one and two of the men's NCAA Division I basketball tournament on eight occasions from 1983-2009 and hosted the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA women's Division I basketball tournament in 2002.

The construction of the pavilion began in February 1980 on the site of the tennis courts and a portion of the BSU baseball field. The Bronco baseball team played their home games in 1980 at Borah Field (now Bill Wigle Field) at Borah High School. Baseball was discontinued as a varsity sport following the 1980 season. The tennis courts were rebuilt immediately west of the arena, on the former baseball field (infield & right field).

Morrison Center

The Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts has 2,000 seats in its primary performance hall, and hosts a wide variety of fine arts performances, including off-broadway musicals and plays, and a number of concerts and other events. The venue opened its doors in April 1984. It is designed to be shaped roughly like the State of Idaho when viewed from above.

Albertsons Library

The school's library, named for grocery pioneer and longtime Boise resident Joe Albertson, is a 200,000 square foot (19,000 m²) facility in the center of the campus. The library is said to be large enough to fit the whole entire student body of Boise State. It houses more than 550,000 books, 80 public terminals for student use, and also has a Starbucks and a lounge area as well. An extensive library remodel was completed in the mid-1990s. The Special Collections Department recently launched its digital collections that features photographs related to the history of the university, as well as other collections held in Special Collections.

Student Union Building

The "SUB" brings together an eclectic mix of services under one roof, including the BSU Bookstore, Bronco Gear apparel shop, bowling lanes, arcade, a couple rarely open fast food joints, banquet facilities and other student services. The building is located along University Drive, and is connected to the "SPEC" or Special Events Center. This part of the building houses a smaller auditorium used for community productions, including the Idaho Dance Theater. Currently, the "SUB" is undergoing a remodel to add a significant amount of space.


Other Campuses

Boise State West, located in Nampa, comprised the West Campus, the TECenter and the Canyon County Center. The West Campus opened in the summer of 2001 and featured a 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) building with 28 classrooms, a bookstore and a library. In January 2009, the West Campus was transitioned into the College of Western Idaho, a two-year community college. The Canyon County Center opened for classes in the fall of 1985 and sits on a 5-acre (20,000 m2) site on Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard in Nampa. Additional education centers can be found at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Gowen Field and in Twin Falls.

Life on campus


The dominant form of school-supported housing is in coed dorms which make up 60% of all accommodations. Seven residential halls (Chaffee, Morrison, Driscoll, Taylor, Keiser, Barnes Towers, Suites) house 1,492 students in shared (Driscoll, Chafee, and Towers) and single rooms (Taylor, Keiser, and Morrison). Units for disabled students make up 2%. There are 5 university owned apartment complexes as well which are part of Suites.

The vast majority of Boise State students live off-campus: 92%. There are a total of 3 fraternities and 3 sororities on campus. Total pledged population is less than 1%.



Since most students live off campus, the majority of transportation to and from campus is by automobile. Students must obtain permits to use most on-campus parking facilities, with the exception of some hourly parking inventory. BSU is served by a parking garages on the west edge of the campus and across from the "SUB", and a wide variety of surface parking. Plans currently call for additional parking garages to serve the growing student population. Parking has frequently been a problem on campus, especially for General permit holders. On campus events such as concerts and football games can cause huge parking disruptions as some General lots are closed to student parking to allow for event parking.

Alternative methods

Boise Shuttle Service offers a circulating shuttle on campus, and walking and biking are encouraged. Limited mass-transit options are available, except Boise City's bus system. The city of Boise is served by the Boise Airport and the Greyhound Bus company. Another growing method of quick transportation on campus is longboarding.

Campus events

An active student association provides a large number of activities and programs to engage students outside the classroom. In addition, the school rallies around its popular football program in the fall—and to a lesser degree, men's basketball during the winter months.

The Distinguished Lecture Series brings speakers such as journalist Seymour Hersh, author Michael Cunningham and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa to campus. The university hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr./Human Rights Celebration every January. "Noon Tunes" concerts are held each summer. Boise State also has a newly formed student led lecture series, Vox Discipuli; the first speaker was retired CENTCOM Commander John Abizaid in 2008 where he spoke about “Diplomacy, the Military, and the Future of the Middle East." That was followed by a debate between journalists Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart in October 2008.


In 2009, Boise State had about 19,000 full-time students, making it the largest university in the state of Idaho.

  • White 15,197 (80.3%)
  • Hispanic 1,202 (6.3%)
  • Asian-American 654 (3.5%)
  • African-American 361 (1.9%)
  • Native American 212 (1.1%)
  • Pacific Islander 70 (0.4%)
  • Not Reported 1,240 (6.5%)[3]

Of those students enrolled in 2009, 86.1% are Idaho residents and 54% are female.


Boise State University offers four doctoral degrees, 73 master's degrees, 100 baccalaureate degrees, seven associate degrees, and 13 graduate certificates. In 2009, the university awarded 11 doctorates, 514 master's degrees, 2,137 baccalaureate degrees, 598 associate degrees, and 219 certificates.

The school's more than 190 fields of interest are organized into eight colleges:

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Graduate Studies
  • Health Sciences, and
  • Social Sciences and Public Affairs.


Boise State's athletic nickname is the Broncos. The official mascot is Buster Bronco. BSU fields many different teams in sports. Its men's teams include football, basketball, cross country, track and field, wrestling, golf, and tennis. Its women's teams include volleyball, basketball, cross country, swimming and diving, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, golf, and tennis. Most of these teams compete in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The wrestling team competes in the Pac-10 Conference.

Bronco Football

The Broncos play their home games on campus at Bronco Stadium, widely known for its unique blue playing surface which nearly matches the team's blue home uniforms.

The Broncos have experienced a great deal of recent success. Since 1999, the Broncos' record is 93-17 with eight conference titles (Big West Conference 1999-2000, Western Athletic Conference (WAC) 2002-06, 08), and five wins in eight bowl appearances. The Broncos finished the season in the Top 25 polls in 2002 (12th), 2003 (15th), 2004 (13th), 2006 (5th), and started the 2005 season ranked 18th and the 2007 season ranked 22nd. The Broncos have had two undefeated regular seasons in the last four years.

Boise State also has one of the best home field advantages in college football, winning 31 straight home games from September 22, 2001, until their loss to Boston College in the MPC Computers Bowl on December 28, 2005. However, since the MPC Computers Bowl alternates home teams between the WAC and ACC participants every year, Boston College was technically the home team despite the fact the game was played in Bronco Stadium, which is Boise State's home field. Since 1999, the Broncos are 59–2 at home and 56–1 during regular season games. The Broncos currently have a 44 game regular season home winning streak.

During the 2006 season, Boise State won the WAC championship for the fifth straight time and finished the regular season undefeated for the second time in three years. Because of rule changes that made it slightly easier for a "mid-major" school to earn a Bowl Championship Series bid, the Broncos became eligible for a berth after finishing with a #8 national ranking (they needed to finish 12th or higher). The Broncos were selected to play the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2007. The Broncos became the second team (after the 2004 Utah Utes team) from a conference not guaranteed an automatic BCS bid to go to a BCS bowl game. The Broncos defeated the Sooners 43-42 in overtime. The winning score was a successful two-point conversion by running back Ian Johnson on a variation of the Statue of Liberty play that was made possible after a Hook and Lateral play on 4th-and-18 went for a touchdown to force the game into overtime. On the first play, the Sooners scored on a 25-yard Adrian Peterson run and successfully kicked the point after touchdown. Boise State countered with a trick play that sent starting quarterback Jared Zabransky in motion as a receiver. Running back/receiver Vinny Perretta threw a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Derek Schouman. Zabransky was named the game's offensive Most Valuable Player, while Marty Tadman was selected as defensive Most Valuable Player. Due to the 41–14 loss Ohio State suffered to Florida, Boise State became the only team to finish the 2006 season with an undefeated record. The Broncos extended their string of consecutive victories to 14 in 2007 with a 56–7 win over Weber State, but the [then longest in the nation] streak ended with a 24-10 upset loss to the University of Washington on Sept 8, 2007

On January 11, 2007, head coach Chris Petersen was awarded the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award as the nation's best head coach during the 2006 season.

The Boise State Spirit Squad consists of the BSU Cheerleaders and the Boise State Harvey Neef Mane Line Dancers. They perform at basketball and football games, as well as gymnastics meets and occasionally soccer games.

Notable people

Broadcast media

Boise State Radio is broadcast from the Boise State campus. Stations include KBSU-FM 90.3, KBSX-FM 91.5, KBSU-AM 730 and KBSW-FM 91.7.

External links


Coordinates: 43°36′14″N 116°12′16″W / 43.60392°N 116.20441°W / 43.60392; -116.20441


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