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Alum gives campus icon the glamour treatment for its 40th anniversary

Ward Hooper showcasing framed poster at ExtraMile Arena during a basketball game

Boise State’s ExtraMile Arena opened in 1982. In the four decades since then, it has hosted sporting events, musical acts ranging from Luciano Pavoratti to Elton John, presidential candidates and graduation ceremonies. During the pandemic, it became classroom space.

Art and graphic design alum Ward Hooper created a special poster to mark the arena’s anniversary. His familiar graphic style evokes nostalgia and classic Americana, giving even modern buildings like ExtraMile Arena a timeless, atmospheric glow.

Hooper came to Boise State as a first-generation college student from Grangeville, Idaho. He has his own history with ExtraMile Arena. He worked security for concerts during his student days in the late ‘80s and again in the mid-‘90s. Proprietor of art and clothing store Ward Hooper Vintage, a downtown Boise mainstay, Hooper has received the Boise State Alumni Association’s President’s Service Award and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence, among other honors.

Hooper said art has always been a part of his life. “I knew what I wanted to pursue. I was lucky in that respect,” he said. He credits his time at Boise State with teaching him structure and the skills to begin his career.

The university will display Hooper’s ExtraMile poster throughout the arena in 2023.

Want a poster of your own?

ExtraMile Arena is hosting a giveaway. Email with the subject line POSTER GIVEAWAY. A randomly chosen winner will be able to claim their poster at the arena box office.

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