When the Class of 1970 graduated, Boise State had just become a 4-year college a few years before. This is a remarkable time to recognize your achievements and those of Boise State. This class has helped Boise State grow and it has grown from 1932 as a junior college to Boise State College and then Boise State University in 1974, and awarding baccalaureate and master’s degrees since 1965. Boise State now offers more than 100 graduate programs and is classified among “R2 Doctoral Universities – high research activity,” and top 50 Colleges of Innovation. Thank you Class of 1970!
Golden Broncos Share Thoughts on Boise State’s Growth and Impact
by Dr. Linda Clark, Elementary Education
Nearly 100,000 graduates from Boise State University have contributed to the social and economic progress of the state, region, and world. Broncos everywhere are leaders in business, government, health care, science, technology, education, and the arts. But for one class – Golden Broncos who graduate fifty-years-ago, – today we honor your contributions and recognize the foundation for career success you receive at Boise State.
When the Class of 1970 graduated, Boise State College had only recently become a four-year college.
According to Dr. Linda Clark, ’70, in elementary education, not only was the school on a trajectory for expansive growth in enrollment, but the campus infrastructure was also developing.
“The Student Union was new in 1967, and students were thrilled with its options for eating, bowling, and an expansive bookstore,” she said. “The football stadium opened in 1970 a month after graduation, and Boise State moved to Division II football that year.”
Clark, who earned advance degrees in education from other universities, recalls her top-flight faculty members who prepared students for careers and life-long learning.
“I completed my bachelor’s degree extremely well prepared to go on to graduate school and enter my education as a classroom teacher,” Clark said. “That foundation has served me well in my academics, my career, and my life. I would hope for this same quality of preparation for every Boise State student in every field of study. We can aspire to nothing less.”
Notable faculty at the time included Dr. Pat Bieter, a renowned historian and teacher, who kept students on the edge of their seats during the two semesters required of U.S. History classes.
‘Frances P. Reid further built on my love of books as I completed her library classes as part of my certification,” Clark said. “Dr. John Jensen and Dr. John Kirtland were also key faculty members for me. Both were fairly new to Boise College and brought “real world” experience to students and their preparation for the classroom’s realities. Dr. Jensen provided strong support during my student teaching experiences.”
Boise State has experienced significant growth in programs, research, and enrollment over the past 50 years. From an enrollment of about 5,000 in 1967 to 10,000 in 1975, to today’s student body of more than 24,000 students, the university has adapted to meet the needs of the students, citizens of the state, and beyond. Today, Boise State has the largest graduate school enrollment in the state, offers more than 100 graduate programs, and is classified among “R2 Doctoral Universities – high research activity,” and the top “50 Colleges of Innovation.”
“This growth has been very important to the individual students and to the growth of the Idaho’s economy,” Clark said. “I believe that local citizens have watched in awe as the university has grown and developed.”Top of Form
Other notable areas of growth at Boise State since 1970, said Clark, are the athletics and academic programs. The Boise State football program has a stellar record, winning several bowl games and conference championships. “As an avid Boise State fan, and football season ticket holder since 1975, when the expanded east side of the field opened, I have watched and cheered on the green field and on the blue,” she said.
“The College of Education’s rankings as top in the region have been of great interest to me as an alumna and as an administrator. Its 2021 ranking by US News and World Report in the top 40 among 400 public institutions is noteworthy.”
Under the leadership of Boise State’s seventh president, Dr. Marlene Tromp, the university continues building on its culture of innovation – developing research that impacts lives, structures that transcend disciplines so researchers and students can collaborate on big problems in spaces that promote innovation.
Please share with us your memories and thoughts about Boise State University’s growth over the past 50 years. Like Dr. Linda Clark, we want to know more about the experiences of other Class of 1970 graduates and how Boise State has impacted your lives.