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Nicolaysen Family Donates $1 Million

Nicolaysen Family
Nicolaysen Family

Boise State Athletics received its second seven-figure gift to the Lyle Smith Society, this one from the Nicolaysen family and ES-O-EN Management, LLC, which owns and operates 34 Taco Bell franchises in Idaho and Oregon, director of athletics Jeramiah Dickey announced Wednesday.

The donation will ultimately support both campus and athletics, and also includes a renewed partnership with Bronco Sports Properties.

“I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the Nicolaysen family for their investment in the future of Bronco Athletics. I am also incredibly appreciative of the thoughtful nature of their gift, which is an investment not only in athletics, but also Boise State University. The Nicolaysen family has long supported our programs, and I am elated that they continue to see the impact they are able to make on providing an elite student-athlete experience. The opportunity to include scholarships, sponsorships and philanthropic support through the Bronco Athletic Association is something we hope to accomplish with many others in our community moving forward.” — director of athletics Jeramiah Dickey

From an athletics standpoint, the donation will include an endowed scholarship for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, in addition to supporting the men’s basketball enhancement fund and future capital expenditures.

The donation will also support the family’s academic scholarship, entitled the Taco Bell Leadership Scholarship, which was established in 2006.

“For as long as we’ve lived in Idaho, Boise State has been a fixture in our community and an important part of our family and company culture. We’re proud of the partnership we’ve enjoyed with Boise State through the years and are fans, sponsors and alumni committed to the University and its student-athletes. — Carl Nicolaysen

“We are grateful for the leadership, vision and friendships we’ve made with the staff, leaders and coaches – past and present – and are excited to continue that support with Jeramiah, his staff and their vision for the future. We are focused on channeling our support where it can have the biggest and most direct impact on our Boise State student-athletes. 

“Our partnership with Boise State and the assistance our Taco Bell Leadership Scholarship and Taco Bell Men’s and Women’s Basketball Scholarships will provide to Bronco student-athletes makes up an important component of our ES-O-EN Mission – to bring joy to our customers, community and families.”

The Nicolaysen family became the 125th members of the Lyle Smith Society, which has raised more than $12.5 million combined over the next five years.

The Lyle Smith Society is a philanthropic giving option launched by the Bronco Athletic Association this past December. Membership begins with a minimum pledge of $25,000 over a five-year period or donating an annual cash gift of $25,000 or more.

The Lyle Smith Society is named after the iconic, longtime Boise State football coach and administrator.  

A leadership giving society to support Boise State Athletics, the purpose of the Lyle Smith Society is to increase philanthropic revenues, providing consistent funding for scholarships, operational needs and capital projects. Members of the Lyle Smith Society enjoy unique stewardship opportunities and benefits based on giving level, while maintaining the flexibility to designate each gift to the fund of their choice.

For those interested in learning more or in making a commitment to the Lyle Smith Society, contact the Bronco Athletic Association at (208) 426-3556 or

Make a gift to the Bronco Athletic Association.

Contributions from Lyle Smith Society members can be applied to funds including, but not limited to, the following, which have been established as priorities by Boise State Athletics.

Areas of Support

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